Wednesday, July 04, 2018

Freedom From Bullshit

The chart seen above is a perfect way to celebrate Independence Day (click for a bigger version) because it gives you a way to free yourself from the bullshit you take in from the offending news sources that feed it to you on a daily basis.  It lays out the most popular sources (beware of your local offenders) and shows where their bias lies.  It was put together by MarketWatch, a company listed as one of the least biased sources of information.

I follow almost all of the neutral new sources in the green rectangle - AP, Reuters, Bloomberg, AFP, NBC, ABC, CBS, The Christian Science Monitor.  I follow the ones that lean left - Politico, The New York Times, The Washington Post, and I even follow the ones that skew conservative - The Hill, The Wall Street Journal.  I want to know what's happening on both sides.

The yellow rectangle contains organizations that provide a fair interpretation of the news. Of these, I follow The Guardian, The Economist, The New Yorker, CNN, and The Atlantic.  A little from each side there, too.

I don't follow any liberal sources in the orange or red boxes, but I do sometimes read articles from The Huffington Post if it's been re-tweeted by a journalist or person I follow on Twitter.

The most important part of this chart is the organizations that fall within that red rectangle - sources that are called "Nonsense damaging to public discourse". 

Nonsense damaging to public discourse.  Let that sink in.

These sources are watched and quoted, over and over and over again, by Orange Mussolini and his minions.  Trump and his supporters, repeatedly and with conviction, disseminate information (and use it as their source of "facts" when debating) from these sources.

These are the sources, ironically, that most often provide what these people like to call "fake news". 

Prior to Trump, these people, these conservatives, these right-wingers, these Republicans, got their news from the people in the middle. ABC, NBC, CBS, even CNN was what everyone watched before the 24-hour news cycle came into existence.  They trusted people like Walter Cronkite and Dan Rather and Peter Jennings and Tom Brokaw.  Journalists who were the best of the best.  Dan Rather began his career as a journalist in 1950.  He's been reporting news longer than I've been alive.  He was and is a trusted source.  But things are different now.

Now, if the news comes from a source Trump doesn't like, or it portrays him in a negative light, he deems the information fake.  It's ludicrous.  It's even more mind-blowing to see these people being led willingly, in cult-like fashion, by a person who lies as often as he draws breath.  Even when he's fact-checked by, well, almost anyone, often by playing audio or video of him telling the lie, his supporters still believe him.  It's unreal.  

It's mindblowing to hear people say - with a straight face! - things like, "Michelle Obama is a man." and "Hillary Clinton ran a child sex trafficking ring out of a pizzeria."  It's as if they can't tell the difference between truth and bullshit.  Shocking.

If you can't tell, I am no fan of Donald Trump.  I despise him.  But if you told me he was running a child sex trafficking ring out of a pizzeria, I'd tell you right to your face that there's NO WAY that was happening, that I don't believe it, and that you're crazy for even repeating and spreading something so fucking stupid. 

It's just preposterous the utter bullshit people believe.  And the reason they believe it, is because the dissemination of the lies is constant - through Trump himself, over and over again at his rallies, from his supporters, through Facebook, on Twitter, in person.  I have eavesdropped on conversations where it took every ounce of restraint I could muster to not scream,  "HILLARY CLINTON IS NOT TRAFFICKING CHILDREN FROM A PIZZA PARLOR!!!!"

So again, those in the red box are:

Fox News - almost EVERY Trump supporter watches Fox News.  It's like their very own news cult.  Trump even tweets things he hears on this channel, often in real time.  They report it, two seconds later he's tweeting it.

The Daily Caller


Newsmax (the National Enquirer of "news")

The Blaze

The Daily Caller

Drudge Report (he's in the orange, but may as well be in the red)

and InfoWars - where nutjob Alex Jones spews his filth from.

Let's remember what they're saying about the companies in the red rectangle in relation to how they report the news:


So if you're a diehard follower of any of the organizations in red, you might want to consider moving to the top of the chart and start watching/reading some of the companies in green.  The ones in the middle.  Even if they skew conservative, it's likely you're getting actual news and not some crazy bullshit.  

If Sean Hannity, Tucker Carlson, Laura Ingraham, Judge Jeanine Pirro (God, help us), or anyone on Fox & Friends is your favorite "news" person, you really need to do yourself a favor and wander into reality.  Those people are entertainment personalities.  They are not journalists and they're not news reporters.  They host OPINION shows.  What they're telling you is their opinion, supported by guests who share their views, which are often very light on fact.  It's the epitome of spin.

So please, when you read or hear something, think about words you've undoubtedly heard in your lifetime - CONSIDER THE SOURCE.  And do your homework.  This is just one chart, but there are other places you can find minimal bias.  Before you forward an email, share something on Facebook, or repeat a story to your friends, check your facts. 

You're entitled to your own opinion but you are not entitled to your own facts.

Don't spread nonsense damaging to public discourse.

Now go have a great fourth of July!

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
2017: Life, Liberty, And Ribs

2016: Happily Celebrating Beautiful Things
2015: Bring On The Bright, Bursting Skies At Night, Bring On The Thundering Booms
2014: Have A Berry Happy Fourth Of July!
2013: Relieved Of Civic Duty Just In Time For America's Birthday
2012: Blind With Patriotism
2011: Independence In The Town Of The Big House
2010: It’s So Much Prettier
2009: Soap Box Derby – Spavinaw Style
2008: Eddie’s Independence Friday
2007: Miss Independent
2006: Independence Day
2005: The Mother Road To Independence

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