Media and knowledge aren’t the same thing

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One of the favorite refrains of the Tea Party element of the Right is that the only way presented with the facts that I could ever hold liberal positions is to be brainwashed by the mainstream media (MSM is how it’s abbreviated – I guess for more efficient Twitter character counts).

To this, I just need to say a few things:

(1) I know how to read. And because I believe in being an educated voter, I often read (or watch) the transcripts (or speeches) that the candidates make. I’m not watching any media’s version of the speech. I’m actually reading or watching what the candidate is saying themselves.

(2) I know how to research. I can follow the trail of who writes a bill. I can follow the trail of what an organization with a friendly name may or may not stand for. And so just because it comes from a group with a nice name like the American Family Organization, I know that it’s not a group that would accept me because I’m not Christian.

(3) I can find opposing views. And I actively look out for them. I really enjoy reading the TAC blog – not because I always agree with Rod Dreher, but because it helps me understand the first principles from which he builds his arguments.

Here’s another point to be very wary of. You’re getting your information from the mainstream media as well. The Mainstream Media includes – but is not limited to – the NY Times, Washington Post, CNN, Huffington Post, Fox News, the New York Daily, Rush Limbaugh.

These are all for-profit organizations whose goal is to make people look at advertisements, listen to advertisements, and click on advertisements. Their goal is not to educate. If anything, it is to entertain. Sometimes entertaining requires informing, but informing is different than educating.

Please don’t take as gospel what you read in your mainstream media any more than I do in mine. Educate yourself. It’s the only way we’re going to be able to have the conversations we need to have to put this country back together again.

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