Tuesday, June 3, 2014

All the news that doesn't fit

Yet another study shows that folks who watch Stephen Colbert are better informed about the world than those who consume their news from traditional media outlets, be it from newspapers or Fox News.

This isn't all that surprising. Fewer people than ever subscribe to a newspaper. Mainstream TV news is more concerned with "conflict" than with what is really going on.

With the internet, people can choose the news they want to consume. More than ever, web surfers are clicking on sites that conform to their thinking.

On the left, you have Huffington Post, Daily Kos, Talking Points Memo and others. On the right, you have Fox News, the Wall Street Journal, the Drudge Report and others.

For years, many on the right complained about "liberal" bias in the news. These folks were tired of hearing about discrimination against people of color. They were mad that Christian prayers could not be said in public schools. They did not want to hear about "choices" for women including contraceptives and abortion. And, they certainly did not want gay marriage.

Well, they got a voice in Fox News, which says it's okay to hate, say any foul thing you want and exercise your Second Amendment rights anyway, anyhow.

Fox News tapped into the deep-seated prejudices that many Americans have and found a gusher of an oil well. Check the comments after any story about President Obama or anything not related to Obama, and you'll find racist rants about him. Fox News usually cuts off the comments to these stories because they become so vile, so quickly.

And, of course, there is always Rush Limbaugh and "hate" radio that spews right-wing rhetoric 24-7.

For all the social progress made over the past half-century, Fox News correctly realizes that millions of Americans don't like the changes.

But, Fox News is just a venting mechanism. It doesn't enlightened viewers, but rather inflames them.

So, with more news outlets than ever, it's not that surprising that comedy shows about the news are more informative than news shows that are a joke.

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