That’s a good question, because the media was absolutely dreadful during the entirety of the 2016 campaign. Indeed, although Trump is too dumb to understand it, the media’s coverage-fail during this election is more responsible for his win than any other single factor. The false equivalency of any of Trump’s scandals, whether his sexual assault of women, his openly racist and bigoted views of Latino’s, Muslims, and African Americans, or his nefarious business dealings, with the fact that Hillary Clinton used her own email server while Secretary of State, was completely absurd, and yet, if you talk to Trump voters, many will tell you they were voting for the lesser of two evils.
Particularly egregious was the mainstream media: CNN, MSNBC, ABC, NBC, CBS, and NPR. I don’t include Fox News in this group because they’re basically the propaganda department for the Republican Party, and everyone knows it.
As a consequence, I frankly recommend boycotting the above news outlets and letting them know why—for example, because Morning Edition and All Things Considered have done such a poor job reporting on politics for so long, I haven’t donated to NPR for years… but I digress.
The title of this section was where do I get good information?
Answer: newspapers, podcasts, blogs/political websites, and local/progressive radio.
New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal (if you can handle their editorial board) or your local newspaper, provided it’s a decent one—as an Oregonian, I can’t say mine, the Oregonian, falls in that category (that’s right, I’m not even hyper-linking you jerks, so there). Weekly’s and smaller newspapers are also often good—local examples in Portland include the Willamette Week or the Mercury. A truism here, however, is that reading a newspaper will almost always lead to a better understanding of the issues than listening to radio broadcasts, or watching TV news coverage.
Keepin’ It 1600 is a great one that features Jon Favreau, Tommy Vietor, Dan Pfieffer, and Jon Lovett, all of whom worked as aides for the Obama administration. They have great insights into how the Presidency works, and are good liberal human beings who oppose Trump and Republican policy.
In addition, there are a couple great ones from Vox. The first is The Weeds, which is a policy podcast with Matt Yglesias, Ezra Klein, and Sarah Kliff. The premise is a deep dive into how policy is crafted in Washington, how the two parties are involved, and what’s at stake, both politically, and for ordinary Americans. The other is the Ezra Klein Show, in which Ezra interviews a Washington muckity-muck or some other interesting person for an hour or so. Both offer excellent analysis, are rife with facts, and I can safely say I’m a wiser (and more well entertained) human as a result of listening.
(NOTE: the Vox podcast websites weren’t up to date, but all of the above are available on both SoundCloud and iTunes to the best of my knowledge.)
Obviously, ChuckingRocks should be at the top of your list—I know, I know, shameless self promotion. Others that are good: DailyKos, Alternet, Vox, Huffington Post, The Ringer, TruthDig, Salon, The Atlantic, The Intercept, Think Progress, and Medium.
shout out to Jefferson Smith and the team at XRAY.FM here, because they kick ass, tell the truth, and they’re local (secretly, I wish Jefferson was our mayor—guess it’s not a secret anymore). But hopefully, depending on where you live, there’s a local station trying to get the truth out there, unlike NPR.
If not, you can podcast and/or stream certain hosts. My favorite is Thom Hartmann, who’s on from 9-12 PST, 12-3 EST. I know for a fact you can stream him on XRAY.FM and you can also listen to his stuff on the radio archives there as well.
I didn’t mention television shows above because I don’t think they’re a good way to get information, but if you prefer that method, watch MSNBC—specifically Rachel Maddow, Chris Hayes, Laurence O’Donnell, and Joy Reid. The rest of MSNBC isn’t worth much of a damn: Chris Matthews may be liberal, but he’s also a huge insider douche. Sorry, I just had to say that.
I’m sure I’m forgetting and/or omitting some great stuff, so if you know of any, comment below and I’ll add it to my list. Surely, this is a place to start, not end.
Here’s what I’d recommend overall as a liberal media consumer—subscribe to one of the newspapers above. They need our support to investigate Trump and hold his feet to the fire. In addition, listen to a couple podcasts a week along with some progressive radio on your drive to work or when you’re working out/doing chores, and then check the blogs for new stories and updates (especially ChuckingRocks) periodically. DVR the progressive shows on MSNBC, because that helps their rating, and watch if you can—if you can’t, like I said, you’re better off reading your news on a blog or listening to progressive radio.
Some may say, “hey, you’re creating a liberal echo chamber just like the right,” but I have two questions for that critique: 1) mainstream media profits off of Trump and helped to get him elected; why should we encourage that? And: 2) what choice do we have? Not much. Recently, both NPR and the LA Times have covered Nazi’s as if they’re just ordinary people–I’m all for objectivity, but there’s nothing normal about a group of people that think certain races/religions ought to be exterminated. It’s horrifying, and we oughtn’t give those media organizations our support.
A bit more if I may: it’s really, really important we don’t incentivize the media to cover Trump as a reality TV show like they did during this campaign. But if we tune in every time he does or says something outrageous, that’s just what we’ll get.
So when the media’s just talking about Trump but there’s no real there, there—whether a stupid tweet, or stupid thing he said, or some sort of conflated controversy like what happened with Hamilton—turn it off. The less we watch of cable news and/or television news, the better off we’ll all be.
Instead, read a book. And soon, I’ll have something to contribute in that regard. Cheers!
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