Review 2009: Subjectively Speaking

The News

The following short exchange happened on Twitter ...

@feelinglistless Right then, let's begin. What would you like to talk about?

@ThatNeilGuy Well, I thought we could talk about my decision early this year to tune out the news as much as possible.

@feelinglistless A bold move. What brought you to that decision?


@ThatNeilGuy I got sick of hearing partisan bickering all the time. Everything is so implausibly black & white in political discourse.

@feelinglistless Just for some context, where do you live?

@ThatNeilGuy I am in the US of A. In South Carolina.

@feelinglistless Was there a particularly story or report that turned you off in particular?

@ThatNeilGuy So political discourse in general made me angry. Why is compromise such a bad word in politics? Isn't life about synthesis

@feelinglistless -- but surely the news is simply reporting what it sees. I know that's slightly different in the US with network bias but ...

@ThatNeilGuy Everything seemed to come thru a lens of "bush is infallible and all democrats are antiamerican."

@feelinglistless Would it not be possible to simply just tune out politics?

@ThatNeilGuy Hard to not hear all news reports as "this politician says the other side is evil."
@ThatNeilGuy So I've stopped listening to top of the hour news reports. But I still get info from other sources.

@feelinglistless So it would be truer to say that you've stopped with broadcast sources?

@ThatNeilGuy Yes! If I had Comedy Central I'd probably watch Daily Show and get news slanted thru that lens, yet still be informed...
@ThatNeilGuy So I get most topical news from Wait Wait Don't Tell Me, a radio comedy quiz show...
@ThatNeilGuy Via podcast. And also learned about financial crisis stuff thru This American Life podcast...
@ThatNeilGuy And science news thru podcasts of Skeptics Guide to the Universe and This Week in Science.

@feelinglistless I should add though that the Today programme on Radio 4 tends be criticised for bias against whoever isn't in power at the time
@feelinglistless But isn't it true that it's impossible to present the news without some kind of bias or agenda political or otherwise?


@ThatNeilGuy Yes. And I am hypocritical, I know, for wanting the agenda to be more akin to my own. Like viewed as comedy.

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