Monday, September 14, 2009

A litmus test for news sources?

Something I have observed among the people I know: intelligent people like to be well-informed. This principle seems to extend beyond philosophical and political differences, and across various spectrums of communication. It's what leads people to explore new avenues of communication, seek out dissenting opinions, and generally favor unbiased information presentation. Indeed, it's probably largely the reason people read blogs like this one.

It's rare that an opportunity would arise to clearly and unambiguously judge whether a news organization or source is presenting all the important information in a clear and unbiased way; many people argue about this very topic in relation to various news sources, with no clear criteria. It's fortuitous, then, when events come along which offer a clear differentiation, a litmus test of veracity and integrity for news sources. Fortunately for us, 9/12/09 offered just such a test.

As you, a blog reader, are probably already aware, there was a large protest march at Washington DC on 9/12/09. There's some debate over the exact number of people participating, but estimates put the number between one and two million people, making it the largest protest of the Obama administration, and the largest gathering in the capitol since the coronation of our Dear Leader. Surely, then, if anything warrants news coverage, the largest consolidated protest of the government in recent history would be such an event, and no matter what your personal stance on the Obamanation and its policies, you would want to be informed of it.

Here's the NY Times search on '9/12 protest', see if you can spot their extensive coverage. Or maybe you prefer CNN, self-proclaimed "America's leader in news". Or, closer to home, the LA Times coverage. Good extensive coverage, guys... way to go.

Now, you can say I picked liberal-biased news sites, and you might be right; if you picked a random news outlet, chances are it's liberal-biased, and might be reporting on the largest protest in recent US history with a liberal bias. But even if you want your news colored with a healthy dose of left-wing bias, you still want the news... like, significant events which are occurring, right now, in the world. I know I would feel very uneasy about reading news sites, large or small, where I knew reporting on significant world events was being suppressed and filtered before I got to see it, and you should to, no matter what additives and flavoring you like with your news.

So, I humbly suggest you take this opportunity, and recommend to your friends and colleges, to use this rare event as a litmus test for your news sources, and filter out the ones which are not giving you the important information on significant events in the world. We the people cannot change what various media conglomerates present to us as the news, but the one power we have always had is the ability to vote with our feet, as it were, and our viewing/listening/reading attentions. People have sacrificed much to preserve the freedom of the press; the least we can do to honor those efforts is turn away from the news organizations which would throw it away.


  1. Couldn't have pontificated this premise better myself. I will be shocked, truly shocked, if we ever come to grasp a realistic number in regards to the 9/12 protesters. There is simply too much gain and power in suppression of said number.

  2. America seems to agree with you. The liberal news outlets have lost more viewers since 9/12 than ever. There were more protestors in DC alone than watch all those news outlets combined. The funny thing is if you add up all the other protests across America, you will find that they had far greater turnouts than in DC. So let the hospice media die from news underexposure while the world passes them by. I was in DC. I saw red blooded American patriots from every state in the union and of every color under God's creation, from Cuban Americans to Menninites, shut DC down. Those people will go home and tell all their friends and fellow bloggers stories of how nearly 2 million people stood up and said "no more" to the corruption and taking of our freedoms that our politicians seem to take such pleasure in. The bloggers are now holding the old media's leash and we need to make it as short as possible