I’m sure all of you have heard about the liberal media. In fact, the two words are used together so often that we have all become used to them for reasons that seem obvious to me.
But somehow, when talking about the liberal media, few remember Clear Channel Radio, Fox News and The Washington Times, just to mention a few.
All present information from a conservative perspective that many commentators and editorial writers share, too. But the same people who speak of the liberal media encourage you, the reader, to doubt anything and everything you see no matter what the source, if the perspective taken is anything but conservative.
The media is not a monolith, united and only possessing one viewpoint. A little research into what’s out there provides more viewpoints that are needed to make a good decision. The key is obtaining enough viewpoints to see things from different angles.
Obtaining and evaluating information should be part of everyone’s education. This is apparent when dealing with what is in the news. It is possible for someone to be a good citizen and to make good decisions? Yes, but it requires some effort.
Why bring this up now? The answer is simple: We are in an election year and are already being blasted with images of presidential candidates. Howard Dean is angry, and George W. Bush is a good ol’ boy. What these representations have to do with each candidate’s fitness to be president is not clear, but it is what we are given ad nauseum.
Perceptions are not enough. In fact, perceptions are often what lead us astray. We often elect someone who seems likable, instead of someone who might in fact do a better job of governing. The last two presidents give us plenty of evidence of this.
Maybe it is better to look at issues as if they are three-dimensional objects, without worrying about from where we are hearing about them, when many media outlets appear liberal from one angle, but conservative from another. It is our responsibility as citizens to seek out multiple perspectives and look at more than one side of the issues.
If our goal is to work for the common good, we need to be able to think clearly about the problems facing us. Looking at the world from one perspective, no matter what that is, helps no one. Keep thinking, because we need all the intelligence we can get.
William Lodge can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.