I normally watch the news on a regular basis to stay informed on day-to-day things, yet, it wasn’t until the elections came within a month away that I began to seriously contemplate the political coverage found on cable news. If one tunes in to ABC news,CBS, CNN or MSNBC, it’s as if the hosts are being paid to constantly praise president Obama. If one watches Fox News, the majority of program hosts seem to have the Obama administration on a hit-list. It seems as if there is not a source for pure factual coverage of the election. Not only that, but it also seems that the vast majority of journalists seem to favor Obama. A poll found that 87% of all journalists actually report news in a manner that favors Obama’s administration; yet, political spin exists on both sides.
Political spin is expected from hosts to some extent, but not to such an extent that one can predict without fail how they will vote. Not only do news hosts explicitly express a political bias but they also constantly obscure and even hide facts that may hurt their side. If you watch MSNBC you would be quite surprised to hear the stories on Fox News and vice versa because the producers of said news channels select what they want you to know. The producers on these shows also tend to choose what things to downplay or what things to play up. Obama’s first debate flub may be the end of the world on Fox News, but on MSNBC it will surely be played as a result of that pesky thin Coloradan air. What is sad is that the vast majority of Americans that get their news from cable news channels sticks to a single source, and this ends up developing within them a political opinion based on stories spun to suit said political opinion.
So that’s why you should use the internet as a source, right? Well, not exactly. The same thing occurs online, but even to a greater extent. People can not only select what facts they present, but also who they present them as. Online, you are never sure of who is writing what.
So it would seem that the only choice for an informed political opinion is to do your own research. Watch the cable news or read an internet article, but if something seems too good to be true for one side of the political spectrum, check it for yourself, possibly do a source check. If many other people did, I assure you we would have a greater deal of Independents than we have at the moment.
In the case that you do become informed responsibly, be assured that you will be able to securely wreck any fool on Facebook or Twitter raging all debate-night-long “#Obama2012 #YOLOSwag” or “#ROMNEY#CuzNickiMinajtoldmeto” in any sort of an argument.