Since this topic is about the decision process rather than the decision itself, I thought I'd re-emphasize an earlier point about CSPAN I was making to Manny. For anyone not familiar with it, CSPAN stands for C
etwork & is a non-profit, public affairs network that has no commercials, commentators, opinions, biases & is not affiliated with PBS in any way. If you have cable TV, then you have CSPAN. (if you are still using "Rabbit Ears" or a roof antenna.........It's 2008!!....Wake Up!!!
I will often watch events, like the recent political conventions, on it to be able to watch the entire event without having to listen to the biases of any network or commentator who tend to "filter" the events through their particular bias. Typically, I will then flip through the usual networks to hear their "Read" on what I just saw.MSNBC
-I watch a bit of this to get the liberal view from Keith Olberman & Chris Matthews. (Matthews at least attempts to be fair to most guests & his questioning is always tough. He actually listens to the answer given & makes them answer his question if they try to dodge it.. He worked for Tip O'Neil, so there is very little doubt as to his biases, but I think he is usually pretty fair & balanced)
Olberman can be entertaining but is definitely a liberal advocate & I am somewhat offended by his hijacking of Edward R. Murrow's sign-off....."Good Night & good luck".Fox
- I then switch to Fox to get the Republican view of things. (we can turn this into a debate on the various news biases but I am simply stating my opinion here & why I watch a certain network & what bias I see) I think Fox is no more "Fair & Balanced" than is MSNBC or other liberal outfits on the other side. What angers me about Fox is that they try to pretend they are something they are not, but I guess all the networks do that to some extent. On Fox I like Brit Hume & Chris Wallace, but find many of the others, like Sean Hannity just total conservative advocates. Bill O'Reilly , IMO , is really there just there to hear himself talk, sell his many products & vomit his BS all over the viewer!
(I love it when he's trying to browbeat a guest & says " I'll give you the last word.".....& then proceeds to pontificate for 20 minutes after cutting off their mic!!...No guts at all!Talk Radio
- Almost exclusively conservative, at least in the Boston market.
I will often have it on in the background & have yet to find a liberal show that I can stand listening too! They are all so boring!! (there is a PBS radio station broadcasting from BU (Boston University) that mainly seems to talk about how bicycling through Cambridge is good for the environment, & similar crap!
Of the conservative talk shows, I like G. Gordon Liddy of Watergate fame. The man is crazy....but very intelligent, a great story teller & has more guts than anyone else on talk radio! ( He is a former FBI Agent &, as such, he & I share much in common) He lets callers, with opposing views, have full access & never cuts of their mic! As a convicted felon (Watergate) he cannot legaly own a firearm anymore, but Mrs. Liddy has quite an armory!
He's a real gun enthusiast & very knowledgeable about them. His radio show "Bumper" music is often Richard Rodger's "Victory At Sea", my favorite symphony & best TV show of all time! (I pay my 14 & 16 year old grandsons to watch it!
Back to the topic......I hear you Richard!
There are obviously many other media sources, but none without a bias.
I have a little game I like to play: I'll watch an event, let's say the recent conventions, on CSPAN.........Watch a speech......form a quick opinion about it & then flip through a few networks to hear the "Talking Heads" take on things.
Try this yourself sometime.....It's amazing!
! I'll almost guarantee that you will feel that you watched a totally different event than they did!!
(don't ever let yourself fall into the trap of trying to get real info on a speech/event/whatever by just listening to a "Talking Head's" analysis afterward........You'll get nothing but "Spin" from either side! If you must listen to any of these networks, flip through a few to get a more accurately "Fair & Balanced" synopsis....No one network will give it to you
Suggestion: The upcoming debates will be an excellent time to try this game out. (I I think the first one is scheduled for 9/29 but I'm not positive) Watch the debate on CSPAN, think about who you think won or lost & what good bad/points where made by each side & maybe even jot down on paper some points that strike you, as you hear them. Then......flip through a few
commercial networks to see what they saw & heard. I think you'll be amazed!!
Anyway, just something I like to do & recommend it highly.
I'd love to hear any similar tactics/suggestions that you may use in your decision making!