Get Your News from Right and Left

You shouldn’t just patronize news outlets with political bents similar to your own, while always ignoring outlets with a different ideological bent. If you do that, you’re denying yourself crucial information.

A good example was yesterday, vis-a-vis the Democrats’ national convention. A political hot potato was brewing: it was being reported that Democrats had taken “God” out of its platform, as well as language saying Jerusalem should be the capital of Israel.

But no stories of the kind showed up on the go-to publication for lefties, The Huffington Post – at least none that I saw. (And if there was any story on it, it was well hidden.) The publication has an unabashedly leftist bent, and it’s reluctant to publish stories that are embarrassing to or reflect negatively on the Left – unless such a story gets so hot that it has no choice but to feature it.

It was only when chaos erupted at the DNC, when they took a voice vote to reinstate the language – the chairman ruled “yes” even though it was generally agreed that the “no” voices were louder – that The Huffington Post went to press on the issue.

Readers of The Huffington Post were blindsided. If you’re accustomed to only reading that publication, then you would have had no idea that that issue was brewing. The Huffington Post did its readers a big disservice by ignoring the issue until it came to a head.

Poor Woody Allen. He only has two buttons on his iPhone he can touch – the weather and The Huffington Post, he told the Wall Street Journal. He must have been blindsided too.

I recall a similar thing happening in The Washington Post eight years ago vis-a-vis the swift boat issue involving then-presidential candidate John Kerry. The Post ignored the story (at least on its front page) – until information came out on it that put Kerry in a positive light. It reminded me of someone getting repeated legitimate criticism for something, and just sitting there staying silent all along, taking it in and fuming, unable to rebut. And then when information finally comes out that’s useful for that person, the person finally speaks up.

There’s also the well-known example of ABC newsman Charlie Gibson, during a radio show, getting blindsided regarding the scandal in which video of an ACORN worker advises a couple pretending to be a pimp and prostitute. That ACORN story had been all over right-leaning news outlets. It’s a good bet that Charlie Gibson wasn’t a regular reader of them. That’s extremely risky when you’re a national media professional.

And yes, right-leaning news outlets ignore stories that may be embarrassing to the Right. I recall seeing noteworthy things in The Huffington Post that I didn’t see on Foxnews.com. Of course the editors probably would argue that they don’t consider something as significant news, and so don’t report it. But sometimes it blows up in their face.

So the moral of the story is to read publications on both sides of the political spectrum. If you don’t, you’re denying yourself significant news.

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