The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

Cindy's Corner

April 14, 2010

Media stalkers

ENID —

It appears the conservative news media is becoming as much of a stalker of opposing opinions as some would say the liberal media have been.

Sen. Tom Coburn, an outspoken Republican from Oklahoma and a critic of just about everything liberal and Democratic Party, had the audacity a week or so ago to suggest that people not base their opinions or information on one news source. He mentioned Fox News as one of those sources, but he also mentioned CNN.

He went on to take the statesman road of saying that even though he disagrees thoroughly with her agenda, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is a “nice person.”

Well, popular Fox pundit Bill O’Reilly decided to take Coburn to task for misrepresenting Fox or “calling out” Fox News in his comments. Coburn appeared on O’Reilly’s program Tuesday night. O'Reilly said he didn't want Coburn to be "used" by his opponents who focused on Coburn's criticism of Fox. Frankly, I don't think Coburn really cared what his opponents thought about his comments. Some thought Coburn looked a little embarrassed, but I thought he held his own and he said some things I agree with.

One of my sayings I learned from somewhere is “We can disagree without being disagreeable.” Its called diplomacy, statesmanship . . . whatever, but it’s a dying art in our political discourse these days. Instead, if we disagree with someone’s politics, we turn hysterical and start maligning them personally.

If a political opponent happens to score a point for his or her argument, then the other side proceeds to either demonize that opponent or try to marginalize them as a “kook.”

Frankly, that kind of crap has gotten us nowhere but in the mess we’re in where we can’t govern in the best interest of the public for fear of offending our base or our political party, or perhaps now, the media.

I also watch several news sources on television, including Fox, CNN and I tend to gravitate to ABC network news. I also read several online publications, and I do research when I’m trying to form an educated opinion about something.

That’s the way it is supposed to be done. That is the way I hope all legislators or people in a position to set policy or law would operate. Unfortunately, that’s not the case much anymore.

Fox is a network that skews conservative, particularly in their analyses or editorial opinion sectors. Their morning show is pretty much a conservative show with a lot of conservative editorial comment thrown in by the three anchors. CNN has skewed more liberal in the past, but I see a transition to more centrist, moderate analyses. MSNBC is off the charts liberal, but I rarely watch any of their programs. ABC seems, to me, to be the most balanced network news station, but I also know that the other two have their moments.

Thing is, I believe I can read, listen and watch a number of sources and get the information I need to form my own opinion. I think Fox has its share of BiaS just as much as CNN and the others have their share of BiaS. (Note the emphasis on the B and the S).

And, I really don’t like the idea of my lawmakers catering to any news network. If Coburn wants to criticize Fox News, he should be free to do so without having the O’Reilly Cavalry come after him.

Coburn was right on target with his comments about all news media. And, its time other people started turning the channels or reading other information they might not agree with. They might actually learn something.

 

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