The Terrifying Power of the Media to Shape Opinion

Only 18% of Americans support the U.S. Senate healthcare bill to replace Obamacare, says one poll. Only 12%, says another, and only 8% says yet another. Given the slow-motion collapse of Obamacare, that’s remarkably low. With numbers that low, even a majority of Republicans must oppose the bill.

Could the public’s negative opinion be shaped by the fact that the media has overwhelmingly portrayed the bill in overwhelmingly negative, even apocalyptic, terms?

A big drawback of the bill is that health care insurance would be more expensive for older Americans. I Googled the phrase, “Senate healthcare bill more expensive for older adults.” Every article cited on the opening page stressed the harm that the bill would do to seniors. Seventy-five percent of Googlers never go past the first page of results. To find countervailing analysis, searchers would have to dive way deeper into the results.

An offsetting benefit is that the bill would make health care insurance cheaper for young adults and free them from the Obamacare mandate of purchasing insurance. So, I Googled the phrase, “Senate healthcare bill cheaper for young adults.” The opening page was a mixed bag. Some results were balanced and some negative. None were positive. Here are the headlines:

9 Things To Know About The Senate Health Care Bill (NPR). The article notes, “The oldest people under 65 can be charged five times more than the youngest, and maybe more depending on state rules.” It says nothing about young adults paying less.

How the Senate’s Health-Care Bill Would Cause Financial Ruin for People with Preexisting Conditions (Atlantic). The headline speaks for itself. The article doesn’t even address the issue of how young people are impacted.

Winners and Losers of the Senate’s Health-Care Bill (CNBC). This article does acknowledge that young adults would benefit: “The Senate plan, like the House bill, would give insurers greater flexibility to charge younger enrollees much lower premiums and to offer skinnier plans in states that opt out of ACA’s essential health benefit requirements.”

The Senate health care bill: What’s in it and what to watch for in the CBO report (Politifact). This article provides a balanced statement: “Today, companies can’t charge older customers more than three times what young adults pay. The Senate bill increases that to five to one. This change reduces premiums for the young and increases them for those in their 50s and early 60s.”

Senate health plan falls short of promise for cheaper care, experts say (New York Times). The Times article presents a uniformly dismal view of the bill, noting no positives of any kind.

Senate Health Bill Includes Deep Cuts to Medicaid (New York Times). This Times article tells how older Americans would be disadvantaged under the bill but ignores the offsetting advantages to younger Americans. “Older people could be disproportionately hurt because they pay more for insurance in general. Both chambers’ bills would allow insurers to charge older people five times as much as younger ones; the limit is now three times.”

The Senate health bill is brutal on older Americans (Slate). The first paragraph in this Slate article is as balanced as it gets: “One of the expressed intentions of Republicans’ efforts to repeal and replace Obamacare is to undo some of the age-related distribution inherent in the system. Today, healthy young people pay more so that older, less-healthy people don’t have to pay quite as much.” Then Slate goes relentlessly negative for the rest of the article.

Comparing the Senate health care bill to Obamacare and the House proposal (CNN). This CNN article does note that the Senate bill will repeal the mandate for adults to obtain health insurance or pay a penalty.

Senate health care bill would lower deficit, increase number of insured, estimate says (FOX). The Fox article addresses pros and cons of the bill, but nowhere does it mention how the bill would lower premiums for young adults.

The Senate health-care bill’s subsidy cuts hurt low-income, older Americans (Washington Post). While the headline is negative, the article itself is more balanced, acknowledging that young people would benefit from allowing insurers to base rates on age. “Both [the House and Senate] bills include changes that would mean older people pay more and younger people pay less.”

Summary: The results on a search inquiring about a negative aspect of the bill brings up uniformly negative and critical articles. The results on a search inquiring about a positive aspect of the bill brings up a mix of negative and balanced articles — but no positive articles.

What does it mean? Mainstream media coverage of the bill has been overwhelmingly negative. No surprise there. But what if someone wants to cut through the media filter to find “the other side” of the story — to look for positives? Good luck using Google. Microsoft’s Bing search tool provides slightly less biased results, bringing up a Wall Street Journal article. But even Bing results reflect the implacable media coverage.

At least the media isn’t making up stuff from whole cloth in this health care debate, as it has with the Trump-Russia-conspiracy obsession. There are, in fact, downsides to complex legislation like Obamacare repeal. But you have to be highly motivated to find a sympathetic view of the Republican bill.

Here’s the political dynamic at work: Mainstream media coverage is ferociously negative, and anyone wanting to hear the Republican view of how the legislation works finds it difficult to break through the Google filter. Knowing nothing about the legislation than what they’ve seen in the media, Americans express their disapproval in public opinion polls. The inevitably dismal polls spook undecided Republicans to oppose the bill.

With its ability to frame issues, set agendas and slant news, the media truly is the fourth estate — it is every bit as powerful as the executive, judicial and legislative branches of the government. Given the media’s biases, I find that terrifying.

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19 responses to “The Terrifying Power of the Media to Shape Opinion

  1. I had to laugh when I read this post. While dismissing Obamacare as a “slow motion collapse” and providing zero facts supporting this questionable statement, he then goes on and on about the alleged bias of the mainstream media.

    My view is that the media has been sparked to new and healthy levels during the most inept and secretive and chaotic presidential administrations ever.

    Of course reporting is going to be confusing at first when the Senate GOP leadership puts together a bill in secret. They hardly consulted their own moderates and kept Democrats at bay. The CBO says that the latest iteration would cause millions of Americans to lose their insurance. Is it better than the House bill. Maybe on pre-existing conditions which I am familiar with because I have been rejected by insurance firms for a condition (now remedied) that I had some years ago.

    Anyway, at the end of the day, when needs to be done is the creation of a single payer system in which patients, not insurance and pharmaceutical firms, are the first priority.

    As for the media, I think we’re seeing one of the healthiest newspaper wars in recent memory with the Post and Times. It is invaluable when you have a president who lies through his teeth with seemingly every other sentence he speaks or tweets. This isn’t something that can be argued. It is the absolute truth. So rather than quote Trump’s nonsense as “THE OTHER SIDE,” a better path is to find out if what he claims is really true. I also find it incredibly amusing that Jim Bacon finds the MSM so biased when he’s been riffing off the right wing echo chamber for years.

    Also is odd that Trump never gets mentioned at Bacons Rebellion. Obama sure did.

    • I agree wholeheartedly, but wanted to point out that while pre-existing conditions are covered in spirit in the Senate bill, the Essential Health Benefits are not. States will be able to opt-out of the ESBs simply by proving that opting out does not increase the federal deficit. The twist is annual and lifetime limits were banned for the ESBs under Obamacare. If a state opts out, then the insurers in that state can still offer services (like prescription drugs) but severely restrict what is covered as well as reinstitute annual/lifetime limits.

      This means those with pre-existing conditions can get coverage, but if they have an expensive chronic illness or reoccurrence, they could soon be without coverage. In states that opt out of some or all of the ESBs, look for a rise in medical related bankruptcies.

  2. To understand the health case bill, I would need to see the statistics (cost, no. of people covered) for the Base case (before Obama Care) and then for Obama Care and the proposed future cases. Obviously problematic for Repubs is the tax increase over $250,000 MAGI income that Obamacare mandated. I only became aware of that fairly big tax increase on the wealthy this year, when I started planning some retirement IRA/401K withdrawals. Seems to me we always push the tax burden onto the middle class, so that was Obama’s “mistake”.

    • The health care industry benefits the most from more federal money. Ergo, let’s have some value capture and move the tax to the health care industry. The telecom industry pays for universal service fund programs to connect low-income people, customers in rural areas, schools & libraries, and rural health care providers. The industry is allowed to recover those costs from customers.

      Why is the health care industry so special? And as I’ve posted before, the tax should increase faster as health care cost increases exceed changes in CPI. Tax out price increases. Let the health care industry fund its own growth.

      And Peter, where was the media when Obama’s promises that the average family would save at least $2400 in annual premiums under Obamacare as well as the famous “If you like your insurance, you can keep it.” If you like your doctor, you can keep him.” If America woke up tomorrow with only a third of the MSM workers alive, we’d be better off. But

      • If you think there is no MSM bias, read the fact checker in today’s (6/30/17) WaPo. While honestly reporting that the Senate health care reform bill DOES SPEND MORE MONEY ON MEDICAID and is, therefore, NOT A CUT, as the Democrats have been yelling, the writer struggles to make it seem like a cut. But credit is due for a small step.

        There is a special place in Hell for elected officials and media who call spending more a cut. I think the WaPo reporter has dodged that one.

  3. Good and important article, Jim. One can always judge the high quality and timeliness of an important news article by Peter’s negative reaction to it.

    I am reminded to my Googling gas pipe lines a few years back, and coming up with some 10 straight pages of nothing but horror stories or gas pipeline explosions.

  4. Media has been shaping public opinion since the graffiti on the walls of Rome.

    But come on, Peter, a newspaper war between the Post and the Times is about as healthy for political debate as a political battle between Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren….Unless you mean the NY Post? Didn’t think so….

    I’m with George Will. As his column this morning outlines, this whole argument is the classic example of deck chair rearrangement on a sinking ship. ACA, ACHA, Senate vs House. Meaningless. Once we let the federal government take over, it will never give up control (R or D) and all health care will rapidly decline to the level of efficiency and innovation demonstrated by the VA and the Post Office. Anything Congress does will make it more complicated, more expensive, less consumer-driven, and will further disconnect bad health behavior (sloth, drugs, tobacco and obesity) from the consequences (cancer, diabetes, heart disease.)

  5. re: ” “slow motion collapse”

    and ” Terrifying Power of the Media to Shape Opinion”

    and ” Mainstream media coverage is ferociously negative”

    so Jim… where did you get the “slow motion collapse” from?

    Methinks you are a prime example of one who reads to support your view…
    sometimes.. confirming your biases.. by directing your searches in that way.

    don’t blame others for one’s own lack of willingness to actually seek out information..

    blaming Google and the Mainstream Media as a de-facto liberal conspiracy in the age of Brietbart, Daily Caller, and dozens of other media sites is funny!!!

    Now we hear that even CBO has a “liberal” bias or is ..”incompetent”.

    in terms of substance – the young subsidizing the old, let’s point out something:

    Many Americans have insurance through their employer. By law – look it up – employer-sponsored insurance has to be community rated which means for the plans there is one price for the subscriber no matter age or health status.

    Now – isn’t that the same thing that Obamacare is being criticized about and consequentially the “problem” with the GOP healthcare plan – at least for some folks.

    So the folks who have employer-provided which does essentially have the young and healthy subsidize the sick and older – should it too be changed to be like the GOP “plan” so that everyone gets the same treatment with the law?

    In other words – if there were no law requiring it in the first place, what would insurance companies do with employer plans if it were up to them with no other “rules”. Would they offer “cheap” insurance to the young and healthy and very expensive insurance to the older and sick?

    And is that what people really want – if it actually does affect them and their employer-sponsored plan – or not?

    you don’t need no stinking Media coverage to blame – to understand this issue.. just the willingness to want to … and then to honestly state your preference and accordingly your like or dislike of current and proposed policies.

    blaming the media is just silly. drill down yourself and do the work ..the data CAN be found… even among the media maelstrom – you just have to focus.

  6. Steve, et. al.

    The Post and the Times are spinning out a slew of exclusives on how Team Trump operates.The list is huge. Start with Flynn. Then consider all the Comey mess. And so on. Just a few years ago, the Post was laying off scores of journalists. Not any more with Bezos. The Times is still trying to figure it out. My point is that vigorous journalism is being revived. Comparing the Post vs. Times to Sanders vs. Warren is simply stupid.

    Trump has the lowest approval ratings of any president during his time in office. Foreigners have little appeal for the U.S. and Trump. Foreign leaders find them put off by Trump’s incredible boorishness. His constant tweeting about things like blood from facelifts raises serious questions about his mental stability. His outright lies ares phenomenal. You bring up a false comparison with the Post and Times but you do not admit that many conservative and moderate Republicans do not support Trump and do not support the current form of the Senate health bill. According to Bacon, this is all a river of lies by the MSM, which is itself laughable.

    Steve, you and many conservatives seem in a quandry over what to do about Trump. He ain’t your cup of tea but you are stuck with him. Ever notice how Ed Gillespie tries to pretend Trump doesn’t exist? Well, Corey Stewart really reminded him.

    • The Washington Post and the New York Times may be competitors but ideologically they are very much as simpatico as Warren and Sanders.

      Peter, I’m pre-WB. I was a cub reporter with dreams of working on a Major Metropolitan Newspaper before Woodward and Bernstein made it trendy and cool. A newspaper war would be between the New York Post and the New York Times, the Washington Star and the Washington Post. Those days are dead and we are left with….the left. One point of view. One daily sheet. The Post and Times are trying to revive the glory days of Watergate, seeking to win the laurel by bringing down another king (and this one is making it very easy.) They do have competitors left – the WSJ is still my favorite. But while they are all rearranging the deck chairs on their own sinking ship, the masses get no real news or information and are subject to fakirs of all persuasions. You know I am as sad as you are about that. I think even you would like to see the Washington Star of old revived.

      What to do about Trump? Well, waiting and keeping a bit of distance would be my advice to elected GOP. This too shall pass. But while he distracts the MSM with trivialities, some good work (you’d hate it) is being done in the trenches. People who held their noses and voted for him argued with some force it was all about the appointments. Personnel is policy. If I were a Democrat, I would not assume he is toast in 2020, no indeedy. You better find a better candidate than the one you had in 2016, and so far I don’t see it.

  7. For me, in the news environment we have today – the “necessity” of having Snopes and Politifact … etc… and attendant with the ascendancy of “fake” news – one cannot “depend” on one or two news sources for providing the “facts” on high especially if the article is laced with weasel words that are tantamount to “opinion” …

    in a word – it’s a mess… not even the government is “trusted” anymore to provide unchallenged info… and there is no shortage of so-called “think tanks” that specialize in weaving facts with non facts… and you’ve seen some of that right here in BR when such “studies” are quoted as if they are factual.

    But for me – that means that I have to take responsibility to delve further – and to be vigilant against seeking my own bias-supported “facts”

    But one CAN – START – with things that have agreement even among disparate sources and groups…

    for instance – is it true that HIPPA – a law – requires this as of now until or
    unless the law changes – employers who sponsor health insurance to:

    Limits the ability of a new employer plan to exclude coverage for preexisting conditions;

    Provides additional opportunities to enroll in a group health plan if you lose other coverage or experience certain life events;

    Prohibits discrimination against employees and their dependent family members based on any health factors they may have, including prior medical conditions, previous claims experience, and genetic information; and
    Guarantees that certain individuals will have access to, and can renew, individual health insurance policies.

    well .. you CAN – VERIFY it (unless you don’t believe the govt):

    https://www.dol.gov/ebsa/publications/yhphipaa.html

    so – if you believe the above – you KNOW that all employer-sponsored health insurance DOES discriminate on the basis of age and health and DOES require all employers to be treated the same regardless of health and age.

    Until Obamacare came along – the non-employer health insurance market did NOT require this but with the advent of ObamaCare – it did.

    by the way – Medicare works exactly the same way – one price for all …

    So here’s the question – is this the way that health insurance SHOULD work for all of us?

    Is that the way the GOP plan will work?

    You don’t need the WaPo or NYT or WSJ or Briebart or the Atlantic, etc, et al to tell you how you should feel about it.

    You should know for yourself if this is one of the essential issues and from that – whether or not you support or not – not only the “plan” but the folks – the elected who are proposing it and will vote it.

    I just don’t think blaming the media for what you don’t like – and won’t do for yourself – is adequate – or for that matter – responsible – as a person – as a voter..

    It’s complicated – sure.. and in reality – it always was – most of us were on auto-pilot when all of this was done… HIPPA.. and other laws – that our elected did make into law – and we all were affected by it but never paid that much attention – until now – when all of this has – to coin a phrase – “busted open”!

    So… it is WE that should be driving the bus the elected are on…. but in today’s environment – discerning the facts and truth is anything but simple – but as they say in a free democratic society – it IS the GIG!

  8. Steve,
    Not sure I agree with you. There are plenty of choices, certainly on cable TV and on the Net about competing points of view with some outlets doing a fairly respectable job of reporting.

    I spent 15 years at BusinessWeek and when I spent a few years as an editor in New York, we would have softball games with the Wall Street Journal at one of the city’s many public diamonds. BW folk tended to be more liberal and the editorial tone was. We all respected the WSJ’s reporting muscle and feared their competition since they got six shots a week and we got just one –but we generally despised their editorial page. One Saturday morning this led to a near serious rumple on the ballfield. They accused one of our short stops with taking too long to lace up his shoes. He told them to F%$# Off. A line in the sand was drawn. We never played them again, at least for a while.

    And, I wanted to be a journalist for several years before Watergate and had worked college summers and winters at a local daily before the break in. I was driven by Vietnam and all the protests. But I must admit that the scandal really made me interested. I graduated from college in June 1974 and was back in a newsroom within three weeks. Has been that way for 43 years now in one form or another.

    • The softball team at the Roanoke Times was the Effete Snobs….if I have to explain it, never mind….I kept the T-shirt for years but it must be gone now.

      Summer of ’72 I was a sports writer at the Petersburg Progress Index, and summer of ’74 an intern at the Roanoke World-News. I covered VP Gerald Ford two weeks before he became president – but that still counts as Pre-WB!

      People who were Marines are always Marines, and I still like to think I have the hard boiled skepticism of a real newspaperman. Comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable. It has not always served me well in other arenas….But I love the WSJ editorial page now. Can’t say I read it regularly long ago.

  9. Thanks, Steve, for the rumination on the competitive days of yore. Sure, bring back the Washington Star, bring back the days when the Albrittons could make more money on print than t.v. Peter, those softball games (like those at a little field in Alexandria recently) illustrate the importance of mutual respect and camaraderie among professionals who don’t always agree — and what happens when one side fails to sustain the respect quotient.

    My concern is not MSM bias, but the severe economic decline among the MSM themselves. You’ve both lived through this: the decline of the marginal papers, the local competition; the increasing silo-ization of news reaching so many educated people today, especially young people, through internet news “sources” without external, professional reporting standards; the lack of civics education in secondary schools and lack of breadth of interest in local politics today. Yes, the economic model of print advertising revenue is beyond redemption; yes, Jeff Bezos is a big bet on solving that problem. But meanwhile, we have a President who has openly declared war on the MSM! And the cable news save his sycophants. It doesn’t surprise me that the surviving MSMs are liberal-leaning, because those sorts are the bulk of the remaining readership/viewership.

    Where is journalism going? Bias aside, I’m just looking for factual accuracy and honesty. Yes, I read the WSJ also, but these are disturbing times for ALL the media.

  10. Donald Trump is a nightmare, and the country needs a strong media to keep him from abusing his power. That said, the media has thoroughly discredited itself. Never in my lifetime have the national media — the supposed journalistic elite — written so many anonymous, single-sourced articles based on hearsay of highly partisan sources, and never before have major media been forced to backtrack on so many assertions. The entire “Trump-Russia-collusion” narrative has been the greatest false journalistic narrative foisted upon the American people since “Remember the Maine.” Trump is a liar — but the mainstream media is a pack of liars (or a pack of fools endlessly and unquestioningly repeating the lies of others). Trump may be mentally unbalanced. But members of the mainstream media are absolutely unhinged.

    The nation is poorly served by both its president and the mainstream media. Here’s the big difference: Trump doesn’t pretend to be anyone other than who he is. He’s a vulgar pig and makes no apologies about it. The media has pretenses of integrity and honesty. But the most prominent journalists on the national scene are hypocrites of the highest order. As Instapundit’s Glenn Reynolds says, most are best seen as Democratic operatives with bylines. They have become stalwart defenders of the Washington establishment and the status quo. Yet they are so blind that they persist in thinking of themselves as impartial truth tellers. They deserve the nation’s deepest contempt.

  11. You offer a choice, which, I submit, is a dilemma. Let the elected liar, the “vulgar pig,” go unrebutted, or call out those who rebut him “with pretenses of integrity and honesty” the “hypocrites of the highest order” that they really are.

    Rebut him AND call out the hypocrites. Both need to be done, but if we must only tackle one at a time, I’ll go with rebutting the Chief Pig.

    But how? Rebutting a lying, boorish bully with rational arguments is ineffective — we all know that, instinctively. That leaves, throwing the mud back. Mudwrestling with a pig is bound to be messy — even degrading — and invites professional shortcuts, out of frustration, the need to say something (anything) quickly to rebut the lies, and the utter lack of professionalism on the other side.

    Mudwrestling with the Chief Pig is bad enough. What I think has been even more harmful to journalistic standards is the internal incentive in so many media organizations these days to scrap those standards if they get in the way of a hot story appealing to readership. This is true across the political spectrum; the MSM are threatened economically on all sides. Why was Scott Pelley laid off? Were his journalistic standards simply too high? Why was and is Fox News so successful? Because Ailes cared more about creating a popular base fed by an ethos than a fair and balanced news source? Didn’t he deliberately hold Fox reporting to different standards and instead of abandoning Fox, didn’t people love it? Why is CNN’s recent adherence to traditional standards so surprising? Does anybody else among the media care? Even when the story is coopted as vindication by the WH?

    “Remember the Main” indeed! My fear is that in today’s media the folks who really try to be “impartial truth tellers” don’t get listened to, or buried on the back pages, or remain unpublished, while the “hypocrites” get front page bylines with the support of their editors. But if that’s what it takes to survive 3+ more years of the Chief Pig (rein him in, ensure that he isn’t reelected and that there’s still a Republican Party left when the dust settles), I’ll take the hypocrisy. The potential damage to the Nation otherwise is too scary. The potential damage to our media from degraded standards is — well, tragic, but the lesser evil, and already far too widely tolerated. The potential damage to popular trust in the free press and the implicit wisdom of the democratic majority is — well it’s not “potential” any longer but already here.

  12. I find the decline in print journalism both alarming and across the board. For example, in the past year. the quality of the “hard news political section” of the WSJ has plummeted. I sense that today its far more ratings driven than news driven. And suspect that the news section is trying to outdo and argue with the opinion page, as if there were some kind of competition going on for attention between the two. Even the Review section is losing seriousness.

    I stopped reading the Washington Post and Washington Times in 2011, although my wife still reads the Post. News wise, I live on subscriptions to specialty net outlets. Everything else is a news wasteland that is more useless and misleading trash than anywhere close to informative. That is my take on 98% of it.

  13. “The entire “Trump-Russia-collusion” narrative has been the greatest false journalistic narrative foisted upon the American people since “Remember the Maine.” Trump is a liar — but the mainstream media is a pack of liars (or a pack of fools endlessly and unquestioningly repeating the lies of others). Trump may be mentally unbalanced. But members of the mainstream media are absolutely unhinged.”

    What a mouthful! Let’s unpack this. The heads of the CIA, FBI, NSA and other intelligence and law enforcement agencies in the federal government have cited Russia’s interference withAmerica’s election process as unprecedented and of grave concern. Putin’s done this throughout Europe.

    Then you have Trump’s friends, family and other associates up their their wazoos in for-profit business deals with members of the Putin-supporting Russian oligarchy. These apparently are people linked to those who murdered journalist Anna Politkovskaya and activist Boris Nemtsov. The latter was gunned down, mob style, within sight of the Kremlin. I knew Nemtsov, just as I have known by friendship or acquaintanceship with four other people who have been murdered in Russia under highly questionable situations.

    Next we have Jim Bacon, who is knowledgeable about many things but not Russia, telling us that this is worse than the “Remember the Maine.” Wow, that’s a quite an over-the-top description of something that is very real. And, he talks about serious, professional journalists being little more than Democratic operatives, posting stories based on one anonymous source and on and on. Other than the CNN caper, can anyone cite one example of this? Is it Reed and Jim’s acid test of “balance” for journalists to mindlessly report every outrageous lie Donald Trump says without checking it out? What do they want to do? Go back in a time machine when everything was less threatening? What other subscriptions do they get? News Max which carefully selects its stories according to its rightist point of view and then sticks them next to the advertisement for drugs for erectile disfunction? Have you ever noticed how many conservative blogs and outlets have ads for erectile disfunction? They don’t seemed to be aimed at millennials.

    The media’s new vigor is breathtaking and highly desirable. It could damn well save our country before The Donald gets us into a war or gives the store away to the rich while screwing poor and middle income Americans.

    Meanwhile, for y9our enjoyment, here’s a piece written by BusinessWeek’s former copy chief about Trump and the magazine. It goes back to the early 1990s when I was working in New York there.

    http://www.thedailybeast.com/three-donald-trump-stories-you-havent-heard

  14. re: ” Terrifying Power of the Media to Shape Opinion”

    well maybe what is really “terrifying” is how too many expect to get unbiased info from “media” … whether it be “mainstream” or now days the “alternative” media.

    Finding actual facts and truth is no longer simple – but don’t blame the providers of the info – you actually have a responsibility yourself to work the issue.

    Each of us has a responsibility to NOT RELY on narrow and/or limited self-chosen media sources and especially those that might appeal to our own biases.

    And when one source contradicts another – that’s a warning sign that there are different perspectives…

    And when disparate sources that often do not agree – that DO AGREE on something – that’s getting on the right track.

    And when we encounter two differing media accounts and we stop there and pick the one we want to believe… well.. that’s not the media’s fault.

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