One of the major themes of my Internet writing (starting more than a decade before this Obama business) has been “who do you trust?”
I’ve seen the statistic published that 90% of the media in the United States is owned by a handful of very large companies. Bias in the media is no April Fool joke. The Obama denialists would have us believe that all of the MSN is lock-step behind Obama (a real laugh for anyone who has spent more than a few minutes watching the Fox News Channel).
So who do I trust?
First off, I don’t trust any single source nor anybody’s editorials. An editorial is no better than the argument it presents. I just go with the hard news and ignore the spin. If I want to look up a fact, I’ll hit CNN or the New York Times. I personally listen to National Public Radio in the car (and frankly so do most of the people I know, liberal and conservative). I don’t watch TV news at all.
I believe that most any major newspaper in the country will get the basic facts right–and certainly better than email rumors and blogs. I am somewhat of a specialist in the niche market of Obama conspiracies, and as such I do find small mistakes in some newspaper articles when someone gets sloppy, but I’ve never seen anything material that was wrong. Also when the real newspapers make mistakes, they print corrections (unlike some web sites).
So if you don’t trust the corporate monolith, try public radio and TV, non-profits like FactCheck.org, The Christian Science Monitor or the BBC. There’s plenty of good information out there from organizations with long track records. They have reputations to maintain, and they check their facts. Trusted information sources are especially important for folks not clever enough to spot a con job when they see it. [Yes, birthers, I’m talking about you.]