Monday, March 10, 2008

political coverage

now that we have almost 7 weeks until Pennsylvania, what can we do to keep up with coverage without the constant barrage from the television news? How can we filter through all of the back-and-forth and find the real messages? How can we know if something is a cynical ploy (i.e. Bill Clinton "promising" the VP candidacy to Obama so his supporters- especially blacks in Mississippi- will vote for Hillary thinking they get Obama anyway) or truth?

In an election cycle it is a bit difficult. We have to find places we can trust, whose voices we can stand, whose agendas we know and can sift past (either attack everyone or tell me up front your agenda). In case you are wondering where I go (that is probably very presumptuous of me), here are a few:

on television I head over to MSNBC for a few reasons. First of all, unlike CNN and Fox they make no claims to be the best political coverage in the galaxy. Also, they have less annoying graphics (very important) and a solid team that is a bit smarter than the others. Brian Williams stops by every once in a while. Tim Russert has the experience to see through the BS (and gets good scoop). Kieth Olberman is wicked smart, while Joe Scarborough is refreshingly goofy and I get to see if Chris Matthews' head will explode live on television. Even if I think Andrea Mitchell is in Hillary's purse, I can take it.

print (but online) my first stop is Slate, owned by the Washington Post. John Dickerson is a great political journalist and they run the gamut in their politics, which is refreshing. Of course, I read the coverage from Rolling Stone (Liberal bias- yes). But, they have little respect for any campaign and candidate and a "leave no prisoners" attitude, especially Matt Taibbi. For a world perspective, I look at the Economist. I also keep up with the NYT and Post columnists, along with their coverage. I look at Time and Newsweek when they have something truly interesting.

podcast I pick up the political podcasts from NPR, but my addiction is to Slate's political gabfest. Three smart 30-somethings wise beyond their years, slightly snarky and fun. yes, they lean moderately left, but like good journalists they are able to separate their leanings from their analysis.

Blogs My first stop is Andrew Sullivan's The Daily Dish. if you have never read Andrew, please check him out. He is British, but now an American. He has a strong faith perspective. He is gay. He is a conservative, libertarian. He hates the war and thinks Bush has ruined conservatism. He loves Obama and thinks the Clintons are Machiavellian monsters. He is a fresh voice and an uberblogger (up to 10 postings per day). Go back a week and check out what he is saying about the Hillary campaign. I usually wander over to Crunchy Con, a very traditional conservative with hippie leanings that hates the war (yes, I think true conservatism is against the war). Every once in while I head over to the Huffington Post, but usually at the behest of someone else. Others include Instapundit, National Review's Corner, Rolling Stone's Political Blog, Politico and Jesus Politics.

Radio even though I will listen to Amy Goodman occasionally (to hear something no one else talks about), her bias wears me out (at least she is not a yeller). It is the same reason I cannot listen to the talk radio guys or watch them on television. They are mean, especially the Conservatives. I cannot read their postings either. they have nothing in common with the William F. Buckleys, George Wills, or David Brooks (I can even put up with Joe Scarborough and Tucker Carlson) of the world: true conservatives of principle, not blowhard hate mongers (see Hannity, Beck, Limbaugh, Coulter, Malkin, etc.).

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