A quick question along those lines to L.R.R. Hood (and anyone else who wishes to respond):
Do you think you can get a good grasp on what the news actually is by watching say: Fox plus CNN or listening to Limbaugh plus NPR? Are dual emphasis shows like Hannity & Combes valuable to get opposite points of view?
I do like to get opposing points of view, absolutely. But from where I'm standing, CNN would be the medium to give me the Ameri-centric POV - which, to European standards, also has quite a rightwing bias.
I didnt actually know that CNN was considered liberal in America until I got into the thick of these political discussions among Americans
, like here. Outside your country, CNN is in fact often seen as the epitome of the Western/American slant - as well as of its global dominance. Thats why its often distrusted, even despised, as a symbol for that.
Still, CNN remains a good medium to catch up with the right here-right now kinda news - "on your screen, as it is happening!" - even if its interminable commercial and announcement breaks (and showbizz and business slots) are a drag. But when the Iraq war broke out, I couldnt watch it for long - it reported on the war as if it were a football game, all rah-rah-rah. I found BBC much more reflective, critical and in-depth.
What bothers me most about America's media, as far as we get them, is their insularity. The BBC is very British too, of course, especially BBC radio also works according to certain paradigms of observing the Other when reporting on far-away countries (reports are often quite exoticized, with the adventurous British reporter braving strange settings to report, always, stories of tragedy and victimhood or mere oddity). But still the BBC, just like European media, also often reports views from people outside, by doing a press review of the day's ME press for example, or inviting experts from other countries.
The Dutch TV did a program, for example, just rebroadcasting and subtitling excerpts from how Al Jazeera, Al Arabiya and Al Manar reported the Iraq war, without any comment apart from an introduction to it all - it was fascinating
. (Fascinating also to see the variety among them, Al Jazeera almost sounding like CNN in comparison to the sheer Goebbelsian Islamofascism of Al Manar).
Then again, I used to read a lot about Central, Eastern Europe, and there the interesting thing is that the homegrown polarisation between liberals and conservatives, leftwingers and rightwingers, just tends to kinda melt into one big consensus on what is right and wrong when it comes to political developments there. Whether you have people from Labour or left-wing media, or from the Christian-Democrats or right-wing media reporting in Western Europe about Eastern Europe, its always "clear to us all, of course" that Meciar, Iliescu, Milosevic, Kuchma (and Putin, kinda) are bad and their liberal, Western-oriented, free-market, former-dissident, democratic, human-rights-activist opponents are good.