bill.read wrote:So where do we go to find the truth....?
Unfortunately there is no single source. As you say, almost all political reporting has a bias based on the the writer's beliefs. Even an "objective" story can be slanted ever so slightly by the use of one word vs. another one.
I do this all the time in scripts, books, and articles. I may not be trying to get someone to accept a political
opinion, but if I'm trying in a video to motivate an airline pilot to pay really
close attention to a particular situation, or if I'm trying to get a reader to feel a certain way about one of the characters in a book I'm writing, the words I choose to use are how I accomplish that. It can be done obviously and blatantly or it can be done very, very subtly. Newspaper and television news writers are masters at this sort of thing.
What I do with regards to determining what's closest to being factual is first, ignore all social media completely. The very attributes that allow Facebook, Twitter, etc. to broadcast news unfiltered make that news totally untrustworthy unless you personally
know the source and can vouch for him or her.
I use "mainstream media" to form my opinions BUT... I use multiple and opposing sources. For example, on the continuous newsfeed to my iPhone I have selected reputable---in that they are not mouthpieces for crackpot organizations like "alt.right," "alt.left," KKK, etc.--- publications that represent the primary points of view. So for example, I get articles on the same event or subject from The Guardian, The Washington Post, and The New York Times (all slanting liberal), The Wall Street Journal and the London Times (which slant conservative), and The Atlantic and the BBC (which wander back and forth across the line).
There are other publications in the feed like Smithsonian and National Geographic, but I'm not looking to them for political news.
So this gets me "the news." But it doesn't stop there. Like everybody else, I bring my own life experience to my judgement of "the news." I was raised in a culturally diverse environment (Hawaii) and I've been fortunate to work for a company which for decades has sent me to work all over the world-- Asia, Europe, South America, Middle East and more. Add to that a not-insignificant knowledge of several aspects of history and a fairly well-rounded education and I feel that I have a pretty good base from which to judge what I'm reading in "the news."
I don't always like what I read, of course, and some stories and op/ed pieces run counter to what I would prefer to believe. But the fact I don't want
to believe them doesn't automatically mean that I won't if I deem the evidence is convincing.
I think Trump is an old man who belongs in a care facility. I thought that long before he surfaced as a political figure. However, while I'm sure he'll do some really stupid things during his term in office, it's hard to point to a president who hasn't in one way or the other.
And I totally understand why he won the election. That, in my opinion, is the real problem this country (and others like the UK, France, the list is growing) have to deal with. Trump is just a symptom, he's not a cause.
And who knows, maybe the end result of his time in office will move the country closer to finding a cure for the illness that got him elected.
I once heard a very respected political historian say that this country's founders, the guys who dreamed up the Constitution and the other governing rules and regulations, deliberately made the government complex and unwieldy to prevent anything from happening too radically or too fast. Trump, like every president before him, will find that much of the stuff he said he'd do while he was campaigning will, in fact, prove impossible or at best, extremely difficult to do.
I don't know if the guys who drew up the Constitution were really that smart and visionary or it was just a happy accident (or divine intervention as some might believe) that our government is designed to be too ponderous to do anything quickly. But "tied up in committee" is just as often a good thing as a bad thing.
Anyway, the bottom line is there is no one-size-fits-all source for absolute truth when it comes to "The News." All one can do is take in as many credible
points of view as possible, including the ones that run counter to one's own wishes or beliefs, and then apply one's own judgment, which is made up of everything that went into one's own life, to make as objective a determination as possible.
That's my take on it, anyway.