So, during election season, much misinformation is spread over the Web and then spread some more via e-mail, blog posts, Facebook and Twitter. This misinformation doesn’t help educate anyone. Instead it leads to confusion and voter apathy.
Posting legit links, which I’ll get into in a few seconds, not only improves voter knowledge, but it makes the blogger’s/twitterer’s/poster’s opinion more legit.
Also, regardless of what McCain and Palin and the rest of the GOP says, the mainstream media is usually very unbiased. Unbiased to a fault, actually. (Sometimes they give voice to opinions that are flat out false just in order to orchestrate the illusion of “balance.”)
Here’s a very brief summary of what sites poster’s should use when writing about politics:
Tier 1 – Always legit if articles come from the news section, not the opinion or editorial page section.
- CQ Politics – the site elected officials turn to for political news.
- The New York Times – Still the nation’s paper of record
- For example, I can write, “McCain called himself a Nazi” because that’s what was officially reported in the NY Times without refutation in 1997. I should also mention that the next line said McCain learned from his hard-line stances early on and tried to reach out to both sides.
- The Hill
- Any other major newspaper’s news section – LA Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal (the editorial page is a right-wing monstrosity), etc.
- CNN – They usually use AP stories.
Tier 2 – Blogs from any of the above and the following:
- CNN’s PoliticalTicker – The best and most neutral political blog on the Web
- Annenberg’s FactCheck – Check to see the truthiness of the candidates’ latest lies.
- Politico – Superb political blog. Very neutral.
- FiveThirtyEight – A political site for mathematicians.
- Media Matters – Decent nonprofit site about media distortions
Tier 3 – Columns and opinion pieces from any of the Tier 1 sites
Note: Although columns and opinions are fact checked, they should be labeled as “op-ed” or “opinion” before linking to them. For example, a guy wrote a column about Obama’s economic plan and how it was all wrong, and all that jazz… it would’ve been pretty damning, except the guy that wrote about it was one of McCain’s economic advisor. (Who, by the way, said the economy is just fine – and, sadly, hasn’t been heard from since this column ran. His wife did receive a fish wrapped in newspaper, whatever that means. J/K!)
Use these with extreme caution
– I’m not discounting these blogs as non-legit, I’m just saying that when linking to them, it’s important to note that most of the information on there is twisted before being disseminated.
Liberal blogs and sites
- My blog
Conservative blogs and sites
- Michelle Malkin
- Powerline Blog
- Washington Times
Use only to promote a cause
(These often contain false and inflammatory information and anything read here that poses as “real news” should be taken with extreme caution and the lies debunked after by going to FactCheck.org)
LifeNews, Media Research Center, MoveOn.org, etc.
I tried to be as unbiased as I could be in this (the stuff in paranthases is when I threw my political bias in there). My degree is in communications and I worked in journalism for a few years and it bothers me when voters continue to expound false information saying they “saw it on a Web site.” Also, I am not saying NOT to use any of the above mentioned sites, just put them in context for less-informed readers.