Finances & Money

Left, Right and Centrist Political Sites [Balanced Viewpoints]

I thoroughly enjoy Trent’s weekly Q&A sessions with his readers at The Simple Dollar. One of the reasons I like his responses are that they’re honest, insightful and authoritative. Whereas I tend to often question myself in my own articles, Trent is confident of his beliefs and it shows in his writing. I think that’s why he has commanded such a large audience of readers (currently over 40,000).

Plus Trent reads A LOT! And he reads a widely diverse set of books, magazines, blogs and news sources. This week’s reader mailbag specifically asked about where he gets his political fix:

I was wondering if you read any political blogs or daily news feeds. I find that I’m much better at keeping up with information in daily/blog formats & was wondering if you had any suggestions.
– Dorothy

I read tons of these online, actually. Since any news source you read has a bias, I try to read multiple accounts of and commentary on news stories.

My usual stops for actual news are Google News, the Wall Street Journal, and several other newspaper sites, and for international perspectives, I also read BBC and Al Jazeera English. I want a good grip on facts from many different angles, and I tend to not trust anything unless I find multiple clear reports on it. Of all of them, I tend to trust the BBC the most, actually.

For commentary, I read some highly left-wing stuff, like Daily Kos and Democratic Underground. I read some highly right-wing stuff like Free Republic and Little Green Footballs. I read centrist commentary like Andrew Sullivan and Glenn Greenwald. I also read Huffington Post and Politico – HP seems fairly left-leaning and Politico seems fairly right-leaning, but they both mix things and criticize both sides quite a bit.

If you start reading a mix of perspectives, you start seeing how much bias some people have out there. I think that if you get all your news from one source and you stick with that source over and over again, your thoughts start getting skewed. For example, the folks on Free Republic cannot conceive that Obama is anything less than evil, while the Democratic Underground folks tend to believe that everything John McCain does is an attempt to strangle America. Neither one is true, and I think that people who subscribe solely to one viewpoint or another is intentionally strangling their own understanding of the world.

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Clever Dude


  • i agree…i don’t watch the “news” anymore, because it isn’t news…it is opinion given as news. the only news channel i watch religiously is BBC world on the dish.

    people on the cable “news” just yell and scream and give innuendo, instead of presenting things in black and white. and the worst part is, whenever they state something that is a fallicy and it is proven as such, there is no retractions ever, it is just ignored.

    fox news (not picking on them, they are just the biggest “opinion news” that is out there that people watch) keep saying “main stream media” is dead. i believe this is incorrect. main stream media is live and well, because they report the facts as facts, instead of opinions as facts.

    it is sad when the best news about the united states comes from abroad.

  • I don’t think any new is unbiased, FOX, MSNBC, CNN they’re all biased because humans are invovled. (I think it’s funny when people pick on Fox, they’re just being biased like all the others, only since they’re the minority people complaing about it, why can’t right wing people have a news channel since left wings control most of the media). We choose not to even listen to the news.

    I’m so sick this election of people harping on their biased opinions and yet they don’t even know what their candidate stands for. This happen on all sides. I’ve read through Obama’s and McCain’s websites and policies many times and spent hours looking up statistics to figure out how these policies will affect the majority of Americans. Most people just pick and candidate and then start attacking people who are chosing the other one. Makes me mad. I don’t care who you vote for, just make an informed decision. I’m not affiliated with a party and don’t always vote one way. I vote for who I think is the lesser of 2 evils, all politicians are liars, I just have to pick who I think is lying the least and who I think will make the best decisions for the majority of Americans.

  • I think it’s funny that practically every major newspaper in the US has endorsed obama, yet everyone seems to just buy whatever they print, without questioning it.

  • stephanie: real simple, its called libel. that is the reason why you don’t question what the newspaper says, because they are afraid of lawsuits…and if something is wrong, they will print a retraction.

    susy: to quote colbert “truth has a liberal bias” 🙂 the reason people slam fox news constantly is because they do not view themselves as commentators, but as a journalists. they do not report on the news, but they “make” the news, whereas they project their slant on it as gospel. the other day, when the lady carved the backwards “b” into her face, hannity was ranting and raving on the radio, blasting anyone who is pro-obama blah blah blah…and when the truth came out that the lady falsified a police report, there was no “mea culpa”…it was just more of the same.

    fox started the game, and other channels copied it, but fox has the nerve to say that everyone else in the media is “liberal”.

    trust me, if that was true, it would be daily reports on joe the plumber is keating’s grandson, how palin has dealings with known domestic terrorist g. gordon liddy, how her husband was part of a seperatist group that wanted to break alaska away from the rest of the country, etc. etc.

  • typo that…keating’s son in law.

    but whatever, it doesn’t matter…all of this will go away next wednesday morning hopefully…but then, it will go like this:

    when obama wins, the republicans will blame it on homeless people, who are still citizens, on voting to skew the results

    if mccain wins, it will be blamed on electronic voting systems that have no papertrails.

  • you got it all wrong. Fox news is about the only news that isn’t biased and attepmpts to uncover what the rest of the media is hiding about Obama. It’s too darn bad the world is so blind and wants to elect someone who’s
    ‘change’ would destroy America and all that our founding fathers lived and died for. I don’t even want to think of what will be with our country if Obama is elected. Wake up fools, embrace nationalism and love for this great country! VOTE MCCAIN!

  • fox news isn’t biased? really? how many times have they had a liberal host on to have a show…please don’t say colmes…he is just a prop there to take hannity’s rants.

    (later on today, reasons you should vote for obama brought to you by chris)

  • here are my top 3 reasons. there are many many others, but these are the top 3 that should hit home for everyone.

    1. future job growth. mccain’s plans encourage job outsourcing…obama’s is to tax companies that do that.

    2. medical coverage. mccain wants to give everyone 5k, when the cost will be 12k, which is -7k. also with that, companies have no incentive to keep company-based health care, so that will go away, costing everyone more. obama wants to cover everyone that doesn’t have coverage already…

    …please don’t say socialized medicine…we have that already, it is called medicare and medicaid….also, we have VA coverage also, which is still “socialized”…boogeyman scare tactics, but those 3 programs alone are excellent.

    3. speaking about the military, obama gets good ratings from veteran groups, while mccain, a veteran, gets poor ratings. obama is for expansive VA coverage for our troops coming back, and for GI bills. mccain says that the troops already have it good. not a “patriot” in my book.

    now like i said, i have tons of other reasons that would benefit everyone here, and no, i don’t think he walks on water, especially things like the FISA act, but when you compare the two, one guy has everyone’s best intentions in mind, and the other became bush the 3rd.

    mccain isn’t the same “straight talk express” guy that everyone loved in 2000. if he was, he probably would receive my vote, instead, he became what he despised then.

  • Well Chris on Oct. 28th writes that he doesn’t watch the news anymore then goes on to tell us about what each news channel reports. He makes a point that the news is all opinion and not news but states that only Fox is opinionated and the rest of MSM reports facts…lol. Chris that is your “opinion” and if you are not watching it how would you know? Seems a thin veil of liberal opinion to me.

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