Cocoon

Wednesday, March 24, 2010
I was reading DEX yesterday, and Chez made a point that had me thinking last night instead of sleeping like I was supposed to.* The entry that made me think was called Welcome to the Real World, and in it Chez posited that the reason the conservatives are LOSING THEIR FUCKING MINDS over the passage of the HCR bill is not because the bill is the work of the devil, but because they failed to see the world for what it is, and instead saw it for what Fox News represented. Hardly the same thing, and the bifurcation between reality and the world according to that traitorous fuckstick Glenn Beck is so huge it's causing their mental processes to deteriorate and break down into the slobbering, shouting, frothy reaction we see today.

I think he has a point. In many ways, the Internet is a closed system - I read blogs written by people whose writing style and opinions resonate with me, and so I end up reading more material from the liberal side of the house than the conservative. The Daily Kos makes me want to take out my own eye with a fork, but I do get my news from the Washington Post, Newsweek, NPR, Slate and TRMS, all arguably liberal outlets.

So even though I don't think my version of "reality" is as off the rails as the Dittoheads and the sheeple that follow Glenn Beck, I do believe it would behoove me to attempt some exposure to opinion and news that would be considered "conservative." As I mentioned to a friend the other day, I want to engage in meaningful and civil discussions with the loyal opposition, but I am SO UNINTERESTED in listening to Rush/Glenn/Sean/Tea Bagging talking points.

So what to do? I think I'd like to start with a Podcast, but because I'm disconnected from the right, I'm unsure what to choose. I don't want to pick something that will give me high blood pressure - I want a conservative show that might actually, you know - FACT CHECK and HAVE SOME JOURNALISTIC INTEGRITY. I also think that having some level of subtlety and nuance would be required. I don't want to hear all about how the President is a traitor, or not an American citizen, or a communist. Disagreeing with the man's policies is the job of the loyal opposition - but I'd prefer they keep their disagreement in the realm of REASON. I want to come out of my liberal cocoon, but I'd rather not have an aneurysm as a result. Which of course eliminates the entire Fox News outlet and everyone who works for them.

So...The Wall Street Journal? The Christian Science Monitor? I'm open to suggestion, y'all. 


*Insomnia simply blows. I didn't suffer from it until about 10 years ago, and even now it's only an occasional thing, but it still sucks monkey chunks when it happens. Getting enough sleep - that pearl of great price.

11 comments:

mom in northern said...

Check out George Will

vince said...

I don't know of a podcast that would be useful, but I will recommend a blog: ProfessorBainbridge.com. Stephen Bainbridge, the blog's author, is a law professor at the UCLA School of Law and an intelligent person.

Now, I doubt you'll find yourself in agreement with him very often. He is a true smaller government conservative, but he does make you think. Further, he believes that Bush betrayed conservative values, and the the GOP as it currently exists is an appalling joke. He has railed against the Patriot Act on numerous occasions. He's a couple of quotes on his views on Bush:

"Long term readers know that I spent much of 2005-2008 regularly criticizing Bush and the GOP's K Street gang for its corruption, incompetence, and betrayal of conservative values. I complained that 'the conservative revolution of 1994 turn[ed] into a mess that serves only to demonstrate Lord Acton's aphorism about power corrupting.'"

"(The Bush administration) took a utopian view of foreign policy, believing that they could export democracy by military might. They lost sight of the questions conservative maven Russell Kirk posed to Bush 41: 'Are we to saturation-bomb most of Africa and Asia into righteousness, freedom, and democracy? And, having accomplished that, however would we ensure persons yet more unrighteous might not rise up instead of the ogres we had swept away?'"

Make no mistake - he's no fan of Obama or his policies. But he's no fan of Ron Paul and his ilk or the Tea Baggers, he keeps the snark to a minimum, and when he defends or attacks a position, he does so using real live logic and evidence.

Oh, he also has some good posts on wine :-).

Vagabond said...

Ross Douthat, a conservative columnist for the new york times, is one of the smartest, most incisive and reasonable Op-Ed writers working today. He's also young (30, I believe)and brings a new perspective. As far as I know, Podcasts are not available, but you can find him on line at this link: http://topics.nytimes.com/top/opinion/editorialsandoped/oped/columnists/rossdouthat/index.html

I agree with mom on George Will as well.

Random Michelle K said...

I'm not sure that the CSM would qualify as conservative--my liberal parents subscribed to the print edition for years.

Eric said...

Michelle beat me to the one thing I had to add: unless CSM has radically changed in the past twenty years (which is possible, but seems unlikely), they're center-left.

I had a subscription to CSM when I was an undergrad; I think I initially got it as part of a class I was taking but would have subscribed anyway as long as it was in the budget--their foreign policy coverage was second-to-none back in the day, with a strong focus on human rights issues abroad. Usually, the biggest hint of religion was the little box with a daily prayer that showed up--damn, it's been awhile, but it seems like it was always on page three.

The WSJ may be all that's left of the reputable, traditionally conservative press. Of course, one might cynically say that the New York Times and Washington Post are conservative publications, so your reading material is arguably already more right-wing than you realize. Maybe you should go on a strict Mother Jones "diet" for six months, then you can resume your normal reading list and tell everybody you read nothing but reactionaries. ;)

Janiece said...

Thanks for the suggestions, folks.

WendyB_09 said...

Definately George Will. I watch him every Sunday on ABC's This Week in Washington. He used to give George Stephenapolis fits some weeks and the new hosts haven't quite figured out what to do when he & Sam Donaldson get in to it during the roundtable.

And every once in a while he veers over to the middle of the road and really confuses everyone!

Check out the last couple weeks of the show, they may be available as podcasts.

Janiece said...

Wendy, if This Week in Washington is one of those shows where folks holler at each other instead of minding their manners, it's unlikely I'd be interested.

Fathergoose said...

I agree on getting information from many sources. You may try reading David Brooks from the NYT. You can also see him with Mark Shields each Friday night on PBS' Newshour.

Carol Elaine said...

I tend to live in my own liberal cocoon a little too much (easier to do in my neck of the woods than yours, I'd wager), though I do sometimes venture out into CNN-land (which can be infuriating, but for an entirely different reason).

I was going to recommend Tony Blankley from "Left, Right and Center" on NPR, as he tends to be less reactionary (and saner) than the Glenn Becks of the world (though I don't think I've ever agreed with him).

Then I read a piece he wrote on the Huffington Post that seemed to compare Sarah Palin to Ronald Reagan (hero and former boss to Blankley). Now I'm not so sure...

(Plus he doesn't seem to have a podcast, though there are certainly podcasts for "Left, Right and Center.")

WendyB_09 said...

Actually, most of the time they stay pretty civilized. First segment is usually newsmakers of some variety talking about current issues. Sometimes pro & con at the same table, other times one after the other. Or an in depth interview with someone from the White House.

Second segment is a roundtable with well known commentators from both sides of the fence, always George Will, usually Sam Donaldson, Cynthia Tucker Atlanta newspaper Editorial writer from here in Atlanta is on frequently, as is editorial staff from NYT or Washington Post, Cokie Roberts, even CEO's from industries in the news.

George & Sam have the longest history on the show and they do occasionally take great pride in seeing if they can bait each other!