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Demosthenes's avatar

Do you dismiss articles based on the source?

Asked by Demosthenes (13000points) October 23rd, 2020

In other words: if you’re conservative, do you completely ignore anything from CNN or other liberal sources? If you’re liberal, do you completely ignore anything from Fox News or other conservative sources?

In the midst of a debate, if your opponent cites a source that you don’t like or that you see as biased toward the side you don’t agree with, do you refuse to click on the link and read the article? Do you regard it impossible that the article might contain any facts if it comes from a source you don’t like?

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12 Answers

Nomore_lockout's avatar

I generally only do that with Fox. And since when do they deal in facts?

stanleybmanly's avatar

It’s interesting when you reflect on the relationship between cliche and truth. But “it depends on the source” is certainly (for me) both in this case. A source may be notorious for unabashed bias l, but I will read it anyway. Trusting what I read is another matter. For example one of my favorite pastimes at the supermarket when the lines are long is to snatch a copy of the National Enquirer to read in line. It is actually comforting nowadays to read things which deflect one from reality. Just a glance at such headlines as B29 FOUND ON THE MOON makes me grin so hard that everyone in the store mistakes me for a pleasant person. What’s wrong with that?

hmmmmmm's avatar


Just a clarification – corporate news is corporate news, so that is the overall bias. But there are Dem-leaning and Rep-leaning news sources. This isn’t a left/right thing. This is by definition all right-wing media.

Media bias isn’t necessarily about incorrect info (although that happens too). It’s really about emphasis and omission. Fox is a large corporation that curates “stories” and frames them in a way that supports Republican narratives. CNN generally does the same to frame stories that support Democratic narratives.

Choosing a “side” here is absurd. It’s declaring that you choose to be marketed to in a very specific way. It’s not that the “facts” about events and the world are not there if you go through enough corporate news and parse the reality from the “bias” (again, emphasis and omission). The problem is that the overall framework in which we consume and process corporate media leaves us intensely interested in the periphery and focused on “stories” as disconnected events, and we are unable to piece any of it together into a coherent understanding of the power, economics, and things that have the most impact on the lives of every human living on this planet.

And it’s worth pointing out that in some cases, Fox might be more “honest” in some cases and let dissenting views on if they feel it will build the case against Democrats. This becomes a contentious issue because there is debate among the left on the utility of going on Fox. Some feel that it’s always worth it, since the left is aggressively excluded from CNN, MSNBC, etc. Others feel that going on Fox just plays into socially-conservative Republican narratives even when you’re able to express left-of-center views.

Anyway, it’s not that I would dismiss an article just because it came from a particular source. It’s that I don’t expect any corporate media to accurately frame a topic and provide appropriate context. It requires more research to get a true understanding.

Note also that I will generally not waste my time reading a lengthy article by some right-wing marketing hack. I’m also not going to spend my time watching Sean Hannity run his rancid, racist, fascist mouth.

Demosthenes's avatar

It’s important also to remember the distinction between biased and false. Biased means that opinion is injected into the reporting. It does not necessitate that the reporting itself is not factual. It just means that what is being reported is done with an opinionated slant. Bias can make it harder to extract the factual elements of an article, but it does not mean they aren’t there.

I see @hmmmmmm has said some of the same stuff.

KNOWITALL's avatar

I’m with @stanleybmanly, I read everything and sort out confirmation via other sources, as needed.

longgone's avatar

Yes, of course. Why wouldn’t I dismiss information shared only by the local tabloid, when I’ve observed their outright lies for years? I trust only sources (and people) who display integrity. Don't we all apply this in dealing with friends and family? Doesn't everyone have people in their lives who like to embellish the truth - and so can't be trusted?

canidmajor's avatar

Well, gosh, once The Weekly World News went away, I felt that there was no more to be known. ~

seawulf575's avatar

I don’t discount citations because of the source. However, I do know that there are certain sources that I can count on to have all the buzz words that tell me it isn’t really based in fact. Those are things like “This could mean….” or “Some people think…”. Things like that are keys to me that facts are lacking and opinion and slant are strong in that article. So when someone cites a known leftist outlet, I will read it, but will watch for the keys.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@seawulf Same, but I’m skeptical of any bias, left or right. I prefer facts so we research and decide for ourselves. I miss Dan Rather.

seawulf575's avatar

@KNOWITALL Yep. I see the same triggers in right wing articles and tend to give them the same attitude I do to the left wing. The real difference that I see is that there are so many more “respectable” left-wing outlets that try passing opinion and innuendo as fact.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I don’t dismiss out of hand. But if it’s from a questionable source I’ll dig deeper and fact check.

jca2's avatar

I’ll do fact checking to see if the same information is posted on other sites. For example, if an article is posted or shared and it’s from a site called “American Patriot” or something like that, I’ll look at the details and then google it. My goal will be to find that info elsewhere, on a legit site.

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