Jeremy Stein - Journal

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How news sites polarize America

I almost never hear about Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez or “The Squad” from mainstream news. Fox News reports on her constantly. She represents the extreme left in Congress. It’s easy for Fox viewers to get riled up about how liberals want to disband ICE, defund police, excuse looters, and introduce socialism. Most liberals don’t think that way, and pay little attention to those voices.

Some more liberal sites love to post stories about people who refuse to wear masks, people justifying racism, Trump saying zany things, and religious people who are hypocritical. Most conservatives don’t relate to any of those ideas and are pretty consistent in their beliefs.

In both cases, this reporting is helping to foster a “straw man” view of the other side. If your news source constantly depicts the extremist views and negative character of others, you can’t help but start to internalize that view of them.

I used to think that reading both sides was the answer. I now think that may be a mistake. That just gives me profiles of extremists.

I am only interested in people whose opinions do not align with a single political platform. I want centrists who can discuss nuanced political opinions without reverting to fearmongering or propaganda. That is becoming increasingly rare in the American political dialog.

November 27, 2020 No Comments.

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