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“The Sunday Political Brunch”—September 4, 2016

Sunday, September 04, 2016


I get asked this question a lot: “Where do you get your news?” That’s a fair query. There is so much out there these days in both the so-called "new" and traditional media. Let’s “brunch” on that this week:

“CBSN”- Newspapers are dead, and much of cable is dying. I am one of those people who “cut the cord” and eliminated the vastly over-priced cable TV from my home. In the internet age, who needs it? I now have a Roku streaming device where I get the CBS digital channel CBSN. It is a godsend! It has replaced CNN, Fox News, and MSNBC as my “go to” channel. CBSN had stellar campaign coverage through the primary season. I am thrilled to see host Elaine Quijano named as the moderator of the Vice Presidential debate this year. She and her channel have earned it!

“Real Clear Politics” – My favorite political website remainswww.RealClearPolitics.com. It is my main source of polling data, which I like because it shows all polls, and then gives a composite average over time. It also has great graphics that show poll trends. Not only does it track the overall Presidential race, it also hones in on polling in key battleground states, as well as in crucial Senate races. It also has lots of links to editorial content and op/ed pieces, but I mostly like it for all of the raw polling data. I check in daily!

“Local Radio, Hyper-Local Web and Newspaper” – In my opinion, the major metropolitan daily newspaper is dead. They just haven’t embalmed and buried the body. Most papers have cut their staffs to the bone - to the point that they are no longer effective. Big-city newspapers and most local TV stations aren’t going to get into the nitty-gritty of legislative or municipal races. But local community and weekly newspapers and websites do. I love newspapers such as the Warwick Beacon, and websites such as http://www.GoLocalProv.com. Local all-news radio stations like WPRO in Providence or WCHS in Charleston are also great sources of state house and city hall "buzz."

“Point; Counterpoint” – One day I pulled up next to a colleague and rolled down the window of my news van with the radio volume way up; and I heard him say, “Oh my God, I can’t believe you are listening to Rush Limbaugh!” Well I do! And I also listen to the far more liberal-leaning National Public Radio. One of my daily goals is to get as much contrasting perspective as possible. I don’t listen to these programs because I’m in sync with either ideology; I listen to get the pulse of diverse public opinion and debate. It’s very useful to me to hear how two different groups with contrasting ideologies can view the same event so differently. This balance is constructive!

“Google Search” – It never fails. On a daily basis, someone in my newsroom will shout an obscure political question, such as “Mark, who won the Indiana Democratic primary in 1992?” I just love to type questions like that into the Google search box. I get much information for my weekly column just by Googling any questions that I have. It’s important, though, to always cite sources of information, because sometimes their "facts" are in dispute. The bottom line: Sites such as Google are like an instant encyclopedia.

“Snopes & PolitiFact” – There is so much baloney on the internet. On balance, I love the web; but - as we saw this week - there were some prominent news and sports stories published and widely distributed on the internet which simply were not true. I like clearing houses, such as http://www.Snopes.com and PolitiFact, where you can check the veracity of claims and stories. But, sad to say, even these two fact-checking sites get snookered. As President Reagan always said of the Soviet promises of nuclear arms reduction, “Trust, but verify!”

“CNN.com” – Old habits die hard. No, I don’t watch CNN on TV anymore because I cut the cable. But, every time a big story breaks, I immediately click towww.CNN.com. It’s an automatic reflex action, just as I used to instantly tune to CNN on my TV set. As a news organization, it still has the global reach and resources, but CNN needs to be like CBSN and get a presence on Roku. Internet streaming devices are the future; cable is dying fast.

“Campaign Websites” – “Hmmm.... What’s Macro Rubio’s position on immigration reform?” Well, why don’t I just Google his website and find out for myself? Sure, campaign websites can be used as propaganda, but they can also be used as good sources for a candidate’s position on a wide variety of issues (and can expose contradictions when a candidate flip-flops on an issue.) Take them with a grain of salt, but campaign websites are very helpful.

“No ‘Time’ Left for You” – As a young child and well into adulthood, I was a weekly reader of "Time" magazine. I loved it, and couldn’t wait for it to arrive in the mail. I also loved "U.S. News and World Report," and even remained an online subscriber after the print edition ceased publication. For some reason, I was never a "Newsweek" fan. Regardless, the three major weekly news magazines are dinosaurs. I can’t remember the last time I read one. It’s just over.

“News Buffet; It’s About Variety!” – Here is my advice for news consumers. “Eat” a variety of information, just as you would have a balanced diet of food. My favorite meal is a cut of prime rib with a lobster tail; but if you served it to me three meals a day, seven days a week, I would grow weary of the same old diet. Listen to a variety of voices, especially those with whom you disagree. I once asked a critic what he specifically objected to about Fox’s Bill O’Reilly; and he said, “I don’t know, I never watch his show!” Well, take a peek! The same with liberal-leaning Rachel Maddow, even if you don’t like her.

What news and information outlets do you read, listen to, or watch? Let us know by clicking the comment button at http://www.MarkCurtisMedia.com.


Related Slideshow: Presidential Candidate’s Social Media - 2016

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Trump Facebook

5.73 Million

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Trump Twitter

6.19 Million 

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Trump Klout

88 Score 

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Cruz Facebook

1.9 Million 

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Cruz Twitter


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Cruz Klout

89 Score

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Rubio Facebook

1.28 Million 

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Rubio Twitter

1.17 Million 

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Rubio Klout

81 Score 

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Kasich Facebook


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Kasich Twitter


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Kasich Klout

87 Score 

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Bush Facebook


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Bush Twitter


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Bush Klout

80 Score

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Carson Facebook

5.07 Million

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Carson Twitter

1.13 Million

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Carson Klout

80 Score 

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Clinton Facebook

2.46 Million 

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Clinton Twitter

5.4 Million 

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Clinton Klout

94 Score 

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Sanders Facebook

3.10 Million 

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Sanders Twitter

1.44 Million

Prev Next

Sanders Klout

84 Score 


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