I noted on a friend’s facebook wall that I was watching Al Jazeera English. Another commenter couldn’t believe any self-respecting American would watch Al Jazeera. No doubt, he thought I was a terrorist. (If only he knew about my anti-flatulence underwear!) I’m not sure why seeking out and watching one of the largest and most-respected networks closest to the heart of much of the world’s major current events, is a bad thing. But there you go. Terrorist. Me.
Anyhow this got me thinking about the stereotypes of media outlets and what where we get our news says about us.
(forgive me as I share a few stereotypes)
If you watch Fox News you are conservative red neck who likes to shoot guns like Yosemite Sam.
If you watch MSNBC, you are pot-smoking, tree hugging, communist or Nazi or Socialist or Greenpeace terrorist.
If you watch CNN, you are a pot-smoking closet liberal who secretly desires to change your first name to Wolf.
If you read the Wall Street Journal, you are a soul-crushing businessman who would sell puppy smoothies if you could turn a profit.
If you read the USA Today, you have the attention span of a hummingbird.
If you read the New Yorker, you are either a well-educated person of the world or an elitist.
If you watch Al Jazeera you are an ululating terrorist who wears Death-to-America pajamas.
Anyone want to take a crack at CBS or ABC or any other network or newspaper?
I don’t necessarily believe these stereotypes, but I know one thing for sure: If you are getting all of your news from one source, from one perspective, or one geographic region, you aren’t getting the whole story.
Maybe I’m a bit schizo, but in the course of a week I get news from all of these sources. I’ll switch from Rachel Maddow to Bill O’Reilly to Jon Stewart (not news but closer than most news orgs). I fired a gun only once; it scared the bejeesus out of me. I’ve never smoked pot, although in college I had a roommate growing it in his closet.
What does that make me?
The world is complex and the more angles we can see it from the better glocals we can be.