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Old 04-12-2010, 06:05 AM   #21
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There is an entire broadcast industry devoted to "scaring" us for their own ratings. Similarly, politicians have found it to be in their own self interest to have us all scared of the "other".
Certainly scares me:

http://embed.crooksandliars.com/v/MTI0NDItMzYyNjA?color=C93033"></param><param

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"we've gone from 100% of the private economy being private" to now the United States "owns or effectively owns" 51% of the private economy. This is what's called, "complete bullshit."
I guess I should pay attention more often.

(Found at http://crooksandliars.com/john-amato...allace-carzier)
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Old 04-12-2010, 06:53 AM   #22
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Most of the radicals on both sides are just victims of cranial-rectal inversion.
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Old 04-12-2010, 07:20 AM   #23
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How do you handle it?
No friends (other than my DW); no problems.

Even if I had friends, how could I consider them as such if a situation such as this would arise. Why do you want to be around somebody that does not share something that is important to you (yes, that goes to having a partner also)?

BTW, DW/me have been married for 40+ years. Long enough that we are "twins" ...
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Old 04-12-2010, 07:39 AM   #24
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I get emails forwarded from liberal friends and I usuallly find them interesting.
+1 I am on the other side. My much older sister's husband (deceased 20 years) was a Bircher. Her circle of friends in Phoenix are so far right they almost touch the extreme left. She is on some sort of whacky email list that is friendly but largely focused on political rants, loony rumors, and virus alerts. She often sends them to me, especially if she wonders whether the latest is true. I usually glance at them and ignore but once in a while I respond with a Snopes article or a political counter argument -- sometimes just responding to sis but sometimes to the whole group if I want them to hear the other side. My much older brother (who was her tag-along little brother when they were young and thus has a more volatile relationship with her) is a liberal lobbyist. When one of the emails tore into a politician he has known for years, likes and respects, he torn them all a new orifice with a blistering response tearing up each of their points. Since that incident my sister tells me that when I respond some of the list recipients will write her asking 'is he THAT one?'
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Old 04-12-2010, 10:21 AM   #25
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There is an entire broadcast industry devoted to "scaring" us for their own ratings. Similarly, politicians have found it to be in their own self interest to have us all scared of the "other".

I think if we all sat down and talked to each other, openly and honestly, we would find that we are more alike than different.
I'm not sure if "scaring" is the only word I'd use. It think that's part of it, but there's also the echo chamber effect. The cable/radio/internet outlets don't need to get most of the market. They can focus on niches. One tactic is to talk only to people who already are leaning toward XX, and reinforce their opinions. Most people like to hear that they are right (as in "correct"), so they tune in again, and ratings go up. Over time, the biased outlets get solid niches that are big enough to make a profit.

I hate to suggest that 3 networks plus the AP and UPI was a golden age, but one advantage was that most Americans got approximately the same set of "facts". Now, with so many outlets, people can choose to hear only what they want to here. I think that leads to polarization.
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Old 04-12-2010, 10:27 AM   #26
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I'm not sure if "scaring" is the only word I'd use. It think that's part of it, but there's also the echo chamber effect. The cable/radio/internet outlets don't need to get most of the market. They can focus on niches. One tactic is to talk only to people who already are leaning toward XX, and reinforce their opinions. Most people like to hear that they are right (as in "correct"), so they tune in again, and ratings go up. Over time, the biased outlets get solid niches that are big enough to make a profit.

I hate to suggest that 3 networks plus the AP and UPI was a golden age, but one advantage was that most Americans got approximately the same set of "facts". Now, with so many outlets, people can choose to hear only what they want to here. I think that leads to polarization.
Bingo. Nailed it.

People don't have to think critically or "outside their comfort zone" any more because you name an ideology, there's going to be a 24/7 media outlet catering to that ideology. Viewers and listeners no longer have to "endure" contrary opinions or analysis that force them to reexamine their views with an open mind. No, it's all about throwing fresh meat to the true believers.

The more this happens, the more intransigent these people become; immovable objects convinced it's all about "us versus them" and that "we" have to win and "they" have to lose. And if it's good for the country, that's just serendipity. The goal isn't to advance the nation, it's to humiliate those stupid and/evil people on the other side of the issue.

Sad. On one hand the small-d "democratization" of the media is a very good thing in that it gives ordinary people more of a voice. Unfortunately too many of these "voices" are closed-minded and KNOW they are right on everything. And too many of these voices don't even try to present news without extremely biased and slanted commentary or interpretation.
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Old 04-12-2010, 11:41 AM   #27
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My favorite situation to cite is a school teacher friend who is retired and an almost an extremist on big govt, taxes, etc. Claims govt funded health care is an abomination of capitalist principles and leading us to communism.

Of course, she worked in the public school system and ER'd with her generous pension and very nice health benefits. For some reason she doesn't see her the contradiction in terms of how her salary, pension, and health care were/are funded.

IMO - for most average american, the no big govt mantra stops when it comes to the benefits they receive.
Smartest post on here in quite a while...........
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Old 04-12-2010, 01:23 PM   #28
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Originally Posted by Independent View Post
I'm not sure if "scaring" is the only word I'd use. It think that's part of it, but there's also the echo chamber effect. The cable/radio/internet outlets don't need to get most of the market. They can focus on niches. One tactic is to talk only to people who already are leaning toward XX, and reinforce their opinions. Most people like to hear that they are right (as in "correct"), so they tune in again, and ratings go up. Over time, the biased outlets get solid niches that are big enough to make a profit.

Read this book - the concepts are valid - "scaring" is the correct word.
The Culture of Fear: Why Americans Are Afraid of the Wrong Things


Amazon.com: The Culture of Fear: Why Americans Are Afraid of the Wrong Things (9780465014903): Barry Glassner: Books
In a provocative report, Glassner (Career Crash, etc.) contends that Americans' worries about crime, drugs, child abuse and other issues have been blown out of proportion by a mass media that thrives on scares.

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I hate to suggest that 3 networks plus the AP and UPI was a golden age, but one advantage was that most Americans got approximately the same set of "facts".
Different times and different people in the news media. The people in control of the news at your golden age were of and influenced by the WWII style of journalism. As those people retired they were replaced by the the people of and influenced by the events of the '60s and Watergate. So, you are correct "Americans got approximately the same set of "facts"". Those "facts" were filtered by the gatekeepers.

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Now, with so many outlets, people can choose to hear only what they want to here. I think that leads to polarization.
Yes, there are many outlets. Take the time to list the outlets and categorize them into the polarization you mention. (Include the rating aspect if you have the time.) I think you will see other dynamics at work.
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Old 04-12-2010, 01:49 PM   #29
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I know exactly what you mean.

I have people sending me political soapbox mail all the time. Most of the time I don't agree, and on the few occasions where I've responded, discovered I was stomping on toes. Since then, I just try not to get involved. I use gmail so I use filters to capture the mail and archive it before I even have to look at it. This works well because I'm not exposed to it, yet don't have to clean my inbox constantly, which would eventually annoy me.

A few years ago, I had a huge problem with a friend who sent me racist political propaganda. I confronted them on it because I was aghast that they could be so openly racist. Our friendship never mended because they were very "justified" in their views and didn't see how they were at fault for creating upset with it. They felt more people should be "aware" of the situation and they were doing me a favor.

Needless to say, the friendship never mended, which is why I stay out of things now and just use gmail filters.
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Old 04-12-2010, 06:19 PM   #30
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Is it just me? I don't want to hear about friend's politics anymore. They forward things that appear to me to be mostly lies, with a little truth here and there. If I send a link to factcheck.org, or snopes.com, they become defensive. Even nasty.
How do you handle it?
I have former good friends that I don't want to be around now. They probably feel the same.......
A significant majority of my friends are veterans who live around the world, but not on Oahu. So I rarely see them and we stay in touch by e-mail. I'm reluctant to cut them off just because they veer off the friends & sea-stories track.

I started this thread a couple years ago about an old co-worker whose rants outnumbered his desirable e-mails about 25:1. He complied when I politely asked him to stop the political/conspiracy/homeopathic crap, but a couple weeks after that his e-mails abruptly cut off.

I haven't seen an obituary. I hope he's still healthy. I hope he just decided to cut back his contacts list a little. But he was over 65 years old, high blood pressure, kidney problems... I'm really not sure what became of him. I haven't tried to track him down, either. It's just awkward.

Today I have several more friends who are going down the same road. I want to grab one of them by the neck and shout "Vietnam is OVER! You survived!! Stop spewing urban legends about POWS!!!" Another one I want to grab by the neck and shout "The Cold War is OVER! You WON!! Now stop worrying about your Second Amendment rights!!" A third one... well, you get the point.

So now I just click on their e-mails, store them in a folder, and forget about it. Sort of the e-mail version of the "Ignore Poster" list.
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Old 04-20-2010, 12:43 PM   #31
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Originally Posted by chinaco View Post
My favorite situation to cite is a school teacher friend who is retired and an almost an extremist on big govt, taxes, etc. Claims govt funded health care is an abomination of capitalist principles and leading us to communism.

Of course, she worked in the public school system and ER'd with her generous pension and very nice health benefits. For some reason she doesn't see her the contradiction in terms of how her salary, pension, and health care were/are funded.

IMO - for most average american, the no big govt mantra stops when it comes to the benefits they receive.
Or she realizes how much the government overpaid for her services, allowing her to retire so early. Heck, I've considered working for the government to "get a piece of the action." One can oppose a government policy while fairly benefiting from that policy.
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Old 04-20-2010, 01:02 PM   #32
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My favorite situation to cite is a school teacher friend who is retired and an almost an extremist on big govt, taxes, etc. Claims govt funded health care is an abomination of capitalist principles and leading us to communism.

Of course, she worked in the public school system and ER'd with her generous pension and very nice health benefits. For some reason she doesn't see her the contradiction in terms of how her salary, pension, and health care were/are funded.
I don't see any contradiction at all. It's entirely consistent to oppose various government policies, and yet to take full advantage of these policies if they are enacted. It's not hypocritical.
Apparently this same distinction is also too subtle for some politicians and some in the press. They marvel that the Tea Party folks oppose changes in government policy that would be to their benefit (handouts to middle-income folks, etc), and think these folks are just too dumb to get it. Nope, I don't think so.
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Old 05-02-2010, 06:09 PM   #33
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Is it just me? I don't want to hear about friend's politics anymore. They forward things that appear to me to be mostly lies, with a little truth here and there. If I send a link to factcheck.org, or snopes.com, they become defensive. Even nasty.

It has slowed a little since the HCR debate is over, but I'm sure there is more coming.

How do you handle it?

I have former good friends that I don't want to be around now. They probably feel the same.......
I know that in the next presidential election, I'm gonna try to be very tight lipped as to who I vote for.
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