Obama: Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck Fans - Check Out Huffington Post
"If you’re a fan of Glenn Beck or Rush Limbaugh, try reading a few columns on the Huffington Post website."
So said President Barack Obama in his commencement address to the University of Michigan 2010 graduates Saturday.
"If we choose only to expose ourselves to opinions and viewpoints that are in line with our own, studies suggest that we will become more polarized, more set in our ways," ironically said the President.
"But if we choose to actively seek out information that challenges our assumptions and our beliefs, perhaps we can begin to understand where the people who disagree with us are coming from."
Today's twenty-four/seven echo chamber amplifies the most inflammatory soundbites louder and faster than ever before. It has also, however, given us unprecedented choice. Whereas most Americans used to get their news from the same three networks over dinner or a few influential papers on Sunday morning, we now have the option to get our information from any number of blogs or websites or cable news shows. And this can have both a good and bad development for our democracy.
For if we choose only to expose ourselves to opinions and viewpoints that are in line with our own, studies suggest that we will become more polarized, more set in our ways. That will only reinforce and even deepen the political divides in this country. But if we choose to actively seek out information that challenges our assumptions and our beliefs, perhaps we can begin to understand where the people who disagree with us are coming from.
Now this requires us to agree on a certain set of facts to debate from; that is why we need a vibrant and thriving news business that is separate from opinion makers and talking heads. That's why we need an educated citizenry that uses hard evidence and not just assertion. As Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan famously said, "Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts."
Still, if you're somebody who only reads the editorial page of The New York Times, try glancing at the page of The Wall Street Journal once in awhile. If you're a fan of Glenn Beck or Rush Limbaugh, try reading a few columns on the Huffington Post website. It may make your blood boil; your mind may not be changed. But the practice of listening to opposing views is essential for effective citizenship. It's essential for our democracy.
"[T]he practice of listening to opposing views is essential for effective citizenship. It's essential for our democracy."
Is THAT why he basically boycotted Fox News during his campaign, has largely boycotted it since being elected, and has had numerous members of his Administration INCLUDING HIMSELF bad-mouth the network as not being a news organization?
To give readers an idea of how Senator and President Obama have "listened to opposing views," let's look at a smattering of NewsBusters headlines from the past two years:
- Obama Blames Fox News for Likely Loss in Next Week's Kentucky Primaries
- Obama Blames Fox News, Greta Strikes Back
- Obama Spokesman Robert Gibbs: Hannity, Fox News ‘Anti-Semitic'
- Obama Attacks Fox News, Tea Parties at Town Hall Meeting
- Obama Blasts Fox News: 'I've Got One Television Station that is Entirely Devoted to Attacking My Administration'
- White House Defends Attacks on Fox News: 'They Will Say Anything'
- White House Says Fox Is Not A News Network
- CNN: White House Attacks On Fox Help Its Ratings, Hurt Democrats
- Rahm Emanuel: Fox Isn't a News Organization Because it Has a Perspective
- Helen Thomas Warns White House to Quit Attacking Fox News
- Obama Escalates Feud: Administration Attempts to Exclude Fox News from White House Pool
- Obama: Fox Operates More Like 'Talk Radio' Than As 'News Outlet'
- Obama Advisor Tells CNN Fox Is Biased, Won't Comment On MSNBC
Should anyone associated with those headlines and stories be telling college graduates they need to "actively seek out information that challenges [their] assumptions and [their] beliefs?"
Well, certainly not with a straight face!