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Political Sites and their Bias
by: Rob Vollman (read profile)
Added: Oct 23, 2007
What are your favourite sources of on-line political information and editorials?

What are your favourite sources of on-line political information and editorials?

There are a wide variety of sites from which to choose. It's kind of like US Television Media, where you can go to one station and see illegal immigrants cast as brave heroes helping build their nation, fighting against a racist system. Switch to another, and they're grave security threats sucking their system dry and that they should be a wall to keep them out.

Personally, I find that very refreshing, which is why I include the Internet on my list of sources. Every issue, and every perspective on an issue, is going to be covered somewhere.

I divide all my sources into four broad categories:

1. Objective, unbiased sources of information

2. Sites that believe themselves to be objective and unbiased, but actually have a very obvious bias.

3. Sites that have an admitted bias, and stick to it.

4. Sites that have an admitted bias, but are unafraid to go (and even vote) against their party.

Sites that fall into the first category are extremely rare. Since most of those who claim to be in the first category are actually in the second, I actually prefer those in the latter two categories.

The CBC, and to a lesser extent the Globe and Mail, are excellent examples of the second category. These sites are still of tremendous value, but it takes extra effort to decode and unspin their stories and editorials. And despite this, you often still get taken for a ride without even knowing it.

Obviously, each party's web sites themselves are the best examples of this third category. But most bloggers have publicly aligned themselves with a party, too.

Surprisingly, I enjoy sites in category three. First of all, I find it very honest and refreshing for certain sites to admit to being so partisan that if a political opponent were to solve homelessness, then they'd find a way to prove that homelessness was actually a good thing. Not only are these sites entertaining, but there are certainly times that you can find great value in a fringe opinion. Many of today's brilliant perspectives were once fringe.

Which brings us to the fourth category. Just because a pundit has aligned themselves with a particular party doesn't mean that their writing is going to be heavily biased. We all have our beliefs and opinions, and obviously we're going to notice that these generally align themselves with one of the party's platforms. Fortunately, many bloggers don't feel this means that they're compelled to abandon to revise those opinions that differ.

In the end, there is value (and entertainment) in all four types, so I'm glad to have them. In the pre-Internet age there was just the second category. We live in good times.


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