I saw a meme that really made me think. Something about “do not use Facebook for news.” While I understand the sentiment, I disagree with the principle. There is no way I would have time to find all the articles that people find interesting on my own. That being said, I only click on the ones from reputable sources. I make it a point to know which ones they are. I also subscribe to The New York Times and The Washington Post so that I don’t hit a paywall when links are shared. Basically, my friends have the capability to aggregate articles that interest me, liberal or conservative. I read both views to understand the issue all the way around, or at least I used to, when there were two sides to the story.
For instance, there’s not two sides to the story when people insist that racist/homophobic/transphobic bigots AND protesters for civil rights are very fine people and we should get along despite our differences.
As I have read before, “still being a bigot in this day and age generally means you’ve lived through every iteration of the Civil Rights Movement and learned nothing.” Both sides of the story are for political ideas like how to spend government money, or how to implement a program so that it is run efficiently with the least waste of resources.
In the past, I’ve read a lot of William F. Buckley, George Will, and William Safire. It has been an interesting twist of fate that I have returned to George Will. Not only is he aware of the problems with the cult of Trump, he also writes eloquently about baseball, which puts him up on my list of writing heroes by a bigger margin than most. 😛
On the other end of the spectrum, I have read every single David Halberstam book ever written- well, technically, I am in the middle of reading the last one he wrote himself, “The Coldest Winter,” about the Korean War….. where he writes about the horror and still manages to infuse snarky, sometimes dark humor….. which I am all about.
Still deciding on reading truly the last thing he ever wrote, “The Glory Game: How the 1958 NFL Championship Changed Football Forever,” because he was never able to finish it. A horrific car accident killed him in 2007 when he went to meet with a source. I’m waffling because it was finished by Frank Gifford, and I don’t know how the change in style will affect me, as well as knowing it will be the last thing I ever read with his fingerprint.
All of these people have written for the Post, the Times, or both. When you are paying for news, you are paying for genius. It is not fair to complain about paying them. People seem to have problems with not everything on the Internet being free, when in the past, people would pore over their newspapers with breakfast. Would any of these writers, and I’m going to include Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, been able to do what they do effectively without money? Should they be forced to use their own when chasing down a story?
In terms of The Washington Post, there are writers now that are every bit as talented as the ones I’ve mentioned, such as Shane Harris and Greg Miller. I would pay my subscription fee directly to them if I could, and I am sure there are plenty more writers at both newspapers that deserve mentioning, but these two are the ones that came to mind immediately.
When it comes to reliable news, just pay. You did before the Internet was invented, you should do it now. To quote The Washington Post tagline, “democracy dies in darkness.” In 2020, how can you argue?
Thank you for coming to my TED talk.