Thursday, February 16, 2017

Adult, no-yelling news outlets that actually report news

As we try to endure one of the greatest existential crises in our nation's history, it's imperative that each of us as Americans and consumers be well informed. In the last few months, I have been searching for and sampling level-headed news and opinion sites that calmly report or comment on what's going on without a lot of shouting or breathless hyperbole, whether it be from CNN or the New York Times on the left or Breitbart or Rush Limbaugh on the right. Here are the media outlets I've gravitated to:

The Capital Press. It's not just because I work for them that I think they have been the best, most even-handed outlet for political coverage anywhere since the Trump phenomenon began. Our niche is agriculture, and it's no secret that there are mixed feelings among growers and farm groups when it comes to Trump's agenda. I just got off the phone with a wine industry representative who's with 40 vintners from California on a trade mision to Mexico this week to smooth things over amid all the talk of renegotiating NAFTA. On the other hand, I just covered a timber conference where most people were excited about the new administration. This dichotomy motivates us all the more to consider and cover all sides of issues, which is what we try to do anyway.

One America News Network. They're a 24-hour news network that's available online, and they follow mostly a headline news format. They cover all the activities of the Trump administration and Congress instead of just talking for hours about the latest controversy. They cover the controversy, but they report on other stuff, too.

CBN News. This Christian-based network has been reporting news on its flagship "The 700 Club" for decades. But about 15 years ago, in the beginning months of the War on Terror, they introduced a 30-minute nightly newscast to provide an alternative to the networks. Now they have a wide array of shows dealing with politics, national security, Israel, Christian ministry and persecution and other topics. Their website and app includes several 24-hour streaming networks.

Fox News website. They report what's going on without a lot of screaming headlines, and offer well-informed opinion pieces.

Fox News' Tucker Carlson. He's the best interviewer on television today, posing the smartest and toughest of questions while still maintaining a level of respect for his guest. His show is probably the most informative on cable news. If you're like me and don't have cable, Fox News is generous with its segment feeds on YouTube. You can essentially see the show within an hour after it's over.

CNS News. I got discouraged with them for a while because they had an awful lot of AP stories, which offer a highly distorted viewpoint to say the least. But lately their main page consists of mostly their own staff-written stories and columns, and they often report on things that other outlets miss.

Breitbart News Daily. This airs in the morning on SiriusXM radio. It's a three-hour show that often has interesting "newsmaker"-type guests as well as focusing on callers. While Breitbart's website is often dominated by screaming headlines, this show is usually pretty measured.

Daily Caller. Now we're getting into the more opinion-based sites, but they do break news on that site and often offer perspectives that no one else has considered. They staff presidential news conferences and actually ask questions, much to the disgust of temper tantrum-throwing left-wing activists posing as journalists.

LifeZette. This is Laura Ingraham's site, which focuses on news analysis (and also asks questions at news conferences).

PowerLine. This is a blog that became somewhat famous as the one that outed Dan Rather's falsified report on President Bush in 2004. It's staffed by several attorneys, none of whom were or are big fans of Trump. But that's all the more reason they can be counted on for some pretty fair analysis of events. They've also done some pretty groundbreaking work in exposing the holes in purported climate science.

This is by no means meant to be an exhaustive list. Occasionally I'll read the Washington Examiner, the Washington Times, the New York Post and news aggregator sites that use a whole bunch of sources. But the idea is to seek out news sites that share core American values and provide intelligent, reasoned coverage and analysis of current events and issues. At a time when a very large segment of what we used to understand as the news media has been populated by activists and participants in the story, it's crucial for the health of our nation that people find and rely on these more reasoned voices.

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