The issue of mainstream media comes up rather frequently in discussions on FB. Some claim they disdain it completely & won’t read it because it’s nothing but propaganda.

When I was just educating myself in politics & would ask veterans for advice in what to read, some told me what not to read so I wouldn’t get confused. Partially it was misogyny because a woman shouldn’t trouble her pretty little head about matters she couldn’t understand anyway. And partially it was intellectually insular & an insistence that one only read “authorized” material. Misogyny in a regrettable combination with Stalinism.

People learn by reading as much as they can using their critical faculties. That’s why critical faculties were invented. If one wants to understand what is going on, you can’t just read the usual media sources for liberals & leftists because the left has as many points of view as protestantism & some of them are dead wrong or outright tendentious.

You have to learn intellectual discernment, what’s important, what’s speculation, what’s verifiable. You have to understand the official narrative in order to challenge it. You have to compare as many sources as you can & when you read them, you have to figure out what their point of view is. Sometimes sources aren’t only media but also the reports of human rights groups & activists. Reality is complex & you can’t impose a template upon it, a political agenda that suits your biases.

Those who eschew mainstream media express an anti-intellectual tendency & a distrust of their abilities to learn how to understand what is going on. Thus their reliance on others to tell them. One can read mainstream media without being corrupted–& must read it to develop critical analysis skills. It’s not a badge of honor to ignore it but a symptom of distrust gone wild.