Hey Fellas,

Working on a list of best podcasts for guys...what are you favorites? Thanks!

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Rich Risen Podcast, Dave Damesheks football program, The Adam Carolla Show, Dr Drew, and The Adam and Drew show..

Since I moved last year I have an hour commute to class, work, and seeing my girlfriend. Since I spend a lot of time on the road I typically get through two episodes a day.

Global News Podcast followed by NPR Hourly news.

The first is a 22-25 min collection of news around the world.  

The second is a local nation check on the news in 5 minutes.

It can be very good to see the world from another nation's point of view, and the BBC is a very good news organization given the options.  

Democracy Now, BBC News Hour, and NPR Morning edition for news: I get a pretty good smattering of topics and viewpoints from these sources.

For fun, I really like Radiolab, Science Friday, The Bugle, and Intelligence Squared.

Not sure I'd call that "a pretty good smattering" of viewpoints.  Ranges from middle-left to way-way-left.  I try to catch Democracy Now a time or two a week ... but I also listen to Limbaugh or Michael Berry.  That's a broad range.


JB

Although I will grant you that Democracy Now is certainly on the left, I would say the BBC and NPR Morning Edition are about as centrist, objective news outlets as you are going to find. And as for Limbaugh, I can only stand so much hot air before I have to want to turn on the AC in my car, and I still need to get that fixed.

Hmm, I think Jack's point was that he listened to diverse viewpoints, not castigation of any one news service.  BBC and NPR may look centrist from a far-left POV, but in reality they're about as centrist as Fox News. 

Rush's bombastic approach doesn't try to couch it as anything but conservative. 

NPR presents the news with quite a bit of bias and tries to top it off with an air of "objectivity".  It's like spraying perfume on a steaming turd pile and calling it "odor neutral".  

Could you please expand on this idea and explain this more?  

I find that NPR's news are solid middle, perhaps a shade to the left but they try to be fair and centered.

Can you give me examples of another centered news option?

NPR their talk shows ARE very left leaning. 

I don't think news can be unbiased.  There is inherent bias in choice of what is newsworthy, choice of who to interview, choice of what questions are worth asking, etc.

 

Your best bet is to diversify the biases you listen to ... not to pretend you found a source that doesn't have a bias.


JB

I don't know that centered is a reasonable goal.  It is, however, an effective rhetorical illusion:  effective at deceiving the reader or listener into thinking the source is correct. 

Or the reporter.  I recall vividly an NPR story on unwed motherhood.  It started with the story of Letitia, how she started liking DeShawn, and her dreams of the future:  the wedding dress, the music to play at the reception.  She'd get pregnant, then get married, and live happily.  It got derailed when she accomplished goal #1.  DeShawn disappeared.  Before the baby was born he was already living with another woman.  At the time of the interview (baby was < 1 y o), he was in prison for drugs.

Conservatives, the reporter told us, dismiss girls like Letitia as uninterested in family values (though such girls are very big into wanting babies), and say such girls only want government cash; but a New Jersey law that such girls may or may not have heard of, which might have cut off benefits under some unclear circumstances, had not been immediately followed by a drop in teen pregnancies.

The problem, the reporter concluded, was a lack of hope, and the solution was jobs.

I liked the reporter.  He took the obligatory swipe at conservatives, but it was perfunctory, and he was genuinely interested in Letitia's situation, I thought.  But his bias overwhelmed him.  Here was a girl who was consumed by hope, and the object of that hope, DeShawn, let her down.  Her grandmother could have told her:  you got too much hope, baby.  Have a little more realism.

The swipe at conservatives consisted of confusing family values (which to most of us means marriage before the carriage) with wanting a family before marriage; and a projection that conservatives think it's all about money for these girls -- which was his conclusion, not theirs.  His conclusion seemed tacked on.  The survey data showed it was about wanting babies, not wanting jobs; the anecdote showed a girl who was swept away by wanting husband and baby, and the thrill of hope.  So he concluded that the problem was a lack of hope and the solution was jobs.  Why?

Because that's what he believed before doing his story, and the data he acquired couldn't break through that belief.

He wasn't a bad guy.  He just couldn't see past his bias.

Neither could Mary Mapes, who was fired for the forged documents, and the cover-up, CBS's Sixty Minutes did under her directorship.  On the subject of bias, she was clear:  "I have none."  Which is why that bias could direct her and her underlings to conceal information from the experts they cited, cover up reservations those experts expressed, and stare straight at proof that the documents were forged and respond not by saying, "We goofed," but by attacking the technogeeks who broke the real story.  Bias you're aware of is bias you can control.  Bias you deny is bias that controls you.

Being absolutely "middle of the road" (Dan Rather, in describing the New York Times) doesn't get you to cover news embarrassing to your side, but it does make the message you wish to convey go down more smoothly.  President Obama does this, with rhetoric like "Some people say government has no role at all.  I don't think that's true."  The Economist  does this:  "On the one hand, there's our side of the issue.  On the other, some think that there's another side.  Still, there's our side.  Having given one sentence to the other side, let's do 8 pages on ours."  It's selling your point of view (to self and others) by pretending not to have one.

Hear, hear!

I have to say that the 'have baby then get married' is backwards. It really is setting a trap. . . it should be get married, see if you can live with each other, then get married. I doubt the reporter even questioned the idea of "I'll get pregnant and then he'll have to marry me." I honestly wish this type of thinking could be removed from this earth.

Certainly, David.  Mind you one doesn't have to dig too deep (this was found by spending less than 60 seconds on their website before seeing this) to find an example.  Please feel free to scrutinize their website deeper if your intent is to discover bias.

"In closing arguments Friday, Zimmerman's defense sought to hammer home its contention that the self-styled neighborhood watch volunteer..."

NPR is portraying Zimmerman as a "self-styled" neighborhood watch volunteer.  By several news accounts the local neighborhood watch group appointed him their coordinator. Words have meaning.  These words mean "self-proclaimed", and implies he was a neighborhood watch volunteer in his own mind, but not in reality.  This is an inaccurate depiction of his role.  They could have accurately described his role, or they could have omitted it out of the article (still an act of omission, IMHO).   Yet they chose THESE words to describe him.  I have proved it to my satisfaction that this happens constantly, and by inference they are doing it with a certain end-game in mind. 

We often have our presuppositions and argue the evidence from that point of view.  It is disingenuous to portray an impartial viewpoint while thinly veiling the presupposition. Furthermore, it is most disheartening to even have a discussion that they are not centrist (by your own admission "perhaps a shade to the left"). Your request for a centered news option wasn't the point.  IF there were a centrist news organization then it SHOULD be NPR.  The government shouldn't be in the business of the news, but the government helps fund NPR to the detriment of citizens not left-leaning. Portraying it a centrist is calling it "odor neutral". 

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