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Objectivity, Subjectivity, and the Art of Making Money

October 26th, 2008

I loathe politicians and the media. This applies evenly to everyone, no news source of political party is immune. I’m a libertarian and Bobb Barr is as guilty as everyone else, just look at how all of his positions changed just in time for the election to line up precisely with the Libertarian talking points even though his record doesn’t quite agree. My friend and I are angry - angry with all the people who constantly lie, cheat, mislead, and purposefully work towards the good of themselves instead of the interest of the collective. I’d like to think that we can each win without anyone losing, some may win more, but no one has to lose; I’m naive.

The question on my mind is this: Are we being to hard on them? Well? Are we? Take a breath - close your eyes - and try to imagine what you would do if you ran a news paper and you knew that you didn’t really have to ‘lie’, but just omit a few truths, ignore a few headlines, shine the spotlight on a few others… and poof! Your favorite candidate would be elected. That one who wanted to put extra money into that social program you feel very passionate about for personal reasons. Maybe the candidate will be increasing war funding and you know this will net some nice contracts for the factory down the road from your unemployed brother’s house in your small hometown and now he’ll be able to find a job. When you know the audience your advertisers want to target will listen to your outlet more than others if you are just willing to tailor it to them a bit… could you be honest? Could I be honest? I’m not sure I could, certainly not when it could come down to the difference between making a living and… not.

In many ways this website is a test for myself. How do I cover political topics without seeming biased? Is it acceptable to attack a candidate? If I can only find problems in one of the candidates positions do I lose credibility - will people think me a shill for candidate or position X? All I can do is try to be objective - try to support all my positions with facts, sources, details. And most importantly, I must be able to be swayed. I don’t think it is possible for me to produce quality material if I am unwilling to be swayed otherwise. I don’t mean that fake sort of ’swayed’ that radio talk hosts pretend is real. You know the type - They tell you to explain why their position is wrong - you call in - and they ridicule you for not agreeing with them. I want my mind to be changed. Show me the numbers - preferably from multiple sources biased on each side of the issue. Provide some intelligent reasoning describing the outcome of particular actions. A promise that I will listen with as unbiased an ear as I can muster is all I can promise.