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Self-created information disadvantage

Posted by jillinnj (My Page) on
Mon, Nov 12, 12 at 11:54

I found this article fascinating and agree with it completely.

It's not very long, but just too many good parts to selectively cut and paste here.

It basically says what a lot of people on this forum have been saying for a long time on topic after topic.

I hope that conservatives here will read it with an open mind and report back their take on it.

I thought this election might be the final straw that would show conservatives that only watch Fox and read right wing websites that the information they are given is not accurate. However, from reading the recent posts here about that, it looks like I was wrong. We aren't talking about opinion, or different takes on the same thing. We are talking about interpreting data (polls) to determine who was leading the race. Math, it was just math.

I can't understand it. If I was totally misled by the news outlets I watched and read, I would be pretty p'd off and would find a new source.

Yet, that is not happening and I just don't get it.

Don't get me wrong -- I'm perfectly fine with the right wing continuing on with business as usual, but I am fascinated that they are not learning from this experience and will continue to just get their news from the same sources when it's proven to be wrong.

Here is a link that might be useful: Information disadvantage


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Self-created information disadvantage

We are all like that. We read articles, listen to talking-heads, and surround ourselves with like minded people. We look for information that reinforces our own set of beliefs. Who wants to be told that they are/were wrong? The republican analysts spin the data to support their own beliefs and pass that on to their supporters. The problem with numbers/math/statistics is that they can be interpreted to support many different ideas. Yes, Nate Silver was right on so many of his calls - but what if, just what if, he was wrong. That's what the other side was hoping for and spinning the data to state.

And you always have to look at the source of the data. Who is paying for the poll, who is interpreting it and what is their political leaning. Many people don't get right down to the collection of the data level.

Kind of like me when I come across another coffee study. I am a coffee drinker and noone will ever convince me that it is bad for me. I ignore those studies who say it is bad for me (ohh - the milk/pop/tea/liquor producers paid for that study) and rejoice in those that say it is ok for me to drink it.


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Oh, I agree blfenton. We do all search for like-minded people and news.

But when I find out someone, anyone (a person, a news service, anyone) has outright lied to me, I am not happy. I am much less likely to believe them in the future. I start to look back at everything they've told me and wonder what else was a lie. My point is I don't understand why conservatives are not doing that now given that the outcome of this election was exactly the opposite of what the right wing news was telling them.

The thing about Nate Silver is he wasn't spinning the data. He wasn't trying to make the data fit his agenda. He was evaluating it using computer models he built. And, his method was proven right in the last 2 election cycles (2008 and 2010). In fact, I would often come away from reading his post thinking to myself 'damn, why can't he just tell me Obama is going to win already?'. Of course, I knew why and that very reason is why I kept reading him. He wasn't giving his opinion. He wasn't saying what he wanted to happen. He was just talking facts, numbers and math.


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Forgot to add --

If Nate Silver had been proven completely wrong this election cycle, I would be much less inclined to believe him the next time. He'd have to convince me why he got it wrong and that he was making changes to improve. If he didn't do either of those things, I would stop reading him and stop using him as a source of information.

This is what I thought the conservatives might do with Fox and right wing websites. But, they aren't as far as I can tell. And that's the part that puzzles me.


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RE: Self-created information disadvantage

  • Posted by momj47 7A..was 6B (My Page) on
    Mon, Nov 12, 12 at 13:14

"Is this just math that you do as a Republican to make yourself feel better?" Megyn Kelly

They'll just keep on doing what they are doing. When you've invested TOO MUCH in your position, it's hard to step back and be even a bit more objective, even when you've been lied to, over and over again. And as long as someone is preaching to the choir, the choir will be there listening.


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RE: Self-created information disadvantage

I get my news at Hot Topics.

I saw this right after the election:

"To appreciate the difficulties in modern polling, consider this: a third of voters surveyed in exit polls on Tuesday said that they had only cellphones, no land lines. They supported Mr. Obama over Mr. Romney by 11 points, 54 percent to 43 percent. And it is a group systematically excluded from some automated polls, like Rasmussen Reports, because the law requires that cellphone numbers are dialed by actual people, not computers."

Hay


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Yes, Hay, that's true. And just another reason reading Nate was so informative. He understands that and knows which polls call cell phones, and weights the polls accordingly.


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RE: Self-created information disadvantage

Hay, what happened to your insistence that Romney was a shoo-in? Your playfulness over betting odds favoring Romney?

In the meantime, do go read the following link, too long to post but rich with down-home details on What is Wrong with (Brownback)Kansas? Much detail about the disjunction between political views and the reality of government support systems on the great plains.

Here is a link that might be useful: What is wrong with Kansas


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RE: Self-created information disadvantage

  • Posted by ohiomom 3rdrockfromthesun (My Page) on
    Mon, Nov 12, 12 at 13:37

If Nate Silver had been proven completely wrong this election cycle, I would be much less inclined to believe him the next time. He'd have to convince me why he got it wrong and that he was making changes to improve. If he didn't do either of those things, I would stop reading him and stop using him as a source of information.

....ditto!

That is like taking advice from a stock broker who keeps piling up losses ... why would you invest your time/money ??


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"Hay, what happened to your insistence that Romney was a shoo-in? Your playfulness over betting odds favoring Romney?"

Huh?

Liar, liar, pants on fire.

I think, that if you were to search this forum, you'd find that my thinking was that, indeed, Obama was going to win.

I pretty much went with the betting crowd and the betting crowd had been consistently, again most certainly recently, betting that Obama was going to be the winner.

Put up or..., Marshall.

I'm willing to bet you can't find any time that I said that Obama would lose to Romney.

I've got to go do some work. You've got a couple of hours to find something to prove you're not an idiot. Good luck with that.

Hay


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Speaking of betting.....

Me and you, baby.

Vegas or Bust!!!!

Hay


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Well, took me only a minute to discover that you are grouchy old fart without a sense of humor! :)

Do read the Kansas piece


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Ah, BrownbackLand, KS--the article has it right. There's the Kansas City general area, the Wichita general area, and everything else (BrownbackLand)--with one exception overlooked by the article: in the bottom right-hand corner of the state. Do you see that isolated solitary light blue county?

That's me, folks. Holding down the (democratic) fort in BrownbackLand!

It is lighter blue than I expected, however. Unfortunately.

It is depressing being surrounded by a sea of (Brownback) red.

Kate


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RE: Self-created information disadvantage

  • Posted by ohiomom 3rdrockfromthesun (My Page) on
    Mon, Nov 12, 12 at 14:14

LOL Kate ... when Rove "uncalled" the race the other night because Cuyahoga County still had thousands of votes left to count I said out loud "really ??? Really Romney etal, you are waiting on Cuyahoga County to give you the vote???" Talk about not knowing your audience.


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Work sucks. I need a break.

"Well, took me only a minute to discover that you are grouchy old fart without a sense of humor! :)"

Trust me, Marshall, I was laughing from the moment I saw your post until I ventured out into the cold, cold world.

And the laughter continued. Of all threads you could show us where you get your misinformation, that being your wee wittle bwawn, you had to pick this thread about Self-created information disadvantage.

You do keep me laughing, Marshall. Back to the salt mines for now. I'm hoping you'll post some more. I'll need a good laugh after I get back from all that hard labor.

Hay


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RE: Self-created information disadvantage

Hay,

Has your daughter finished building my iPhone yet?


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RE: Self-created information disadvantage

Back the truck up for a minute... not all of us are satisfied to listen to like-minded people only, or listen to the talking heads on local television news channels, or surround ourselves with only that which we are comfortable with.

It might surprise some people to learn that some of us are more than willing to leave our comfort zones, admit we're wrong, accept fault, apologize, learn from mistakes, look for sources that don't always match our own thinking, and enjoy expanding our minds with new and different pieces of information garnered from a variety of sources. Critical thinking and fact checking, mixed with a little common sense can be a delightful journey to take. It can also really puzzle us. But to sit and stagnate over the same sources of information day after day is just silly, in my opinion. Knowledge is power... it always will be.

I don't have any problem admitting I don't know something, and if it interests me, I'll make the effort to learn about it... but not through one source, only.

When I'm wrong, I say so. I'm human... I err. Sometimes I err a lot. So what?

But I can't be accused of living in a bubble with only one window looking out upon the world. My comfort zone is wherever I happen to make it... and sometimes, it begins a little bit uncomfortably. That's life.

And as a footnote... I freely admit that I did not read every post here... just the OP and the first few following. By that time, my mind was already protesting and demanding my fingers to get busy.

And now I'll finish reading and catch up with everything else...


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"Has your daughter finished building my iPhone yet?"

No, sad to say, it's still in the prototype stage. I'll holler (if you're going to be talking Southern, you need to learn that word. 2. v. To yell at ill-behaved children who normally reside in the southern United States.) down to her that we've got a second order when she does get production going.

She may have gotten a capitalist pig streak in her from somewhere. She keeps pleading that we could go do something more productive like tap a Maple tree and trade the syrup for a real Iphone, but I'll have no part of that.

I couldn't bear the shame of my friends at Hot Topics and the ridicule for exporting a job.

Besides, maybe she'll want to run for President someday. I think it'd look better on her resume.

Time to go find me a good woman, a hardwood floor and some blues music. West Coast Swing Night!! Yehaw!!!!

Hay


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Well, took me only a minute to discover that you are grouchy old fart without a sense of humor! :)

Marshall, I was going to say that about you! : )


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RE: Self-created information disadvantage

First off, I read the article linked to the OP, since it was short, even though I thought I knew from the title of the OP what it would say, basically.

So if conservatives didn't pay a lot of attention to the right leaning media, relied instead of the rest of the media (which I believe lists to the left pretty heavily), what would conservatives has gained? Foreknowledge that the president would probably be re-elected? And what purpose would that serve? So that we could all be pretty sure than Romney would ultimately lose; so that we could all be prepared? Expecting the worse is highly over-rated, IMO.

I wasn't surprised in 2012, I was surprised in 2008. Didn't feel suicidal either time; if liberals could hang in there with President Bush, I guess I can handle 4 more years of President Obama; I mean we're not emigrating.

So the bottom line is no matter which news media I paid the most attention to, my vote would not have changed and I would not feel any better or any worse.

I guess what I'm saying is what difference does it make whether or not people who relied on election predictions had the most (ultimately) accurate information. Is the point that they should not have bothered to vote, or that they (we) should have voted for the president, since everyone loves a winner?


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"which I believe lists to the left pretty heavily"

Most believe that it lists to the truth.


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what difference does it make whether or not people who relied on election predictions had the most (ultimately) accurate information. Is the point that they should not have bothered to vote, or that they (we) should have voted for the president, since everyone loves a winner?

Neither. You missed the point completely.

Since you do not seem to be aware, Karl Rove and many other prominent Republicans, not mention some Republican voters, were experiencing a form of voter "shell-shock." They were so convinced Romney was winning that they almost could not digest the truth that he lost. Many of us were/are absolutely amazed that they believed so strongly that Romney couldn't lose--there was plenty of info. out there that would have told them otherwise or at least raised some questions--if it had been read. How did they miss it all? If they had paid attention to what other sources were saying instead of automatically writing it all off as lies and propaganda, they would not have had such high expectations and thus would not have had such a hard time coming to terms with the reality that their candidate lost. They were gullible when it came to their own rightwing sources and thus set themselves up for a fall!

So Elvis--none of that describes you? Fine. No problem. That doesn't make it any less true about Karl Rove and other prominent Republicans as well as many Republican voters who are still feeling a bit shell-shocked. Would it surprise you to find out that when posts refer to "Republicans" (plural) or "Romney voters" (plural), that does not mean just you. Nor are threads set up on this forum just to address you and you alone. Usually they are about thousands, maybe millions, of people besides yourself.

I would suggest that when topics, by your own admission, do not apply to you, perhaps you should not assume they are intended just for you and no one else.

This post, however, is addressed specifically to you.

Kate


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Thanks, Kate, you beat me to it.

The bigger point, elvis, is that the right wing media is not being truthful by only reporting the facts that fit their agenda. Therefore, if that's all you watch you are not getting the truth.

If you're ok with that, carry on. I'm just surprised that any rational thinking person could not be angry about that bigger picture.


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I'm practicing the art of letting it go.

So, thank you Kate.


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As I often say, I find the remarks or comments following an article to be just as pertinent as the article, itself. They give a little more depth to the ideas put forth in such articles or opinion pieces. They let us know what various readers think.

I don't think the article leaned either way, truth be told. I think it brought to light a reality that too many people miss or overlook... that media is basically entertainment, brought to us in order to create profit, and not necessarily to inform. And to do that, it's often necessary to put a certain spin or edge to the given information, bend facts and curl language, whether subtly or not, or just create something if there's nothing to work with. After all, they have to hold rapt the audience's attention... tell them what they think they want to hear, and they know their job well.

It's not about real journalism anymore... it's about ratings, as one comment alludes. And ratings are gained by playing to an audience's emotions... like fear, outrage, etc...

It's not possible today to gain a fair and balanced view of real world news and facts without consulting many sources, some originating from outside our borders.

The name of the game is business, profit... plain and simple... and that's accomplished by entertaining an audience by playing upon their emotions, their fears and hopes and such. One is not informed through entertainment, but through journalism, and one must learn to decipher the difference.


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If they had paid attention to what other sources were saying instead of automatically writing it all off as lies and propaganda, they would not have had such high expectations and thus would not have had such a hard time coming to terms with the reality that their candidate lost.

They would have changed their strategy. That to me is the point - not that they would not have voted or been better prepared for the loss, but that they would have done things differently. And therefore Romney would have had a better chance of being elected.


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On this/their very Party Platform?

I doubt it.


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Usually a campaign tries to avoid the impression that its candidate has the election is "in the bag" for fear that it will lead to reduced voter turn out for its side. The "S/he will win anyway so I can do a quick shopping instead of going to vote" fear.


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You must admit, however, the media did play to their audience well... as the entertainment they are... and the audience ate it up like candy.

The media doesn't care who is in office... they'll still make money.


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The media doesn't care who is in office... they'll still make money.

Interesting point. Does Fox News (I mean the business, not the on air personalities) really want a Republican President? Won't there be much less to be outraged about (in their view)? Would their numbers decrease if they can't get people worked up about something?


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The Dems control the Senate and there are the dastardly Dems in the Blue States.


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Self-created information disadvantage.

Is that like, dropping out of school?


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Worse. At least when you drop out of school you could make the claim you were young and didn't know better.


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Jill, I would think the business could make money on gloating or digging up dirty laundry just as easily as they can through feigned outrage.


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I totally agree that birds of a feather flock together. I watch only MSNBC. They are partisan, but so am I. But their motto should be fair and balanced. After the first debate, they were so down on Obama's performance. They were not trying to spin it. They thought he did badly and said so. The Fox crew NEVER criticize their guy. Romney was the most lying candidate in history with ads posing as facts when they were refuted by the very people he lied about...ie the Chrysler/ Jeep ad.

Working for the campaign, I was pretty confident until I saw polls in the last week/ ten days. MSM and Fox...dead even or Romney ahead by one or two...even six by Rasmussen. I'd go to Nate every few hours and he never wavered. People here on HT poo- pooed him. I prayed this nerdy guy was right. Righties said he was a partisan. He was not. He started doing baseball statistics . At our celebratory party last night , Nate Silver was the name most heard in conversations everywhere. He kept us sane, and was 100% accurate while the polls the Righties love Rasmussen and Gallop were 25th and 26th in accuracy. That's why they're shellshocked...they were in their own little bubble fed by Rove. His five minutes of blustery fame on election night will be played forever. .


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Lilly, you are doing yourself a disservice by only listening to MSNBC. Give CNN a try. Listen to someone else's perspective. IMHO, they are all biased. The only way to get somewhat unbiased information is to look at or listen to as many sources as possible or you have time for.


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At the gym I do watch CNN and Fox because MSNBC isn't on their bank of TVs. I find myself incredulous at Fox and used to like CNN but think it's too far right now especially Erin Burnett. I like Anderson Cooper though. I even like Shepard Smith on Fox. I 'm only at the gym between 6-8 so don't see the rest of the casts on either network.


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When I watch TV, it's MSNBC because I like the personalities there. But, it's not where I get my real news. That is done mostly on the web. When something big is going on, I will watch MSNBC to get their perspective (mostly Rachel Maddow) because I think Rachel is incredibly intelligent. And I like Chris Matthews (although sometimes I wish he'd stop yelling) and Ed.


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RE: Self-created information disadvantage

  • Posted by ohiomom 3rdrockfromthesun (My Page) on
    Tue, Nov 13, 12 at 17:54

First of all the "talking head" shows, Fox, CNN, MSNBC are not "IMO" news shows ... like Jillinnj I get my news from the web, and I read left/right/middle sites.

If you want news, turn off the TV :)


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Righto-O, sistah om. I might get the headlines from the popular media, but other sources, specifically on the internet, fill out the details and allow me to draw my own conclusions. I do watch Maddow from time to time and enjoy her take on things even when I don't necessarily agree with her commentaries.


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  • Posted by ohiomom 3rdrockfromthesun (My Page) on
    Tue, Nov 13, 12 at 18:26

Well I might as well be hung for a sheep as a lamb ...

Many on the left have the same problem they accuse the right of, they spout talking points from "talking heads" you do realize, like Rushmouth, they make there money by you tuning in right?

That is why so many on the right think that Obama is a "liberal", trust me he is NOT!

The only reason he got my vote this time around is cause the republicans went "too far to the right" with all their anti this that and the other talk.

Okay now y'all can take aim and fire :)


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Okay now y'all can take aim and fire :)

No fire coming from me.

other sources, specifically on the internet, fill out the details and allow me to draw my own conclusions.

I don't like hearing a two- or three-minute segment on an important event; I want in-depth reporting, which usually means print media or 20-minute interviews on non-commercial radio.

I can spot when Scott Horton glides over certain facts in his Anti-War Radio broadcasts. My 'side' shouldn't be doing that.


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We look at several sources, including a channel out of New York that we like to watch afternoon news on... can't recall what the channel is called... one from the west coast, one local, CNN, several online news sources, blogs, magazines, and I even peek at Fox for a minute or two from time to time, just to see what they're saying. I think that's a fairly balanced collection of news, information, and opinion sources.

Some are on tv, some online... most seem to carry the same basic world headline news stories, but they tell it a bit differently, or offer differing opinions or analysis... there's a lot of information out there to digest with a critical, rational thought process. We have our favorites, but wouldn't feel right taking everything at face value from only one source... so we poke around to see who's saying what, and where that information is coming from, depending on the topic and whether or not we want to learn more. If it's important, we definitely want to learn more.

That's the thing about knowledge... you can never be too full... and you can never learn everything there is to know. But it's still good, I think, to have a fair, accurate, and balanced idea of what's happening in the world.


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No fire from this poster OM, I think you are right.

I can't imagine getting my information from only one source. In this day and age it doesn't make sense. You can access news from all over getting more diversified viewpoints. Every media outlet is biased and has their own agenda including MSNBC. I don't watch much TV news and when I do it is usually Jon Stewart ;). Here in the US it is all entertainment anyway. There is too much information out there to limit myself to one or even two sources.

Kate, thanks from me as well. I was trying to make the very same points on the other thread but they weren't understood there either.


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My home page is also MSNBC on the web. My regular news I watch is usually ABC. I like the commentators on MSNBC especially Rachel and Lawrence. You can take all the blonde talking heads on Fox...I know none of their names except Laura, who I can't stand, and roll their brains into one gigantic brain and it would have 1/20th the knowledge Rachel has. Of course she's biased, that's why I watch. It's not news, but their liberal take on the news which happens to coincide with mine. On election night Fox was shown it's true colors when that Megan woman asked Rove if this was just a Republican spin or the real news. A real gotcha moment.


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Routine here for news is to get online, check the weather, check the two small town local papers, check the Denver paper, then Washington Post, NYT, BBC, France24, WSJ online edition, Atlantic Wire. There are usually several links and leads in all that that lead me astray.

Then later, if time allows, its Christian Science Monitor, The Guardian, Le Monde, Vanity Fair, Rolling Stone, and, of course, The Onion.


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We don't get FOX or MSNBC ......I'm blessed that way.

We watch CBC every morning until about 9AM. Then its the BBC and CNN. Its really quite amusing to watch how differently the same story can be reported.

I find American news to be very US centric....almost impossible to get good world news on an American channel. The exception is Fareed Zahkhari (sp?) on CNN Sunday morning. His show is excellent and I highly recommend it to anyone who wants a broader perspective. Another I like is Reliable Sources also on CNN Sunday morning...more entertainment than news but often an interesting perspective on the media.

Other than that I use the internet to go deeper on certain subjects but I don't use it as a primary news source. Rarely do I access blogs but I must have my daily Onion fix


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You guys must be retired for that quantity of media absorption time. We have "Today" on while getting ready to go to work, local radio station during drive time (total time in car maybe an hour a day including errands). NBC after work, then Fox, then NBC or CNN later. Reading the news? I'd rather read a book only have time during coffee break at work, 20 minutes/day); there is only so much time!

I get most my news from HT, truthfully.


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I may have to add The Onion to my almost-daily frequented sites.

Am I the only one so shallow as to adore Suri's Burn Book? Maybe it's a big city thing -- I recognize the attitudes and fashions even though I often don't know who the people are.

So says Suri: Politics aside, this election was a win for tween fashion.

Sasha and Malia -- four more years.


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What lovely young ladies! What a lovely first family.


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Good Grief! Nancy, what is Suri? Autograph hunter? Paparazzi?


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what is Suri? Autograph hunter? Paparazzi?

Oh boy! Someone who knows less than I do!!

Suri is Suri Cruise, daughter of Katie somebody and Tom Cruise. Her supposedly precocious personality informs the blog, and she freely dispenses fashion and other advice to the pee-wee set (and older). Think of it as The Onion for L.A.'s self-absorbed Westsiders, West Hollywoodians, and Silver Lakers. It's a verifiable hoot if you're familiar with the types.


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Ahah! Unselfconscious self-parody by the terminally precocious. A definite denizen of W.LA


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Sadly I do recognize everyone on Suri's blog. That little girl has been wearing heels since she was three!!!

Malia and Sasha are darling girls. Malia is grandson's age and a foot taller.


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