Wednesday, February 9, 2011

My two cents: Think for Yourself

I'm gonna start this post off with two quotes, which happen to come from one of my professors:

"If you watch Fox News... you shouldn't..."

and he soon followed that up with:

"I wish I could protect you from people like O'Reilly and Hannity."

If you haven't figured out by now I (like the majority of UNH students and professors) tend to be more on the liberal side of politics, so needless to say I laughed out loud at both of those quotes. That sad thing  is that my professor actually has a valid point with these statements. Sure, those quotes may be bias, much like Fox News, but at least he is being honest, much unlike Fox News.

I have nothing against people with conservative viewpoints, as long as they know what they are talking about and are being truly honest when they talk.  Honesty is key. That is what disturbs me so much about Fox News. Fox calls themselves a "fair and balanced" network. Really, Fox? Really?

Many people, including college students, tend to believe a lot what we see, hear and learn on TV or in news in general or even in the classroom. This is why "news" organizations like Fox can be so destructive. I am not saying that conservative politics is terrible, wrong or immoral, but what I am saying is to learn to think for yourself. I would never enter a voting booth without carefully examining all the candidates' policies and beliefs. I would never vote for or against someone strictly on their party. In a way I guess I'm actually pretty moderate when it comes to politics.  Think about what the news anchors, journalists, teachers and politicians of all sides and parties are saying. There is a lot most people don't know about America and politics, and a lot of what we learned in elementary through high school isn't exactly the entire truth. For example:

How many of you learned that in 1492 Columbus sailed into the Caribbean, thinking it was Asia, in the search of spices and that he made peace and traded with the local natives? That is what I learned, and I'm guessing it is what the large majority of you learned too.

However, did you know that when Columbus landed in the Caribbean, in search of gold, they raped, murdered and pillaged the local natives. They took whatever they wanted by force and enslaved and fought the natives.  On his second trip he returned with 17 ships in search of gold and slaves. They took women for sex and children for slave labor. In 1495 they caught 1,500 Indians and took the strongest 500 back to Spain for slaves. 200 died on the ship. In two years over 100,000 Indians native to Haiti had been killed from expeditions led or started by Columbus. And to think we celebrate Columbus Day every year...

But conservative school boards vote to keep that part of the story out of the state funded textbooks and classroom criteria.

Choose what you want to believe, but give it some thought. Think about it on personal levels, through other peoples eyes and for what is best for the entire campus or state or nation. Not one answer is always right, but the real right answer is to consider all the options and carefully choose a solution.

I used info from 3 classes I'm currently in to write this post. Yay for application of knowledge!

Stay classy, not UMassy.

PS: check back soon for a couple announcements in a new post...

12 comments:

  1. Fox sucks. no way are they fair and balanced

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  2. application of knowledge...wtf new hampshirite.
    go have a few beers and blog about something else

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  3. interesting stuff. i like when you mix something like this in once and while

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  4. This applies to all news sources. You only watch or read one source of news, you're only going to get their take on things. Mixing things up and reading from all news sources is really the only way to truly get (as close to) the 'real' story.

    You read CNN, MSNBC, Fox, etc, they all have different headlines and different ways of portraying the same event.

    As a semi-conservative student here, it is sometimes frustrating to always get the "you are a dumb republican" bash over and over again. When in fact I'm probably more socially liberal than many dems. And can often back up my views in a more concise and informative way.

    (I'm not saying you were bashing republicans, because obviously you weren't. It's just the reaction I get from way too many liberal students here.)

    This was a good post though. One thing I do enjoy about this history department (I'm also a history major) is that they aren't trying to sugar coat history, especially US history.

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  5. You should watch the documentary "Out-Foxed" I think it's on Youtube broken up into a few parts. I had already hated most people on Fox.. but it completely changed my view of the entire network.

    Also.. What teacher said that? Just curious

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  6. Thanks for the comment. I completely understand where you're coming from. It's all about understanding the source of the info before making judgements.

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  7. Sam-

    It was actually a communications prof Jackson...

    I've had other history professors comment on how they don't like Fox and that stuff too.

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  8. you're so full of shit new hampshirite - you stupid fucking liberal cocksucka,

    we all know there's no way you are going to 1 class let alone THREE classes, all you do is drink every night with your roommates - thus all this post was fabricated from your own (probably high-off-your-ass) mind!!

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  9. I agree with the basic points that you're making here, you have to think for yourself and do your own research on the issues. There's a ton of stuff I didn't learn about history until after I got out of college--much of it was very politically incorrect.

    So you know where I'm coming from: I'm libertarian on most issues, so I do agree with Hannity/Beck some of the time--but I'm real liberal on drug legalization and immigration and so on. I do tend to think that FoxNews gets picked on too much though. There's a ton of other News stations and newspapers that don't get a fraction of the scrutiny on their biases. Not to pat myself on the back here, but I try to read op-eds that I know I disagree with regularly just so I know what the other side of the argument is.

    I also like Wikipedia because its biases are all over the map. You can learn a lot from there.

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  10. The second quote from your professor disturbs me. His job is not to protect you from bad sources of information, his job it to show you how to discern a bad information source from a good one. I hope he gave you examples of why you should not watch Fox News.

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  11. I agree with the general point of this article. Pretty good stuff.

    I get bothered by how many UNHers bash on Fox for being biased, but never say anything about MSNBC...

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