Stuck In My Echo Chamber
I must acknowledge I typically stick to the same sources of news from the same outlet with the same rotating guests of talking heads and experts. I am aware of the lack of diversity in opinion I am seeking out on a daily basis and I am admittedly not so comfortable with dwelling in a left-leaning echo chamber.
I truly do value the opinions of others and want to stay open-minded in my quest to stay informed but I feel like seeking diversity in my news often leads me to political commentary that is too slanted from people blindly entrenched in a camp.
This polarization in news commentary seems to be getting delivered to the detriment of an open exchange and healthy debate of ideas. Everyone seems to be shouting past each other and as a consumer of media it becomes tough to even bear for a moment.
Podcasts Delivering Diversity Of Opinion
The world of podcasting seems to be cutting through the entrenched political partisan attacks and offering a platform and means for sanity to be restored in our nation's discourse.
Words Matter, founded and co-hosted by two Republicans, is a shining example to me of a source of opinion and commentary that is stemming from values and love of country over any sort of allegiance to the typical dogma espoused by a specific political party.
As an admitted left-leaning individual, the genuine belief in the ideas put forth on Words Matter and the thoughtfulness in their delivery allow me to hear and absorb some varying opinions on pressing matters and allow me to see there is common ground, often at times, from “the other side”.
The Argument By The New York Times
My newest favorite find from the world of podcasting that is keeping me informed and providing some much needed and welcomed varying sources of perspective is The Argument from the New York Times.
The Argument features three opinion columnists from the New York Times who take a constructive look at immediate hot button topics each episode from the world of politics and news.
David Leonhardt is a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist with an extensive history in covering and writing on the cross-section between politics and economic policy. In addition to having a column in the New York Times, Leonhardt authors and publishes a daily email newsletter Opinion Today.
Michelle Goldberg is an author and journalist with columns appearing in multiple high-profile outlets in addition to the New York Times such as Slate and the Daily Beast. Goldberg garnered a Pulitzer Prize as well as being part of a team that did acclaimed work reporting on workplace sexual harassment issues.
Ross Douthat is a Harvard educated author that in addition to covering politics lends his commentary to such pressing societal matters as moral values, religion, and higher education. In 2009 he became the youngest regular op-ed writer for the New York Times establishing himself as a conservative voice for the outlet.
This crew of Leonhardt, Goldberg, and Douthat is clearly informed and have no issue standing on their beliefs but manage to navigate each other in a frank and respectful manner.
It is the lack of polarization and foregoing of babbling on tired talking points that injects such fresh air and vibrancy into similar topics that cable television covers with oversized personas recycling canned commentary.
The length of their episodes, typically around the 30-minute mark, is the perfect amount of time for the co-hosts to address an issue comprehensively while allowing us the listener to quickly digest the matter at hand, get informed, and stay entertained.
They also welcome onto their show subject matter experts and people with interesting and divergent opinions for healthy and hearty debate with the core crew. One such topic was the seemingly steady progression towards legalization of cannabis with the guest taking a staunch and hardline stance against legalization.
I did not necessarily agree with the guest’s overarching case against legalization but he made me give pause and reflect on my own beliefs. There was also some common ground I could acknowledge on certain points he was underscoring.
It was beneficial to have a dissenting opinion be aired on an issue where the momentum from society seems to be gravitating down the path in favor of legalization.
Stay Informed And Entertained
Each episode wraps up with a random recommendation from one of the hosts which is a respite from the more urgent matters and an opportunity for a laugh or quirky peek into the lives of the co-hosts beyond the political commentary.
I am thoroughly enjoying The Argument in my weekly rotation of podcast shows and especially the welcomed addition of a diversity of opinions on current political news matters. Do check out The Argument and join me in my quest for purposely seeking varying opinions and perspectives.
What are your favorite news or political podcasts? Please let us know in the comments.