Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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May 11, 2008
By: Kevin Drum

OUR FAVORITE NEWS SOURCES....A couple of days ago I asked my readers what news outlet they'd choose if they could only have one. Assuming I counted the answers correctly and successfuly ignored all the double posts, here are the results:

  1. New York Times (34 votes)

  2. BBC (30 votes)

  3. NPR (25 votes)

  4. Economist (12 votes)

  5. Financial Times (9 votes)

  6. Washington Post (8 votes)

There was also a smattering of votes for the Guardian, "my local newspaper," the New Yorker, and various news aggregators.

Kevin Drum 4:49 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (32)

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I can't believe no one said the Daily Racing Form.

Posted by: Miss Otis on May 11, 2008 at 4:54 PM | PERMALINK

Stereotypes much? Jesus. Way to go Political Animals.

Posted by: Pat on May 11, 2008 at 4:58 PM | PERMALINK

People should stop reading/listening to Pentagon/loving, corporate/fawning media!

For a change try:
a) The Nation
b) The Independent
c) Democracy Now

Try these for 45 days, if you don't find yourself more alive, tuned in, deep down happy/unhappy, then go cold turkey. Keep away from the news. Try, instead,sex, drugs and rock and roll. Eventually you will find your niche!

Posted by: Dr Wu, I'm just an ordinary guy on May 11, 2008 at 5:02 PM | PERMALINK

I vote for the New York Review of Books-- the post 9/11 NYRB that always has a few articles on current politics and world events, not just pieces on obscure 19th century Austrian poets and Sephardic erotic literature in Moorish Spain-- although the latter article was pretty interesting.

Posted by: Josh E on May 11, 2008 at 5:28 PM | PERMALINK

Dr. Wu, add Counterpunch. And AlterNet.

Pat is right, then again, most people who read Kevin's blog are about as pale of true progressives as he is.

Posted by: SocraticGadfly on May 11, 2008 at 6:05 PM | PERMALINK

Hey, DKos got three votes!

Posted by: MNPundit on May 11, 2008 at 6:06 PM | PERMALINK

Dang, I missed the original post. May I cast a belated ballot?

New York Times.

I'm surprised about the popularity of the Economist, which I perceive to have been in a terrible decline for better than a decade. I'd take the Financial Times over the Economist any day.

If foreign language sources are allowed, I'd take De Volkskrant (Netherlands) over the NY Times. If only non-obscure foreign language (my completely arbitrary definition is more than 100 million speakers worldwide) papers are allowed, Le Monde.

Posted by: batavicus on May 11, 2008 at 6:32 PM | PERMALINK


The top of your list is the news organization primarily responsible for catapulting the propaganda that Iraq had WMD and implying a connection between saddam and 9/11.

The BBC reported that WTC Building 7 collapsed at least 25 minutes before if actually fell. Now they are preparing a propaganda piece for June on this because their lies are becoming too well known.

NPR because a wingnut news organization and now dillegently catapults the propaganda - they are not an objective source anymore.

Washington Post! LOL

I don't know enough about the other 2 - but if this is really the best of the best, we are in deep doo-doo.

Posted by: on May 11, 2008 at 6:34 PM | PERMALINK

"True progressives"? What does that mean? Not having read Pravda daily? Not enough paranoid propaganda in our diets? Not enough attention paid to the rantings of The Party?

Sorry, but I don't buy into that theory of Leftism. That there is One True Path. That's the stuff of failure. And I frankly find all those media that you and Dr Wu mentioned completely laughable. But you are free to read them at your will, in whatever bunker you choose to reside.

If I wanted Leftist dittoheads, I wouldn't read PA. That's what IndyMedia is for.

Posted by: Christopher on May 11, 2008 at 6:35 PM | PERMALINK

Christopher, I'm in no bunker.

Second, I never said there's "one true path"; you decided to perpetuate a stereotype.

As for "stuff of failure," as Anonymous pointed out, the No. 1 news source on Kevin's poll lied us into Iraq.

Of course, 5.5 years ago, Kevin himself wasn't saying anything about that anyway, nor doing a mea culpa years later.

I guess getting people killed, or being silent about it, is the stuff of success, eh?

Posted by: SocraticGadfly on May 11, 2008 at 6:58 PM | PERMALINK

Dr. Wu's list is excellent. So there must have been at least two for Democracy Now.

Posted by: shoebeacon on May 11, 2008 at 7:07 PM | PERMALINK

SG: If I don't count as a "true progressive," you've got yourself an awfully tiny movement.

Posted by: Kevin Drum on May 11, 2008 at 7:14 PM | PERMALINK

Wow Christopher, why do you find the Independent laughable? Oh wait, you've probably not actually read it. Carry on.

Posted by: vrk on May 11, 2008 at 8:01 PM | PERMALINK

Play nice, everyone. Kevin asked for our *only* news source. I took that to include sports, movie/play reviews, travel, etc. NYT got my vote because their copy covers all these diverse subjects. If the definition of "news" is strictly politics and govt policy, then maybe the Colbert Report might be my preferred choice.

Posted by: troglodyte on May 11, 2008 at 8:08 PM | PERMALINK

I missed the original post as well. Can I add my vote?


Posted by: scruncher on May 11, 2008 at 8:11 PM | PERMALINK

In the absence of any indication of what sort of news Kevin was talking about, up to and including sports, movie reviews, local news, etc., I stayed on the sidelines.

But if I'd made the same assumption that troglodyte made, I'd have gritted my teeth and chosen the WaPo.

Posted by: low-tech cyclist on May 11, 2008 at 8:13 PM | PERMALINK

Three of the top five are British.
And bubbling under is the Guardian, which I think is actually printed on arugula.

Two observations from this Brit.
First, the FT is good, but it's the only top-rank newspaper in the country, Guardian included. If you're interested why, you could do worse than start here: http://www.lrb.co.uk/v30/n05/lanc01_.html
Second, the Economist has become very patchy. In particular, its US coverage has been a disgrace, and the source of much internal bitching and bickering. The rise of John Micklethwait from Lexington to overall editor wasn't a good sign. As evidence that his rise has spread the problem, there was a cover story on the Annapolis meeting with a picture of George Bush and the words "Mr Palestine". (The Economist's Jerusalem correspondent blogged about it with amused contempt.)
Not-bad rules of thumb here:

Posted by: bert on May 11, 2008 at 8:17 PM | PERMALINK

The only indispensable news source: Democracy Now. If you can't get on your local independent radio or tv station you can watch, listen and read it at http://www.democracynow.org/
The only differences among the corporate propaganda organs favored by most in this survey are the number and size of ads
for mind numbing drinks and planet polluting vehicles.

Posted by: fyreflye on May 11, 2008 at 8:35 PM | PERMALINK

Like others here, I passed on commenting. However, after thinking further on it, I would also choose the NYT.

Anon & Gadfly, I am not entirely happy with the way Bush's lies about Iraq were front page news everywhere. What you might want to consider that the NYT was one of only a few who refuted every one of those lies with sourced reporting. The catch? Those stories were buried much deeper in the paper. But they were there, & accurately covered. That is a lot more than most media outlets can say. Especially WaPo & the tv news organizations. Perhaps McClatchy might come as close to total coverage, but I am not familiar enough with them to say for sure.

Posted by: bob in fla on May 11, 2008 at 8:52 PM | PERMALINK

Dr. Wu, socraticgadfly, et al.,

What a tremendous exercise in missing the point! The question was asked, if you only had one source what would it be, not what is the best source or the most consulted source, etc. Thus, there is no way to answer the question with an "and" or "add this to the list as well."

People could choose only one solitary source. Most people were answering with broad, mainstream media sources because those are the only sources that disseminate a wide variety of news stories on a daily or continuous basis; while progressive media is often worthwhile, I know of no sources that are as comprehensive as NYT or NPR.

Perhaps Kevin's question wasn't the most usefully worded, but criticize for that instead of the list not containing your favorite progressive source.

Posted by: Indecisive on May 11, 2008 at 9:05 PM | PERMALINK

The question was of the 'angels on the head of pin' variety. It served no purpose unless PA readers are a demographic strongly coveted by Madison Avenue and Kevin is being handsomely rewarded. AHA!

Posted by: Michael7843853 on May 11, 2008 at 9:47 PM | PERMALINK

If I could only have one news source, it'd be Salon.com solely for the fact that they have Glenn Greenwald.

Posted by: beedee on May 11, 2008 at 10:12 PM | PERMALINK

Give me The Daily Show. The had "Mess-o-potamia" going in ~2003 (maybe it was 2004), when most of the media was still loving it...

Posted by: Crusty Dem on May 11, 2008 at 10:19 PM | PERMALINK

Beedee... another excellent choice.

Michael7843853: Yes... look for Paul Glastris to be posting new ads on the rails.

Indecisive... if a news source is not anywhere near the best, even if most comprehensive, why choose it as the "favorite" source?

I didn't "participate" to avoid being buried after the NO. 200 spot on the original thread, buried by a bunch of NYT lovers.

Oh, my actual favorite sources:

MeganMcArdle.com and AmySullivan.com.

Posted by: SocraticGadfly on May 12, 2008 at 1:46 AM | PERMALINK

For keeping up with global news, I always check Al Jazeera first. I especially check Al Jazeera when a Middle East story hits the news so I can read the non-stovepiped side. Al Jazeera also has an excellent English-language television network that goes in-depth on many global issues that don't get coverage because no Americans died or are making money off them. And before the trolls go into a frenzy about Al Jazeera, I would suggest they 1) look into the genesis of the network and 2) watch/read it for a week or so. You'd be surprised (or maybe not) how the Right (talk about irony) loves to howl when they hear the name Al Jazeera without ever having sampled its coverage.

Posted by: Everyman on May 12, 2008 at 5:20 AM | PERMALINK

No High Times? What kind of DFHs read this blog? Not very committed ones, I guess.

Posted by: calling all toasters on May 12, 2008 at 8:28 AM | PERMALINK

If you learn to ignore the Canadian news, a good source for foreign news is The Globe and Mail (www.theglobeandmail.com)

Posted by: mitch on May 12, 2008 at 9:07 AM | PERMALINK

If you learn to ignore the Canadian news, a good source for foreign news is The Globe and Mail (www.theglobeandmail.com)

Posted by: mitch on May 12, 2008 at 9:07 AM | PERMALINK

I second everyman, Aljazeera might not be the best single source but it is worth at minimum a daily scan.

Posted by: Maniac on May 12, 2008 at 10:16 AM | PERMALINK

1. The Daily Show
2. The Colbert Report
3. The News Hour
4. Washington Post (Media Notes only.)
5. LinkTV
6. BBC
7. NYT
8. CNN (just to see how stupid the MSM is being today.)
9. The Globalist
10. The Economist.

Posted by: cazart on May 12, 2008 at 12:56 PM | PERMALINK

Since Kevin asked what news source his readers would choose if confined only to one; and since the vast majority of posters on this thread listed several sources; the only conclusion to be drawn is that most followers of Kevin's blog can't read, or if they can are unable to follow even simple instructions. Perhaps that explains the current state of American politics.

Posted by: fyreflye on May 12, 2008 at 8:41 PM | PERMALINK

this exercise displays clearly exactly why so much of the supposedly "informed" population is actually extremely poorly informed. all these sources are the same... same views, same narratives, same demographic.

Posted by: billy on May 13, 2008 at 12:36 AM | PERMALINK



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