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Yar-El
10-27-2008, 03:50 PM
Credible Sources for The Debates
What sources are considered credible? What sources are not considered credible? Why?

You-Tube?

Wikipedia?

MSNBC?

FOX News?

CNN?

Political Blogs on Massmedia Sites? Such as MSNBC, CNN, New York Times, Etc...?

New York Times?

Wall-Street Journal?

News Radio? What channels?

Add anything else. Why?

We have people who say MSNBC is a great source when it supports their candidate; however, they will do a 180 degree turn when it doesn't support their candidate. We may have a double standard here. What sources are credible? Why?

Litofsky
10-27-2008, 03:57 PM
I'm going to go out on a branch here and say that citing more sources improves the credibility of the original act. However, I'd say that citing MSNBC, Fox, and CNN (two of the three, at least) would make an source-based argument near-infallible.

Youtube and blogs are more individual opinions, whereas the aforementioned sources seem to be the favored ones.

Yar-El
10-27-2008, 03:58 PM
I'm going to go out on a branch here and say that citing more sources improves the credibility of the original act. However, I'd say that citing MSNBC, Fox, and CNN (two of the three, at least) would make an source-based argument near-infallible.

Youtube and blogs are more individual opinions, whereas the aforementioned sources seem to be the favored ones. What about You-Tube recordings that have actual interviews and statements from the candidates themselves? Are the candidate's actual words credible if caught in a You-Tube recording?

People can make the argument that MSNBC is too liberal or Fox it too conservative. Couldn't they? We could say all of today's massmedia is focused on someone's opinion, right?

Litofsky
10-27-2008, 04:01 PM
What about You-Tube recordings that have actual interviews and statements from the candidates themselves? Are the candidate's actual words credible?

Not when it's possible that the candidate's words/statements were edited. Transcripts of the actual words (and, in this case, corroborating evidence [a video would work nicely, as opposed to a video alone]) would be best.

Yar-El
10-27-2008, 04:04 PM
Not when it's possible that the candidate's words/statements were edited. Transcripts of the actual words (and, in this case, corroborating evidence [a video would work nicely, as opposed to a video alone]) would be best. How about cassette recordings? NBC, ABC, and Fox edit thier videos before broadcasting. What makes them any more credible? People can also edit words to transcripts.

Litofsky
10-27-2008, 04:07 PM
How about cassette recordings? NBC, ABC, and Fox edit thier videos before broadcasting. What makes them any more credible? People can edit words to transcripts.

Cassette recordings? As in the tapes that are played on television (the video feed, that is to say)? People can indeed do such (hence why watching the it and providing multiple sources [especially ones of differing political views]).

Yar-El
10-27-2008, 04:14 PM
Cassette recordings? As in the tapes that are played on television (the video feed, that is to say)? People can indeed do such (hence why watching the it and providing multiple sources [especially ones of differing political views]). Political views are biased, right? How a person feels about a subject can easily manipulate a headline, thus, news headlines are altered to project a slant or spin.

Litofsky
10-27-2008, 04:16 PM
Political views are biased, right? How a person feels about a subject can be easily manipulate a subject, thus, newspaper headlines are altered to project a slant or spin.

Which is why I've suggested, multiple times, getting sources from differing viewpoints (i.e., CNN and Fox), whenever possible. Getting more than one source allows us to extrapolate the meaning from the bias.

GarfieldJL
10-27-2008, 04:22 PM
You-Tube is only reliable when you have actual video and/or they provide sources and how to look up various pieces of information.

Wikipedia: Can be reliable, you do need to take it with a grain of salt.

MSNBC: Quite frankly they have absolutely no credibility at all.

FOX News: They have conservative leanings but are extremely credible in my view, they are also the only conservative news network.

CNN: Of the liberal news outlets, CNN is the most credible left wing news outlet of the bunch.


Political Blogs on Massmedia Sites? Such as MSNBC, CNN, New York Times, Etc...?


Now those would be a tossup, some of them are reliable some of them are total garbage, there are other bloggers out there that are more trustworthy.

Print Media:
New York Times: No reliability whatsoever when it comes to Republicans, in all honesty I'd believe the National Enquirer before I'd believe the New York Times.

Wall-Street Journal: They tend to be fairly decent reporters, sometimes they have a tendency to go out on a limb but they are no where near as off the wall as the New York Times.

Radio News is also a toss-up, Rush Limbaugh I'd generally consider entertainment though you do need to listen to what he has to say he often does provide things to back up what he says. The better radio commentator based on books I've read is actually Sean Hannity, he has a tendency to oversource.

Finally keep an eye on newsbusters.org and Little Green Footballs, they tend to be very good at serving as media watchdogs. LGF was the one that exposed Reuters in Reutergate, and CBS in Rathergate.

Yar-El
10-27-2008, 04:29 PM
We can have three seperate sources; however, they must come from three different perspectives. What if you have a You-Tube video followed up by articles?

mimartin
10-27-2008, 04:29 PM
I would say none of the above and all of the above.

Now when the article is well sourced and those sources are verifiable, then they could be credible. The question I ask about any source is would I be comfortable using it in a research paper. Which means would it pass muster with a college professor?

When the article is merely conjecture and opinion, then I may use it, but I would have other evidence from different sources to back it up.

A blog, while it may make for an interesting discussion and debate is not what I would consider a valid source. Not saying it cannot be used, just saying it would need to be sourced and those sources would have to be verifiable.

I really find it farfetched that the media is overlooking something by either candidate. The News Media is a business and they are in the business get ratings and to sell papers. If there was anything to these malicious reports they would be fighting with each other to be the first to report it. Someone would want to be the next Woodward and Bernstein. Instead all we get is sleaze journalism in the form of talk radio and commentary television shows masked as news programs. Journalist use to want to stand apart from the stories they covered, now they want to be the story.

What about You-Tube recordings that have actual interviews and statements from the candidates themselves? Are the candidate's actual words credible if caught in a You-Tube recording?No, you cannot trust these recordings by themselves. Without knowing the context in which the words are spoken, you have no real idea what the candidate is really saying. Example (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mqkBuvClSIM&feature=related)

Yar-El
10-27-2008, 04:42 PM
I hope others will continue this conversation. You guys have given me some clarity. I will keep the multiple sources from multiple perspectives thing in mind. Having articles from Republican, Democrat, and Independant sources may bulster a topic's credibility. Keeping away from blogs and biased You-Tube sources will be a plus.

Thank you kindly.

GarfieldJL
10-27-2008, 04:44 PM
I hope others will continue this conversation. You guys have given me some clarity. I will keep the multiple sources from multiple perspectives thing in mind. Having articles from Republican, Democrat, and Independant sources may bulster a topic's credibility. Keeping away from blogs and biased You-Tube sources will be a plus.

Thank you kindly.

The problem is that this year journalistic credibility has gone through the floor, at this point there are blogs out there that are more credible than the media outlets. Especially when it comes to John McCain and Senator Obama, Dan Rather has even said there is a double standard in the media.

If Dan Rather notices a double standard then we're not just talking about some minor bias, we're talking a major league crisis.

Lance Monance
10-27-2008, 05:30 PM
I'm not from the US, so I can't comment on any news outlet, however, I do wonder sometimes why this is such a big deal here. Do any of the big news outlets LIE to you, like saying Obama did p when he did not?

I read a lot of the debates and it seem to be like this: Someone claims B, citing media A. Then someone claims that A is biased, therefore B is not true. But that's not actually valid, you still have to determine if a claim holds water or not!

I'm not saying that bias can be neglected in general. But from my understanding, bias doesn't mean flat out lying about facts. It merely means phrasing the information differently, perhaps twisting some minor parts or leaving out some information in order to influence people, but that's it.

Yar-El
10-27-2008, 05:37 PM
I'm not from the US, so I can't comment on any news outlet, however, I do wonder sometimes why this is such a big deal here. Do any of the big news outlets LIE to you, like saying Obama did p when he did not?

I read a lot of the debates and it seem to be like this: Someone claims B, citing media A. Then someone claims that A is biased, therefore B is not true. But that's not actually valid, you still have to determine if a claim holds water or not!

I'm not saying that bias can be neglected in general. But from my understanding, bias doesn't mean flat out lying about facts. It merely means phrasing the information differently, perhaps twisting some minor parts or leaving out some information in order to influence people, but that's it. We once had a system where people would ask the hard questions. Now we have an all biased system where serious issues are being edited and spung. I don't think anything can be taken at face value anymore. Some news media groups edit out entire facts about canidates; thus, they play bias to one specific group of individuals. It happens on both sides of the spectrum. Some people say - Its not on NBC; thus, it can't be true. I find that to be a problem.

I don't trust the government. I also don't trust the media.

Jae Onasi
10-27-2008, 09:48 PM
If you're looking at history sourcing, a primary source is always preferable--let's take an example, like Martin Luther King, Jr. and his work on Civil Rights in the 60's.

King's speeches, his communications with Pres. Johnson (he sent quite a few telegrams and the early version of faxes), and his comments to the press would all be primary sources, and if you're trying to do research on him and Civil Rights, those are the kinds of things you want to look at. Newspaper articles reporting the events of the time, and old video footage and radio broadcasts from that time period fall into the primary source category.

Secondary sources are scholarly books and articles that take these primary sources and write history about it. There are some excellent historical articles and books on King, LBJ, and their work on Civil rights.

Tertiary sources use primary and secondary sources to further synthesize material. Textbooks and magazine articles based on the books written by historians are tertiary sources.

How does that work out for us?
Speech texts, video of speeches, and documents created by the candidates are all sources for us. McCain's and Obama's websites would be good sources, if biased of course. Voting records from government sources (like Congressional records (http://www.senate.gov/reference/common/faq/how_to_votes.htm)) and the state equivalents are going to be good sources.

I consider Youtube a bit suspect because anyone can edit video and make that video look like something it's not. It's always better to find the original source. If it's a Fox or CNN clip, use the Fox or CNN sites instead.

Yes, I know some of you hate Fox or CNN with a passion, but both actually produce decent news if you're aware of their bias. They cover different aspects of the same topic and particularly the campaigns, and looking at both is going to give you a chance to fill in the blanks left by either one side or the other.

Newspapers? Some are blatantly biased. New York Times is very liberal. Chicago Tribune is seen as conservative. I like to look at the Tribune and Chicago Sun-Times (which is more liberal but not to the degree of NYT) both to get a mix of viewpoints on events.

Blogs and websites? Some are terrific, some are patently awful. Blogs, unless by the candidates themselves, are at best secondary sources and more often than not nothing more than opinion, and sometimes raging vitriol. The best ones are going to be reputable news sources or respected commentators.

EnderWiggin
10-28-2008, 06:38 AM
at this point there are blogs out there that are more credible than the media outlets.

However, if you go out and start citing blogs as proof in a serious setting, then you'll get laughed at.

Yar-El, it might be best to stay away from the blogs as well :)

_EW_

GarfieldJL
10-28-2008, 07:36 AM
However, if you go out and start citing blogs as proof in a serious setting, then you'll get laughed at.

Yar-El, it might be best to stay away from the blogs as well :)

_EW_

It depends on the blogs, there are some blogs with extremely good reputations that have actually caught the mainstream networks at dishonest journalism.

Little Green Footballs for instance is the one that forced Dan Rather's resignation in 2004 after they proved the memo he used to try to go after President Bush was a forgery. They also caught Reuters using doctored pictures in 2006 (try googling Reutergate).

To contradict Jae Onasi a bit, the Congressional Records are good if you can see the full bill in its entirety as well as the amendments. If you can't see that, then it is hard to tell why someone voted against the bill.

Please remain on topic - I fail to see how these sources are relevant to the OP - j7

Astor
10-28-2008, 08:53 AM
Little Green Footballs for instance is the one that forced Dan Rather's resignation in 2004 after they proved the memo he used to try to go after President Bush was a forgery. They also caught Reuters using doctored pictures in 2006 (try googling Reutergate).

It may have broken some pretty big stories, but it's still a blog, and a pretty extremist one at that - some of the stories and comments there are shocking, and frankly offensive.

GarfieldJL
10-28-2008, 09:28 AM
It may have broken some pretty big stories, but it's still a blog, and a pretty extremist one at that - some of the stories and comments there are shocking, and frankly offensive.

That's why you have to take anything with a grain of salt, and on the flipside we've seen blatent sexism in the mainstream media, as well as other comments that newsbusters has caught the media doing.
http://newsbusters.org/blogs/tim-graham/2008/10/27/newsweeks-alter-insists-only-racism-could-prevent-president-obama

Jae Onasi
10-28-2008, 12:38 PM
THe thread is about creditable sources in general, and not about the campaigns themselves in particular. Keep the campaign discussions confined to those threads. Thanks.