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Arianna Huffington Says the Media Gives Equal Time to Lies

This week I attended a panel put on by the New Democratic Network (NDN), a progressive think tank. Speakers like Mayor Booker from Newark, NJ, Cecile Richards, the president of Planned Parenthood, Jonathan Atler, the senior editor of Newsweek, and the amazing Arianna Huffington, editor in chief of the Huffington Post, discussed their ideas for a better tomorrow.

Cecile Richards pointed out that Planned Parenthood does more to prevent abortion than any other group, and said that John McCain and his 0 percent voting record with Planned Parenthood would take American women backwards. Arianna Huffington discussed what she calls the Pontius Pilot media, which tries to find the truth by giving equal time to partisan arguments. She argued that the truth often rests unequivocally on one side. Here's how she answered a few questions from the audience.

How dangerous are the networks with their talking heads and fake drama?
Right now it's about the real conflict in the Democratic Party between Hillary and Obama supporters. It's not resolved. But the way it dominates is disproportionate. [The story] is easy. Like college football. It's not like people's lives are at stake.

How can we get people to change their outlook? To see the answer

Instead of trying to move people away from Fox or voters away from McCain, target people who have given up. Target the 83 million eligible voters who did not vote in 2004. The millions who don't vote just think politics can't change anything. How many universal healthcare plans have been presented? All those who have given up are rationale. We have to convince them.

How do we convince those who gave up?
For example, Huffington Post launched new lifestyle sections for users who do not agree with our politics, but will discover our politics.

Do you agree with Arianna? Should the media stop giving equal time for partisan talking points and washing their hands of the responsibility to find the truth? Do you think some of those 83 million nonvoters will cast a ballot this November?

Join The Conversation
ceej ceej 8 years
Actually, I'd much prefer the world to be one where not so many people live in poverty and suffer the effects of war than one where my own country prospers.
rabidmoon rabidmoon 8 years
Hmm... Cabaker, I should add that I can vote, and hold full citizenship. I work for an American company and am paid in American currency, and I file American tax returns. Saying that, what drives my "humility" (which is less that, admittedly, and more a pervasive sense of stunned disbelief), is that I have had to finally admit that I not belong in the country of my birth. With all due respect, we have to share this planet. EVERY person in EVERY country that America has corporate, military, mineral or other interests in has a vested interest in who gets elected. We have to share this planet, and for that reason ALL opinions should be welcomed. As for not opinionating on other world leaders, hell, we do that all the time. Being in Europe makes that pretty hard to avoid. America cannot pretend its alone in this world - particularly at the rate things are going. You have a lot to worry China, in India, and the growing economies that will compete with your own, and surpass it, without wiser guardianship than the USA has had at present. Last 2 cents, rabid
stephley stephley 8 years
I have no problem with people from other countries expressing their opinions about the U.S. For good or ill, we impact on the rest of the world in ways no other country has and that's an honor and a responsibility Americans should take very seriously. I watched a reporter from Germany and a French writer talk about the election on CNN and was fascinated by how clearly they saw what is going on here - and how they characterized European hopes and expectations concerning the outcome of our election. We'll send a very strong message to the rest of the world with our votes. I'd rather we speak as friends determined to create a better world for our children than as bullies determined to force our will on everyone else.
hausfrau hausfrau 8 years
Rabid I respect that you show some humility when it comes to your opinion of US politics having not lived here for so long. I find it immensely arrogant when people who don't live in the US and are not US citizens think they are qualified to speak about how we should be voting. Everyone has their reasons for their votes. Personally I would never criticize another country for choosing who they have, at the end of the day everyone wants their country to be prosperous. The world today is suffering from a terrible debt in the humility department.
ceej ceej 8 years
I am not American, I live in Australia and can tell you that we await Novembers election with guarded optimism. I have visited your country many times and studied there 20 years ago. It saddens me to think that the US has become the brunt of jokes and the overriding opinion that it is a country of parochial xenophobes ( btw the same is said of a lot of Australians) because I know this is not the case. I hope that the disenfranchised will come out and vote in this election and, dare I say it, I hope they vote democrat. I firmly believe that your credibility in the rest of the world will increase tenfold if Obama takes office. I know it's close and only last week Germaine Greer said on tv here that McCain will win and that means at least we know what we're dealing with, yes, more of the same. I hope this is not true, for your sake and also for the worlds sake.
rabidmoon rabidmoon 8 years
I am sorry, Steph, because in your comment I think you feel judged, and that was not my intention. We have agreed on just about everything, as you know. Let me try to see if I can improve on my comment somehow. Mostly work kept me away, but I guess also I have to just acknowledge that everything I see or feel about the USA is now - after nearly a decade away - from the viewpoint of an outsider. When I left America, Clinton was still president. It was - literally - another world. In a way, because of this, I feel wrong about opinionating and actually think it would have been best for me to say nothing. (Which is one reason I haven't, until today, when a comment made to Jillness on another thread prompted me to say I was sick of the sniping. It was actually not directed at you at all, but you could not have known it.) I feel I have no right to comment, though if I do expat vote, it would be for Obama, I also know what kind of deep-seated change will have to take effect for things to really begin to roll the other way, and I question if the powers that be will allow this young candidate, if elected, the opportunity to make those changes. I feel I have no right to comment, because I will not be there to be part of it. The "changes" I can make in my life remain today as they always have been. That I will choose to remain open-minded about people whose culture, sexuality or belief system is not the same as mine (until and unless any of that infringes on my own, which is a sticking point for me), that I will choose to recycle, or use only public transport, that I will choose to buy food wisely and reuse when I can, that I will choose, while I am here, to live on the earth as peacefully and sensibly as possible is not a matter of where I live, or even whom I vote for. That will continue, no matter who the president of the USA is, or where I am. The problem is, whom the president of the USA is now affects the rest of the world, as we have so brutally witnessed the past eight years. Nowhere is that more evident than when you do not actually live in the USA. I know what it is like to enter the country I was born in on a British passport. Needless to say, the difference is illuminating. I know what it feels like to hear people of multiple other nations call Americans "insane" for voting in Bush and his compadres, not once - but twice! Being frustrated and angry at how the country has behaved in these past years. I feel the pain and frustration of knowing that I don't actually disagree with them..and yet, I was born there. I find myself saying "but there are many wonderful things about America too, and those you rarely hear about". And yet....when I look at the polls and see that McCain is so terribly close to Obama after the last 8 years, it does more than frustrate me now, or turn me into an unintentional apologist. It infuriates me, it scares me, it saddens me - because as a resident of another country, I look back on America with the perspective of someone outside of it, which is another world - another world entirely. A world the USA shares with us, which can be of benefit, or detriment to us all. Nobody should feel personally sorry or that they have disappointed me, for that I am embarrassed to have caused you to feel that a statement like that was necessary. I have failed to express myself properly, and for that, it is me that should apologise to you.
stephley stephley 8 years
Oh, I was wondering where you were. Sorry to disappoint.
rabidmoon rabidmoon 8 years
I gave up on TV years ago, people. Its rubbish, its shite, if you want to THINK, that is not the place to do it. Its a box meant to sell you stuff first, and TELL you stuff second - of this, I am convinced. Long live the internet. For it is only there that you can, by your own accord, and at the depth and for the length of time that you desire, willingly seek out as much information from as many sources (good, bad or otherwise) as humanly possible, and make up your minds. It is only there that the news that is NOT posted - on either end of the spectrum, can be reviewed and mulled over ad infinitum. Saying that, I find myself less interested in posting on Sugar, sadly, because the tone of the political thread comments puts me off, and lipstick colours and fish salads are not enough to sustain my interest in a site. I am disappointed at the sniping I see (and really clever nasty sniping ..the kind that underhandedly slaps someone else, then denies ever doing it) depresses me to see people behave this way. Its as if this country has learned NOTHING from the past 8 years, that people still snipe at each other over silly things that have nothing to do with the real candidate or the real issues that, even as I type this, affect each one of you back in my country of birth. I don't give a rat's arse if Obama is seen as celebrity, because that has nothing to do with whether or not I think the person has substance. That people cheer for him as if he is a movie star is no less idiotic than Bush's successful sell on the idea he was just a "simple ol' country cowboy Texan down home brutha just like you". Is it any more insane than wanting to put a preacher in the White House? I ask you to consider what is the greater insanity in a country who sought to (wisely so, given the hard lessons Europe has ALREADY learned) separate church and state at its inception. That either camp accuse the other of being elitist is only marginally more idiotic and frustrating than people believing it, experience is never an equal subsitute for wisdom, and people will never get any farther in this world if they keep falling for rhetoric instead of asking hard questions about what the country, the world, and the planet really need to survive. This is an off-topic, long-assed rant from an expat in Europe, and sadly, one that was reminded why she left.
stephley stephley 8 years
I really hate to say it, but even the Daily Show has been disappointing - John Oliver's the only one carrying his weight.
kastarte2 kastarte2 8 years
I've been watching CSpan too. I'm sorry but i don't tune into the convention to watch Wolf Blitzer and Anderson Cooper tell me what they think while John Kerry is talking in the background. They didn't show John Kerry's speech! i had to change the channel to watch it. I missed the beginning. I for some reason don't get MSNBC so I can't account for there coverage. Every time I switched to FOX, there were talking heads and no speeches. I will be using CSpan to watch the RNC.
stephley stephley 8 years
The coverage really has been awful - no network has any reason to brag. I've been watching on cSpan because I got mad at the missing speeches the first day. Someone should warn Team Red that it isn't liberal bias, the pundits just all suck.
janneth janneth 8 years
You mean we are doing this again next week?? haha
Vespa Vespa 8 years
I have been watching some of it, and when I do I stream MSNBC online. No talking, no commercials, no pundits. I will be doing the same next week for the RNC.
Jillness Jillness 8 years
With the convention, I have been AMAZED at how poor the coverage is. They don't even show half of the speakers, CNN, MSNBC, Fox all have pundits talk over it with mindless drivel. It is absurd. I want to hear what the 7 Military leaders on stage are saying. Fox News only showed 2 minutes of the keynote address on Tuesday! 2 MINUTES! That just blows my mind. I guess it is easier for them to talk trash when no one can hear the reality of what these people are saying. I am so sick of opinion. I just want fact. Who, What, When, Why, Where, How.
janneth janneth 8 years
Obama eats arugula so he is elitist. Talking points.
janneth janneth 8 years
Issues. The deficit. Mortgage problems. Health care.
janneth janneth 8 years
People I know are sick of the talking heads. They focus on nothingness. Obama does not know how to bowl. Which candidate would you like to go out for a beer with. Pantsuits.
Great-Sommelier Great-Sommelier 8 years
We have very different points that qualify someone as "amazing".
Great-Sommelier Great-Sommelier 8 years
Do you agree with Arianna? Hell no Should the media stop giving equal time for partisan talking points and washing their hands of the responsibility to find the truth? Which station or outlet gives equal time right now anyway? all have their own agenda. Do you think some of those 83 million nonvoters will cast a ballot this November? Some will, some won't. Sometimes it doesn't matter how large a fire you light under someone's as$ they still won't respond.
Great-Sommelier Great-Sommelier 8 years
First of all, "and the amazing Arianna Huffington, editor in chief of the Huffington Post," :oy: :sick: :oy: :sick: :oy:
stephley stephley 8 years
I don't quite get the second question - does it mean if the media stops giving equal time for partisan talking points IS IT then washing their hands of the responsibility to find the truth?
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