Thursday, March 27, 2008

Why listening to NPR makes you depressed

Everyday I'm on the road, I listen to the archaic car radio and always catch a news cycle from National Public Radio. Known to have a very liberal slant, I have always listened intently from the days of my own college liberalism, all the way through my move towards the center, and slightly past into conservatism/libertarianism. I listen to the local Christian radio station as well if the topic is good and I think both are equally amusing and at opposite ends of the political spectrum. I find I agree with some of the opinions of both, but definitely not all, and I'll find myself laughing out loud most of the time at both. However, I'm always left thinking about the vast difference in their target audience's perceptions of the future, which brings me to a topic I have been wanting to write about, but was beaten to the punch by two great posts from, one of my daily reads.

It was always my assumption that the Mainstream Media (MSM) lives by the motto, "bad news is good news", but my opinion was validated by a Pew poll about how the media stopped reporting on Iraq when things and news began improving. For me, this is the main reason I rely on the blogosphere for my news rather than the old brick and morter news media that assumes what you need to know and usually has an agenda.

My main hypothesis has been that liberals are way more pessimistic than conservatives, but I hadn't had a chance to get down in the gritty analysis of why this is. Just listening to the depressing state of our economy, country, culture, war, etc. over at NPR and jumping over to Christian radio to hear about how simple faith and prayer will solve all of the world's problems and bring about paradise is one example, but mainly based on the differences between atheists and true believers. Since I'm neither, I consider myself generally happy, but I'm tired of hearing bad news and overly unrealistic, blissful news at the same time. Lucky for me, the Economist had a great article about this topic that focused more on political perspectives and was featured as the Quote of the Day at HotAir.


Avigail said...

Hey, love your blog! I totally agree with most of it! I'd love to talk further. Can you email me?

Alexander said...


Thanks for your kind words! The pics and posts of Israel on your blog are awesome. I can't wait to go, we should be going this year, finally! I'll contact you direct, but thanks for commenting!

The New Centrist said...

Found about your blog from a comment you left at Jewlicious.

You write:

"My main hypothesis has been that liberals are way more pessimistic than conservatives, but I hadn't had a chance to get down in the gritty analysis of why this is."

Check out Nash's "The Conservative Intellectual Movement in America Since 1945" and he may convince you otherwise. There is a long tradition of pessimism in the conservative movement.

Alexander said...

Thanks for the comment. I'll check it out as soon as I have some time. Tight deadlines lately! I think news and politics in general are pessimistic, so I'm trying to stay away from both. Just this morning, on my way to the bank, I turned on NPR. Starving kids, climate crisis, America's economic depression, what people think of us, etc, etc.. Boring!