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Viewers should seek balanced news report

DEAR EDITOR:

Ever wonder which of the different national television networks present the fairest news? Well, I have. The definition of fairest is “in accordance with the rules or standards; legitimate.”

Periodically, I watch all major networks for several days to see how I think they are doing with fairness. I watch one hour of each and compare the reporting. I look for subjective comments that try to lead the viewer to a liberal or conservative opinion; take things out of context; provide both sides of the story; or just plain “spin” the news.

So who was the fairest using my criteria? Believe it or not, I found Fox News to do the best job — and I did not vote for Donald Trump in 2016. Fox News definitely is “right leaning,” but they make a real effort to present the news fairly. The worst, by far, was MSNBC. I think they go out of their way to “spin” the news to the liberal point of view. They lean so far left that they have actually “fallen over” and should not be considered a place to find real news. CNN did better than MSNBC, but not nearly as well as Fox. They too, lean far left and don’t mind “spinning” the news to move you, the viewer, to the left also. The other networks — NBC, CBS, ABC and PBS — also lean left, but they are more careful not to be overtly biased in their presentation.

Here’s what scares me. There are probably many voters out there who will watch only MSNBC or CNN, and if that’s the case, they rarely hear both sides of any story so they never get the whole truth, and yet they are making decisions on who to put in office without all the facts. As my sister always tells me, people watch the news stations that already agree with their positions, be that liberal or conservative.

If you are one of those people, you really ought to also watch the other news channels so you have different opinions to kick around in your head. You need to do this. Unfortunately, today’s news organizations really make us work hard to find the truth, but the future of our country is at stake here. Only the truth will keep it free.

KEITH MCCOMBS

Mineral Ridge

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