Well, at least they agree on this

In the interest of being fair and balanced in my reading, I thought I’d read Big Lies: The Right-Wing Propaganda Machine and How It Distorts the Truth. While the author, Joe Conason, spends a fair bit of time picking on Ann Coulter (Slander: Liberal Lies About the American Right, Treason: Liberal Treachery from the Cold War to the War on Terrorism) and Bernard Goldberg (Bias: A CBS Insider Exposes How the Media Distort the News, Arrogance: Rescuing America From the Media Elite), he makes some of the same points I culled from Slander:

Stereotypes and caricatures are the most important kind of message delivered by the conservative media. By “defining” and discrediting their opponents, they can substitute invective for argument and images for facts. The technique is unscrupulous and almost foolproof. It’s the big lie, repeated and repeated until the truth is obliterated and the lie is legitimated.

OK. So both sides feel slighted by each other. Get over it already! It’s taken only three books of this ilk, but I’ve grown tired of authors stating problems and offering little in the way of solutions. What are their ideas to bring about change? Is it nothing more than to incite and step back?

More takeaways from this read:

  • Tenuousness of arguments based on statistics that can easily be twisted to particular ends.
  • Is respect only given to those of a similar mind?
  • When is a dissenting viewpoint respected? (When can we agree to disagree?)

Update 12/1/2008: For more of my book reviews and to see what else is in my book library (i.e. just the business-related or software-related non-fiction therein), please visit my Books page.