Originally Posted by Piobaire
In a recent conversation I had concerning last weekend's anti-Islam demonstration in Phoenix the topic of the shooters from a similar protest in Texas came up. I mentioned the two shooters in Texas attended that Phoenix mosque which is probably why it was targeted like that. Someone quite incensed at the Islamophobes said that wasn't true and that they had merely attended once while driving through Phoenix. I verified for them that the shooters lived in Phoenix, one had been a regular attendee for about a decade but recently lapsed, while the other was a sporadic attender for some years. Apparently by correcting this misinformation I was demonstrating my support for the Islamophobes and a horrible human being.
That is what's wrong with the assholes at either end of the spectrum.
Yup. Perfect example.
Originally Posted by lawyerdad
(Good book, by the way.)
Interesting. I'll to add it to my vacation queue.
There was also the time a bunch of states tried to quit America. I'm guessing we were pretty polarized back then, and I've even heard rumors some folks won't let the whole thing go 150 years later.
Originally Posted by brokencycle
I think you're right - the reason it is so obvious now is that we can select our political content. No longer is it the NYT, WSJ, ABC, and NBC. Now I can use twitter or FB or blogs or even things like Google News to filter what content I even see.
It may also be a chicken or egg problem, but the more extreme the view, it seems, it gets more attention, and people crave that attention.
I'm not sure how much media has created, or propagated, this monster. Media influence isn't new. One bit of trivia I like to fall back on in these conversations is the fact that newspapers in the 1800s were owned by the parties, and they were the only game in town. Even in that context, candidates quality was a better predictor of voting behavior than newspapers, and the influence of the papers was modest (I worked on this project in grad school). If there wasn't a major influence in that context, I wonder how much there would be where people at least have the option to look at opposing viewpoints (though I also wonder if exposure to variety has encouraged "digging in" regarding ideology).
I do think attention seeking has become more pervasive and extremism more lucrative. I mean, can you name any popular moderate pundits? I can't.