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Seattle Times Political Caucus

The Seattle Times Political Caucus is an online community aimed at adding diverse voices to our coverage of politics. How we'll use the Caucus will evolve over time. But the idea is to create a conversation with people of various backgrounds and political beliefs. As the election season unfolds, we'll ask participants to weigh in on key political questions and then post their comments here.

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October 15, 2008 1:10 PM

What they're reading

Posted by Katherine Long

We asked the Seattle Times Political Caucus: With less than a month to go before the election, where are you getting your news, especially online? Who are your favorite bloggers, and why? Do you have favorite sources within the mainstream media -- as well as outside of it? Whose opinions do you trust? Who makes you think?

Read all of their answers here.

"If I ever want to get a conservative view I will watch Fox News, if I want a liberal view, I will watch MSNBC, if I want an international and pretty non-biased view I will look at BBC, but mostly I will watch CNN," wrote Samir Junejo of Shoreline. "They have good reporting and don't always have an obvious bias, though I still don't trust anyone enough to believe everything they say." One of Junejo's favorite places for a steady roundup of political news, big and small, is CNN's Political Ticker at

"When it comes to the horse race, I love FiveThirtyEight (," wrote Benjamin Johnstone-Anderson of Tacoma. "They have a complex system that interprets polling results and breaks through the 'house biases,' trends, demography, etc. It's not always correct and doesn't purport to be objective, but it's always interesting." Johnstone-Anderson also likes Politico, "indispensable for fair-minded, up-to-date news and analysis. It's the New Media at full potential."

"It's very, very hard to know who/what to trust," writes Jason DesLongchamp of SeaTac. "Being a conservative I expect conservative outlets to favor McCain and attack Obama, and vice versa. That's not very interesting to me. I really do want the truth, and it's fairly easy to sound convincing, so who am I supposed to trust?"

DesLongchamp tends to follow the Drudge Report, and also reads the New York Times and Seattle Times. He doesn't think much of bloggers, but he likes a slate of columnists including "Thomas Sowell, David Brooks, Tom Friedman, Leonard Pitts, Charles Krauthammer ... they usually have thought provoking things to say."

"We watch only movies sometimes to stop hearing all the negative ads," wrote Jim L. & Marie King of Snohomish. The Kings also read The Seattle Times and watch CNN, 700 Club and regular network news.

Marc Szeftel of Burien gets his partisan fix from The Huffington Post, but thinks that "the most comprehensive and objective source for news is, which has the widest range of columnists from left and right, as well as the most thorough polling data, updated regularly." He also reads The New York Times and periodically visits, "to see what the conservative base is saying."

"Every morning I start my day with my my.Yahoo page, where I check how badly my stocks are doing then go on to the news links to the top news and political stories from Reuters, AP, and the Seattle Times. I check out any stories that crave immediate attention," says Christopher Hodgkin of Friday Harbor of his daily morning routine. "Then I bring up the Drudge Report for links to news stories from a range of other media. I then bring up the New York Times and browse it briefly." Hodgkin has a few other local sites he visits for weather and Friday Harbor News, but beyond those, "If the news isn't on one of those sites, it doesn't exist for me."

"One of my mottos for the year is this: We earn intellectual capital by reading and listening," writes Paul Graves of Queen Anne. "We spend it by writing and talking. Aim for a surplus. It seems appropriate for this post."

Many Political Caucus participants are big fans of The Economist, and Graves is one of them; he calls it "humanity's best weekly." After that, "My surf-trail when I have time in the mornings goes like this: drudgereport, Wall Street Journal (front page then op/ed), NYTimes (front page then op/ed) Seattle Times (local then op/ed) PI (op/ed). I try to balance the partisan views I get, so I alternate one article apiece on Huffington Post-National Review Online. I get my local commentary from Crosscut, Sound Politics, and Horsesass."

"As a liberal, I especially appreciate an insightful column from a conservative perspective," wrote Carey Christensen of Stanwood. "Also, anything written with an historical perspective is interesting and valuable; I adore Doris Kearns Goodwin!"

"As the campaign increases in intensity, I often turn the TV off during the day," Christensen says. "I find it easier to read the opposition view than listen to it. I try to watch Countdown with Keith Olbermann and The Rachel Maddow Show on MSNBC and Anderson Cooper 360 on CNN every evening, and I also try to catch Bill O'Reilly on Fox. I never watch network news. I don't know whether I will be relieved or distraught when the election is over and the campaign news comes to a halt!"

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