Matt Grocott

Well, if you are reading this column, then of course, one source of news you must use is the San Mateo Daily Journal. Thank goodness in most localities there is a paper like the Journal which focuses on local stories.

I remember when I visited my brother in the Midwest, my wife and I walked to the local coffee shop and there, next to the cash register, was a stack of the town’s paper. It was full of stories about local news and events. One story in particular I found interesting was about a shake up with the town council. My brother and I talked about it later.

Aside from local news, where do you turn? Over the years, I have found my focus has changed. Some changes were forced by the demise of sources. Others were because I lost trust in the source.

I remember back in the early 1980s, I was driving up to Tahoe with a friend. He flipped on the radio to the Rush Limbaugh program. It was the first time I’d ever heard Rush. I was hooked. At work on Monday, I tuned in again. The magic of Limbaugh was that he could be informative and entertaining at the same time. I remained a listener to his program until his last day on the radio.

Back in the ’80s, aside from talk radio, to listen to the news meant listening to one of the big three networks on either radio or TV, or listening to the programming of CNN if you had cable. With the expansion of cable, others came along too, stations like MSNBC and FOX. 

Personally, I never paid much attention to cable news because my work afforded me the luxury of listening to talk radio eight hours a day. Then on the weekend, I’d gather the week’s newspapers and a few magazines and read through them in one afternoon. One of the magazines was “TIME.” When I realized they were trying to tell me what to think rather than report the news, I canceled my subscription.

Things really changed with the growth of the internet, even more than with the introduction of cable TV. In its infancy, the internet wasn’t much of a news source but very quickly it became one. Likewise, sites like Facebook and YouTube weren’t much for news either. Initially, they were more for fun and entertainment. However, it wasn’t long before people were turning to them for news and commentary. In our home, we ditched cable TV altogether and switched to the internet for both news and entertainment.

2020 brought about another change, at least for many. It used to be Facebook and YouTube allowed people to post news and commentary as they saw fit. However, the presidential campaign and COVID seemed to change all that. Suddenly folks were being monitored by “fact-checkers” and “community standard police.” I noticed the same type of action on other sites as well, sites like Nextdoor, AOL, Google and Yahoo. If it involved Big Tech, freedom of speech was being squelched and only that which agreed with a certain narrative was allowed.

For awhile, I put up with the shenanigans of the sites where I had accounts but when Facebook stuck me in “Facebook Jail” for some violation for which they gave no clear explanation, I closed my account. I still use YouTube, Nextdoor and my email accounts, but gladly Facebook’s action caused me to venture out. I found many sites where I could gain plenty of news, commentary and even entertainment. Some are straight-up news sites while others are what one would call “social media” sites.

One site I like to visit is called SafeChat.” One of their programs is called “The Wei & Cathy Show.” The two hosts are from communist China and, having escaped the clutches of the CCP, offer a view on national and world affairs from that perspective. I find it particularly interesting and informative.

Another site I visit daily is called YouMaker. It is mostly news programs but also offers some entertainment. Of their many programs, I tend to watch “California Insider,” “Focus Talk,” “Clear Perspective” and “The Nation Speaks.” These days, rather than listen to the radio with commercials repeating incessantly, I ‘tune in’ to YouMaker. I can listen for hours with little interruption.

Finally, there’s a site I go to that has more programming than I could possibly take in, even if I spent the whole day there. It’s called “The Epoch Times.” Two of my favorite hosts on their site are Joshua Phillip and Roman Balmakov.

By the way, if you are reading the Daily Journal as ink on paper, it is worth noting that it also is an online news source at smdailyjournal.com

A former member of the San Carlos City Council and mayor, Matt Grocott has been involved in political policy on the Peninsula for 17 years. He can be reached by email at mattgrocott@comcast.net.

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(14) comments

JME

If you don't change your beliefs, your life will be like this forever. Is that good news? "

W. Somerset Maugham

Ray Fowler

“When it is not necessary to change, it is necessary not to change.” Lucius Cary, Viscount Falkland

JME

"Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything." —George Bernard Shaw

Terence Y

JME, are you quoting the George Bernard Shaw that was an avowed socialist, promoter of eugenics, and was opposed to vaccination and organized religion? Let me provide another apt quote from another noted personality: “The receptivity of the masses is very limited, their intelligence is small, but their power of forgetting is enormous. In consequence of these facts, all effective propaganda must be limited to a very few points and must harp on these in slogans until the last member of the public understands what you want him to understand by your slogan.”

Terence Y

Thank you for your letter, Mr. Grocott, and for detailing a few leads. Since there are so many fake news and lies purveyors in the lamestream media, the beauty of the internet is that it’s easy to follow news aggregators along with individual contributors, regardless of who they write for. There are too many to list, but for the state of CA (sometimes national news): Bruce Bialosky, John Coupal, Larry Elder, Jon Fleischman, Katy Grimes, Ray Haynes, Joel Pollak, Dennis Prager, Richard Rider, John Seiler, Dan Walters, to name just a few… Each has their own style and are always an informative, and sometimes humorous, read. Happy reading!

Tafhdyd

I have seen the Epoch Times. Sorry, I am not into right wing propaganda and mis-information.

If anyone is interested: https://mediabiasfactcheck.com/the-epoch-times/

Terence Y

Dear readers. This is hilarious. Taffy cites mediabiasfactcheck.com and even Taffy's beloved Wikipedia relates that this faux fact check site is “an amateur attempt at categorizing media bias… as an “armchair media analyst”” and “… a widely cited source for news stories and even studies about misinformation, despite the fact that its method is in no way scientific.” Is this why Taffy continues to spread fake news and lies - maybe Taffy doesn't realize his so-called "fact checker" is itself a part of the fake news and lies machine?

Tafhdyd

Terence,

Maybe MediaBias gets a few things wrong but they nailed this one. Epoch Times is right wing propaganda. I have read it and I am not basing it the fact checkers. Your list of media people you suggest is a good reference for right wing propagandists. It is no wonder you have so much bad info that is easily debunked. BTW, I found a reference to your missing 74,000 AZ ballots you were so excited about the other day. The problem wasn't mysterious ballots with no accounting, it was your Cyber Clowns "audit" people that have no idea what they are doing. They didn't understand how the election was conducted, not surprisingly, because they have never worked on one before. Does the word incompetent ring a bell?

Terence Y

My dear Taffy - let me get this straight. You think your MediaBias site only gets a few things wrong when your beloved Wikipedia dismisses the site as amateurs, armchair media analysts, and not based in science? If anything, MediaBias may only get a few things right. It’s no wonder people can’t take your so-called news seriously. BTW, you don’t bother to read any articles from my list and instead, in a knee-jerk reaction, you dismiss them because you think they’re right-wing? You appear to be just another sycophantic mouthpiece for the fake news media, relating what they allow you to relate. C’mon man! Educate yourself. Nurture your dissimilar heart.

Tafhdyd

Terence,

Even if they only got one thing right, it is the Epoch Times. Meanwhile, in other news. Donald's good buddy and chairman of his inaugural committee, Tom Barrack, was arrested on federal charges of illegal lobbying and lying to the FBI about it. Gee, where have we heard that before? I wonder how long it will be before Ivanka, Eric and D Jr. will be wearing orange. What is it now, about 50% of Donald's administration indicted? It is understandable, birds of a feather flock together. BTW, how are you doing on your bamboo fibers?

Terence Y

Taffy, I’m glad you agree the MediaBias site is full of amateurs, armchair media analysts and not based in science and may have only gotten one thing right, and potentially everything else wrong. The bigger question is that since you know MediaBias is bunk, why do you insist on destroying your credibility by using the site? C’mon man! Do the work and educate yourself.

wlydecker

The important thing is what reporters write about, not what they write. No mention of the AP setting the agenda of the subjects covered. Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain. Everything noted in this column is about commentary, not news.

HFAB

... and you don't think anyone was telling you what to think. How about some NPR or BBC or even The Christian Science Monitor? A little salt AND pepper to challenge the palate?

HFAB

Boy does this explain a lot. Listening all day to Rush Limbaugh and talk radio

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