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This is the first article I've seen of late that examines political polarization from an unbiased, objective position.  Both The Drudge Report and the Daily KOS are implicated.

American respondents were asked how often they went to online liberal news sites (such as Huffington Post, Daily Kos) or major news organizations that are frequently characterized as favoring liberal positions (New York Times, MSNBC). They were also asked about their visits to conservative online news sites (such as Drudge Report, TownHall) or major news organizations frequently characterized as favoring conservative positions (Wall Street Journal, FOX News.)
There's a war being waged but there can be no winner.
The results showed that the more people visited partisan sites associated with their own views, the more polarized they were. In other words, they liked their own candidates more, and liked the opposing candidates less. They were also less likely to want their child to marry someone from the opposing political party, and were more likely to associate members of the opposing party with negative traits (such as being mean) and less likely to associate them with positive terms (like honest).
When readers view information from media outlets at the polar opposite extreme, the situation doesn't improve.
But Garrett and his colleagues found a troubling interaction effect: Polarization is actually amplified when people view a lot of partisan content associated with their own political views and also a lot of content associated with the opposition.
Readers from Drudge are inflamed after visiting KOS, and KOS readers after visiting Drudge. Both sides dehumanize the other.

Is there a way out?  I think so.  We need open minded dialog.  Drop the level of emotional arousal and talk - face to face, knee to knee.

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Comment Preferences

  •  I don't know how someone... (6+ / 0-)

    can equate DKos with Drudge--one is full of linked news reports with origional headlines only and one is full of origional writing with linked references.  Two completely different animals.  But got away with the title.

    The more you learn, the less you know.

    by quiet in NC on Sun May 11, 2014 at 04:43:17 PM PDT

    •  Yep, and I don't "visit" Drudge so I ... (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      tardis10, AnnieR, Karl Rover, skohayes

      ...guess I don't get "inflamed," which sounds painful!

    •  Best book on this topic "The Righteous Mind" (0+ / 0-)

      The author, Jonathan Haidt, was on Moyers show and I downloaded the book on Kindle that night. It's an outstanding book on this topic and shows how toxic this partisanship is to our nation.

      After reading it one of the most interesting chapters was the empirical research on how well liberals, conservatives and independents understand the view of each of the other two. Every permutation scored well except one, liberals had little idea how conservatives actually thought. That certainly fits my experience here at DKOS. Too often people write voluminous diaries about what mainstream conservatives and politicians think without any research or factual basis whatsoever.

      "let's talk about that" uid 92953

      by VClib on Sun May 11, 2014 at 08:31:23 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Drudge is Full of Lies Which Can Be Proven Object- (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    terrybuck, tardis10, AnnieR, skohayes, quill

    ively, dKos is full of lies according to sources such as Drudge but not objective facts.

    You can see the equivalence from clear across the room.

    In the first wave of rightwing propaganda, facts were "opinions."

    I see the nolabels movement is now calling them "emotions."

    Offer us a list of liberal "emotions" you suggest we drop so that the other side will take an interest to join us in "dialogue."

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Sun May 11, 2014 at 04:47:15 PM PDT

    •  Gooserock - there is a lot of misinformation (0+ / 0-)

      written here at DKOS that just isn't factual. I don't think it's done with malicious intent, but it's wrong and people here believe it when they read it. I think the problem is people too lazy to research every "factual" statement they write in their diaries and comments.

      It's my single biggest hot button issue here, writing "facts" that aren't true.

      "let's talk about that" uid 92953

      by VClib on Sun May 11, 2014 at 08:07:21 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  This is true (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        and then when you call people out on their "facts", you get HR'ed, so it just isn't worth the trouble for some people (including myself).

        Your beliefs don't make you a better person. Your behavior does.

        by skohayes on Mon May 12, 2014 at 05:22:16 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I know and its very frustrating when you (0+ / 0-)

          correct someone and provide the actual facts and someone drops a donut on you. Makes you wonder how committed to factual information everyone here really is.

          "let's talk about that" uid 92953

          by VClib on Mon May 12, 2014 at 05:47:49 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Drudge who™? n/t (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ban nock, terrybuck, AnnieR

    Float like a manhole cover, sting like a sash weight! Clean Coal Is A Clinker!

    by JeffW on Sun May 11, 2014 at 04:54:42 PM PDT

  •  The person inclined to examine the issue (2+ / 0-)

    will be on one side or the other before examination. After that, it depends on their compartmentalization abilities.

    Our government is not yet small enough to drown in a bathtub. That doesn't mean it can't be waterboarded.

    by furrfu on Sun May 11, 2014 at 04:58:13 PM PDT

  •  People have always been politically polarized. (6+ / 0-)

    They will always be politically polarized.

    That being said, there is a difference between being politically polarized and and treating your opponents as enemies.

    If you take a look at the compromises that the Democratic Party has made with the GOP since, say, the Clinton administration, and you look at GOP obstructionism (especially as regards Clinton and Obama), it's clear where the problem lies. I don't remember a meeting of prominent Senate and House Democrats on the eve of Bush's inauguration getting together to plot the total obstruction of his agenda.

    Both sides are polarized. That's to be expected. Mental masturbation sessions on right wing and left wing blogs alike can fall into villifying the other side. However, one side has an organized agenda to obstruct and destroy the other, that would be the GOP; the other has its agenda but seems to be more than willing to seek compromise.

    There is a big difference between how people talk on blogs and how our politicians behave, not to mention the media, which--objectively--tends to display a conservative bias everywhere from NPR to Fox.


    by commonmass on Sun May 11, 2014 at 05:05:39 PM PDT

  •  Given our current laws I'd think it difficult to (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JeffW, quiet in NC, unfangus

    have a media that isn't strongly partisan. Anger sells and keeps the clicks coming.

    I've heard that most of the market for the major TV news networks is older folks, seniors. Not sure how younger generations will be informed. We have nothing like the CBC or the BBC here in the US and it's too bad.

    I can think of no media that is objective but I'd really like to hear of any.

    I do read Al Jazeera. That web site is the best I've found for pure news that covers America.

    I like the ability to post one's own articles and the way comments are set up here.

    “Conservation… is a positive exercise of skill and insight, not merely a negative exercise of abstinence and caution…” Aldo Leopold

    by ban nock on Sun May 11, 2014 at 05:12:46 PM PDT

  •  Man, you really hate polarization. It's... (7+ / 0-)

    ...too bad conservatives are so hell bent on undoing all the gains of the 20th Century or we could try to find some magical common ground with them-somewhere in false equivalency land, I suppose.

    •  As far as I'm concerned, (0+ / 0-)

      Compromising with today's Teabag Republicans makes as much sense as compromising with the Nazis - they just demand more and more in the next rounds, and you morally compromise yourself.

      Damned right I'm polarized against the right wing. They'd rather watch millions die from lack of health care, while looking down their noses at the carnage and telling them to "pull themselves up by their own bootstraps."

      Fuck that shit.

      When we compromise with these monsters, we compromise our own morals.

      Damned right I regard the right wing as the enemy. They literally want to destroy us.

      I don't consider them to be my fellow Americans, or even as human beings.

      The Republicans can get the fuck out of my country if they can't support it.

      I'm not for dialogue with them. I'm for escalation.

  •  Even the liberal New York Times! (4+ / 0-)

    Is it "balanced" in a two=party system of adversarial politics to oppose polarization.  Wouldn't that actually be the normal, healthy state of operation of such a system, using opposing forces to keep itself in check?  Isn't it the vast areas of shared ideological hegemony between the two parties in which all the major problems (e.g. banksterism, privatization of profit, socialization of loss, relentless foreign adventurism) have emerged?  

    Pay no attention to the upward redistribution of wealth!

    by ActivistGuy on Sun May 11, 2014 at 05:29:35 PM PDT

  •  not sure I'd call Huff Po or NYT liberal (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Alexandra Lynch

    “Conservation… is a positive exercise of skill and insight, not merely a negative exercise of abstinence and caution…” Aldo Leopold

    by ban nock on Sun May 11, 2014 at 05:31:58 PM PDT

  •  this is nutty (7+ / 0-)

    first off, Huff Po is not especially liberal, neither is MSNBC (Joe Scar?) or the NYT. They may have some liberal voices, carefully balanced by conservatives. On the other side, you won't find any balance, at all, outside of the token Alan Colmes who always loses the argument.

    And then there's the whole " if we could just talk knee to knee" thing. I won't be talking to wingnuts and heavily armed psychos who have declared war on anyone to the left of Attila the Hun anytime soon, thank you very much.

    This Rover crossed over.. Willie Nelson, written by Dorothy Fields

    by Karl Rover on Sun May 11, 2014 at 05:32:10 PM PDT

  •  It's the radical centrists who are the worst (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    terrybuck, quill

    Always insisting that both sides do it (whatever it is). Downfall of society with those claims.

    "Societies strain harder and harder to sustain the decadent opulence of the ruling class, even as it destroys the foundations of productivity and wealth." — Chris Hedges

    by Crider on Sun May 11, 2014 at 07:16:01 PM PDT

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