That “reality bubbles” contribute heavily to increasing political polarization is well-known. Customized media diets at scale and social media feeds that are tailored to individual proclivities progressively narrow our understanding of perspectives other than our own. Yet, the cures are difficult and uncertain. Often, though, we’re advised to consume media from the other side of the political divide.
A sentence from a recent piece in The Atlantic encapsulates why I think this is such a fraught idea:
But somehow, 80 percent of Republican voters said they believe that the virus is at least “somewhat under control” in the same week that cases reached record numbers.
Here’s the problem. If the media consumed by 80% of Republican voters is so careless with its delineation between facts and politically-motivated discourse, why would someone recommend it to a progressive trying to learn something about the opposite ideological camp? Of what use is it to me to consume media that carelessly or maliciously handles facts? In asking progressives to consume conservative media like Fox News and their ilk, you are setting up an equivalency with centrist and neutral media outlets - an equivalency that does not exist.