WARNING: Brutal honesty included in this article. Prepare yourself.
Here's the rub. Everything, and every person in this life, is biased. Its human nature. We judge. We form opinions. By claiming that certain information is somehow too biased for your attention, you are basically saying that you are incapable of separating fact from opinion.
Newsflash: you sound stupid.
I won't apologize for being blunt, because some people need to hear this. We are now faced with a generation of politically illiterate individuals. They've been fed this idea that they can't possibly read this or watch that because, *GASP*, it's ... biased. Cue scary piano riff.
1. Information is information, regardless of how it is framed.
If you find yourself questioning certain information, you can fact-check and confirm sources. We live in this reality where all of the information we could ever need is at our fingertips. This accessibility, unfortunately, has made us less intelligent. People are much less likely to seek out information because they can just google it when they need to.
I actively try to expose myself to every avenue of information possible, and everyone else should too. Believe me, I understand sometimes it is frustrating to see things framed in a way that you don't agree with.
But the minute you decide to stop exposing yourself to it, you have become ignorant.
Everyone should be reading a variety of newspapers as well as watching a variety of news channels. What's most interesting about the people claiming what I like to call 'the bias defense', is that they actually haven't ever watched or read from the source they're discrediting.
2. Exposition to different views strengthens your arguments.
How exactly are you to rebut something that you don't understand the reasoning behind?
We have a habit of believing that people with other opinions are somehow less intelligent than us. We forget the idea of perspective. Perspective, coupled with values, and personal experience shape our opinions. Until you are willing to walk a mile in your counterpart's shoes, you will never be able to convince them of your own opinion.
A common failure among many left-leaning debaters is their instinct to assume any opinion on the right side of the isle is based in hatred, bigotry, racism, sexism, and more. At that point, they've lost any chance of persuasion. Insulting your opponent is never a good start.
The purpose of debate, besides to promote dialogue, is to persuade. Persuasion cannot occur through misunderstanding and mockery of one's opinions.
Persuasion can only take place once you fully understand the opposing argument and the reasoning associated. What better way is there to do this than exposing yourself to what the opposition is exposed to?
3. Refusing to indulge information from the other side is polarizing.
We are currently in a polarization period. It is up to us to do our best to bring America back to the middle, and further from the extremes. By refusing to watch, or read the news that you don't agree with, you are contributing to the further polarization of our country. You don't want to see it, so you pretend its not there. But it is there. And maybe you could've gained something from it. Now you never will.
The more we understand why our neighbors feel the way they do, the less we assume everyone who disagrees is evil. This is when productive discussion takes place, and when polarization retreats.
It is an important skill to be able to distinguish what the facts are regardless of how they are framed. It is also extremely important to understand how others perceive the same information. Do not use "the bias defense" to preserve the bliss of a life absent of political intelligence.