Tonight beginning at 6 PM at Policy Lounge (yes that's the kind of name they give to bar/restaurants around here), I will be participating in a boozy panel discussion, organized by the New America Foundation, entitled "Red Channel, Blue Channel: How Fox and MSNBC Are Transforming American Politics." From the New America write-up:
The success of Fox News—measured in terms of viewership, profits or influence—has been impressive, so it's not surprising that a more traditional news operation like NBC has sought to emulate its preaching-to-the-choir approach, at least on cable TV. This partisan TV trend, moreover, reflects the broader "sorting out" in our culture, in which consumers of news and information increasingly create virtual communities of like-minded souls, catered to by like-minded content providers.
For better or for worse, the notion of impartial sources of news and information that curate "the truth" for Americans of all political persuasions is becoming an anachronism. Is the trend towards more partisan TV fostering higher levels of civic engagement, as some have argued? Or is it contributing to a nastier, zero-sum form of political discourse?
Come ponder these questions over cocktails and conversation featuring New America Schwartz Fellow and New Republic Editor Frank Foer, New York Magazine Contributing Editor Gabriel Sherman (the author of a forthcoming book on Fox News which will be published by Random House in 2013) and Matt Welch, editor-in-chief of Reason magazine.
Should run until at least 8 PM; there's RSVP info at the link. Come on out to 1904 14th Street, NW and join the hecklers!