(For those short on attention, you can check it out now at countersearch.net. If you want an explanation of what it is and why it exists, read on.)
Broadly speaking, there are only two major types of influential information sources in our modern world.
One, are the prestige progressives sources – NPR, the New York Times, academic journals, the Atlantic, the Economist, the entire university system. The defining characteristic of these sources is that they attract people who believe in a sense of social mission, and thus they select and frame their output to advance that misssion. Hence you will get 106 articles in the New York Times about the police shooting in Ferguson Missouri (which turned out not to even be an example of injustice). Meanwhile the predatory murder of professor Molly Macauley in Baltimore, killed while walking her dog, gets no mention in the New York Times. Why? It is because the writers believe police abuse and racism to be a big societal problem, and thus it is their duty to highlight specific examples. Whereas they also believe that highlighting instances of crime in a majority black city will only lead to further racism.
Whether or not their view in this instance is justified, the result is that the prestige progressive sources are heavily slanted. You only get the story that fits the narrative. Contradictory evidence will often be omitted. Isolated instances are turned into national news stories if writers think it reinforces the pre-existing world views. Meanwhile patterns of behavior that do not fit the zeitgeist – such as the doubling of the Baltimore murder rate since the riots – are ignored.
The other influential sources are the populist sources – Fox News, Infowars, Drudge Report, Glenn Beck, any unmoderated internet forum. These sources are sometimes called right-wing. And compared to NPR, they are. But as conservative insider John Ziegler notes, there is no symmetry with NPR. Executives at right-wing media outlets are not trying to advance a social cause, rather, they are just doing whatever it takes to sell.
As a non-populist, non-progressive, this leaves me somewhat alone. It is hard enough to piece together my own sources of quality information. It is even tougher to get other people to read beyond either populist or the progressive zeigeist. Nor is it clear where to send them – most of the information sources out there are simply terrible.
To help address this problem, I have created a new search engine called Counter Search. I started from a blank a Google custom search engine and then added to it a hand-curated list of about 80 sites and authors. Additionally, I added in hundreds of hand-picked links. You can read more about the sources I included on the about page. Now, if you want to get smart, alternative views on an issue like Brexit, immigration, or police shootings, you can do a quick search and read a variety of smart opinions.
The Counter Search site also includes reading lists of books and articles that can provide a one-stop introduction to counter-zeitgeist thought on a variety of subjects. If you want to understand intelligent points-of-view that go beyond the default views of academia, NPR, and the New York Times, then please check out the reading lists.
Here is my challenge to intellectually curious progressives: for six months integrate Counter Search into your reading habits. If you listen to John Oliver or read the Times on a hot-button issue, also do a search on Counter Search. If you do a deep dive on some issue like education or immigration, be sure also to check the corresponding section on the Counter Search links page. For every three books you hear about through your normal channels, try reading a book from the Counter Search book list. What if you take the challenge, and do not find yourself more informed? Well, I cannot offer you your money or time back, but feel free to email me and call me a blockhead and a scoundrel. And if you do find it valuable? Also freel free to email me so I can hear from happy consumers.
And if you are already immersed in the shadowy world of counter zeitgeist writings? Feel free to spread the word about Counter Search, so that more people can be exposed to high-quality heresy.
That’s enough of an introduction – go check out Counter Search now.