Mamamia publisher, Mia Freedman has vowed to contact people who she personally disagrees with and who disagree with her, including good friends. In a podcast, she had a talk with Sky News’ Paul Murray, who she has talked to before on her show “No Filter” last year about – among other things – the passing of his son, Leo, back in 2012.
Watch the whole last year’s interview here:
In the podcast, she admitted how strong she felt about the U.S. Election and how it affected people in her life. She wanted to put that aside, and have a genuine discussion with Murray and his views about his support for Trump and why he thought that he had a good chance of winning. On the post, there’s also an audio on a discussion that she had with Daily Telegraph columnist and blogger, Miranda Devine.
When asked about his view on what Freedman wrote about existing in an opinion “bubble”, Murray replied:
… I thought it was really important what you wrote about the bubble. Umm, and, and I think it’s, it’s so important that, to… just as you have to have a balanced diet with food, you have to have some sort of “balanced diet”, ummm, with the way the world works. You need to, you, you need to, to have the majority of things that you agree with, the way you want the world to be, but sometimes you need to be reminded of either of the world as it is, or the world as someone else wants it to be. So, in my case, you know, it’s not that hard to, you know, just change your Twitter feed, five percent with people. It’s not that hard to go and find, you know, a radio podcast or a tele show, but more important than all of that, is, we, we have to – and I truly believe this – that… I, I even though I’m a conservative and quite aggressive about it at times, I want to live in a world where um, a man and a woman, or a woman and a man,can compete for Presidency and he can beat her and she can beat him and it means nothing more than, somebody won, somebody lost. Um, I’m the same about race relations, so my sort of, my media ghetto is someone that doesn’t spend a lot of time talking about identity politics. So, I can be a bit dismissive about identity politics because it feels a bit lazy. but after I heard your (Freedman’s) podcast, I started listening to some, you know, African American radio shows, and, um, watched, starting watching the NITV news every night, I just… it doesn’t change your view, but it just means, we’ve gotta get away from the mass delusion that, that it’s impossible for one of two candidates to win and you can’t ever be in that scenario.
(Note: how the above paragraph appears was how it was said on the podcast… I think. There maybe some errors).
They go on to talk about privilege, climate change, etc. Later on, they start talking again about exposing oneself to different media which one may not necessarily agree. And I agree with that. Personally, I’m a fan of Andrew Bolt, even though many of his views are a world apart from mine. Sometimes I read Miranda Devine – again, a world apart from mine. On Patheos, I try and read from different faith blogs, especially across the Christian spectrum (Catholic, Progressive Christian and Evangelical). However, I think sometimes, people do have limits to what they can be exposed to before it affects them emotionally, even if it’s just for a short amount of time. For example, if you came as a refugee in the 1990’s to Australia, you may find some particular commentary fires you up when a particular writer writes a view that sounds like (at least to you), to be demonising refugees. You may find a politician who say that we should ban all Muslim migrants somewhat triggering – by which I mean it triggers emotions like anger or takes you back to a time in your life when you felt lesser than. Same with the same – sex marriage debate. You could read different perspectives to see where others are coming from, but it may get to a point where it’s too upsetting, so you just have to stop either permanently or just for a short time. Unlike what Senator Leyonheljm has said, it’s not about being “weak” or need to “harden up”. It’s about knowing your personal limits to what you can be exposed to at any given time without it affecting you too negatively.
I’ll use the example that was talked about in the Mamamia “No Filter” podcast – the Trump Presidency. Freedman was criticised when she posted the national number of Lifeline at the end of an post about the U.S. Election. While interviewing Murray, Freedman defended herself saying that she’d heard and read about people who were worried about what the Trump presidency would mean for migrants and others. I’ve also read posts about Americans in particular about how Trump would treat Latinos, African Americans and the LGBTQ community. Anyway, Freedman was saying that she needed a break and didn’t seek any more news items, podcasts, etc on the event. I get that. Sometimes with my blogs, especially with one of them, I have to take a break from talking about particular topics in order to recuperate. During these periods, I also avoid all media about that particular topic – both positive and negative. That means, if certain topics are talked about on “The Bolt Report”, I’d turn it off. I’d skip all the blog posts about it. I’d go out of my way to avoid it on social media – at least avoid certain pages or links. Usually, I can put up with it, and sometimes such content can be great inspirations for blog posts (especially Bolt’s blog). Yet, there is only so much someone can take.
So, I agree with Paul Murray, in part. I think it’s helpful to expose yourself with a wide range of views and perspectives, however, I think it’s important to know when something is getting too much emotionally and know when to stop reading, listening or seeking out such material because your well – being should be a priority for everybody.
What do you think? Do you read a lot of different views in the media, on – line, etc?