Today is the day to subscribe to a newspaper. Or two.

Today’s banishment of several major news organizations from the White House press conference is yet another step on the ladder of authoritarianism. If you don’t subscribe to a good newspaper, now is the time to do it. Put your money where your mouth is.

In the nightmarish days after 45’s election, one of the first things I did (once I pulled myself together) was to subscribe to the New York Times and the Washington Post. I also subscribed to the Seattle Times. I’d let my subscription to the Times lapse sometime after GW took office, and over the years since then I was content to glean what I could from various websites online. But after the election, I was constantly exhausting my quota of free articles on these websites, so I coughed up the money and became a legit digital subscriber. I can tell you: it’s worth every penny.

Yes, there IS fake news all around us; we have to wade through it daily to find out what’s really going on. There are a lot of people who have a lot invested in putting the right spin on a story, or suppressing it. We must all be vigilant consumers of news in this strange new world.

But there definitely are news organizations you can (for the most part) trust. We rely on these people to be our eyes and ears as we sent off our elected representatives to run the country for us. They are our agents; the news media monitors their job performance for us. So when Trump and his cronies attack them, they are attacking us. If you have ever doubted it, today’s action demonstrates that. A strong, free press is essential to our country. We have to pay for that.

And even apart from the greater good, these paid subscriptions also benefit me enormously. I have unlimited digital subscriptions to these newspapers, and it saves me so much time. I used to have to backtrack a news items through several websites or aggregators to their original source, or take the time to go to factchecker or snopes. Now I can go straight to the horse’s mouth.

Fake news is real. You can read a great article about the poor teenagers in Macedonia who accidentally helped Trump get elected here: http://www.wired.com/2017/02/veles-macedonia-fake-news/

And yes, the “mainstream media” is not always going to give me the whole picture. We have to take responsibility for filling in the gaps. And we have to be skeptical about new sources.

But right now, life-and-death decisions are being made every day, every hour – we need a way to keep on top of that without spending hours reading every day. That’s the challenge we are all facing. These subscriptions are helping me manage the overwhelming swamp of misinformation, disinformation, and baloney we must all wade through each day. I recommend you make one (or more) of these newspapers part of your information arsenal.

http://www.nytimes.com/subscriptions/Multiproduct/lp8XKUR.html

http://subscribe.washingtonpost.com/acqbeta1/#/offers/promo/digital07

http://ad.latimes.com/land-subscribe-evergreen/?int=nav2

http://subscribe.bostonglobe.com/B3605/?rc=WW20145D&eglobe_rc=WW20145D&p1=BGHeader_DigitalSubscription

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