Every so often we have an interesting discussion on our super-secret internal mailing list. And sometimes, just sometimes, we give you all a chance to hear what it is we were thinking.

Today’s discussion involved sources of news. Various Angry Men gave their opinions on what they felt were superior news sources. We decided to share those with you, our loyal readers.

Angry New Mexican
My US-based news sources of choice are two of America’s best newspapers: The New York Times and the Washington Post. When I’m looking for a slightly less American flare, I turn to The Times also known as The Times of London. When I really want to get out of the NATO orbit, I either turn to the Irish Times, which has a very European focus or the South China Morning Post, Hong Kong’s #1 English language daily. The SCMP, as you might imagine, excels in Chinese and Asian news.

Angry Midwesterner
Like ANM, I also use American newspapers for most of my news. Unlike ANM, I use papers which are fit for reading, not ones which, like the NYT and Washington Post, are fit only for wiping my ass. As such my main news source is that long time bastion of accuracy (Dewey Defeats Truman!), the Chicago Tribune, which I balance out with the other pillar of midwestern journalistic integrity, the Chicago Sun-Times. I’m also an avid reader of a the paper produced by the classiest city on the Big Muddy, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch which does a great job of covering international and national news overlooked by many other papers. I get my dose of mainstream news from the surprisingly unbiased Houston Chronicle. To top all of this off, I usually add a dash of foreign sources found using Our New Google Overlords with occasional deep readings of the Irish Times and the Mail and Guardian, South Africa’s leading paper.

Angry Overeducated Catholic
The NYT is a real mixed bag. The in-depth articles are frequently pretty good, but the whole paper carries a bias worthy of the editorial page. So actual news stories are best read somewhere else, but features and investigative reporting can be fine. The same goes for the Post, except that the bias is a lot less blatant and more moderate. CNN and Fox News are both decent for getting quick updates about stories nobody can ignore, you just can’t expect either to cover everything (selection bias) or cover anything all that well (editing standards for online new sources are still pretty bad).

The Wall Street Journal is surprisingly comprehensive and unbiased given its very clear pro-business editorial stance, and the Investor’s Business Daily has excellent in-depth articles (but a very clear stance as well). Considering its heritage, the Christian Science Monitor is actually very, very good, with most articles going into substantial depth.

Away from mainstream media outlets, I generally find that Instapundit remains the best overview of the “mind of the web” on geopolitical, mainstream technological, and domestic issues. Of course, its sources are only as good as their authors, but that’s what a brain is for: to do filtering of content and weigh biases. There ain’t no such thing as objective reporting, and you have to accept that and move on. I prefer primary sources where possible, and Instapundit is pretty good at either linking to them or linking to blogs who link to them.

Angry Political Optimist
I have the Wall Street Journal delivered every morning. Occasionally they mess up and deliver the Chicago Tribune. To satisfy my craving for news, I read it but it usually leaves me feeling dissatisfied and hungry. My neighbor, a bastion of liberalism and dedicated Democrat, who I actually get along with quite well, has the NYT delivered. When he goes on vacation, he asks me to pick them up and suggests I read them. I have a nice stack of NYTs — in plastic bags — rolled up — unread. I just can’t stomach reading the headlines, although the social columns are interesting and the features are unique. The WSJ is a bit heavy for most people and is decidedly based towards business interests but even it has guest commentary from the likes of Pelosi and Reid. The WSJ bias is pro-business and to the extent that McCain, Obama, or any Congress-critter is pro-taxation, pro-corporate tax increases, and anti-Bush tax cuts, they end up being slammed pretty hard. Gary Kasparov has a piece on anti-Putin about every 4 months. After reading the Journal for years you know the by-lines just by reading the first few sentences. What’s best about the Journal are the headlines which are usually a play on words or some sort of pun.

When I want an international flavor, I usually wait for the Economist. And for a really in-depth view at the military and defense industrial situation, you can’t beat Aviation Week and Space Technology, although neither are dailys. They do give you an in-depth analysis on things the dailys just skim and allow you to fill in quite a few gaps.

Otherwise I don’t really read anything else, as I have this wonderful clipping service —err.. Angry Man mail list, that provides a myriad of interesting and diverse topics.

Angry Biologist
Personally I prefer to get my news from Fox News, they have a long standing tradition for unbiased reporting, they’re the only fair and balanced news service, and their policy of just reporting the facts without any editorializing provides the sort of honesty I can really get behind. When it comes to written news, I tend to prefer Little Green Footballs and World Net Daily. In a sea of liberal bias (especially prevalent on the internet) it is nice to see some news sites like these take unbiased journalism seriously. It’s hard to get the facts straight with sites like CNN, the NYT and the WaPost. They’re just shoveling the same liberal drivel onto their pages day after day. It takes real courage to stand up, as World Net Daily often does, and question mainstream myths, like global warming, evolution, and other liberal fantasies. I mean, really, when it comes down to it, do you want to be getting your news from someone who thinks your father was a monkey? I know I don’t!

So, a short time ago, the Associated Press decided that bloggers who quote a little too freely from AP’s wire should be ponying up:

Last week, The A.P. took an unusually strict position against quotation of its work, sending a letter to the Drudge Retort asking it to remove seven items that contained quotations from A.P. articles ranging from 39 to 79 words.

They did retreat from this somewhat extreme position, however, and announced that they were looking for clear guidelines. Regardless, the AP was clear that it believed that:

As content creators, we firmly believe that everything we create, from video footage all the way down to a structured headline, is creative content that has value

(Hat tip to the New York Times, with which I frequently disagree but which has never tried to sue me for quoting their articles!)

Now (and you could probably see this one coming) it seems that the AP doth protest too much:

In a news item about the e-mail from Judge Kozinski’s wife that I posted on this site, an AP article lifted numerous passages.

I counted 154 words quoted from my post. That’s almost twice the number of words contained in the most extensive quotation in the Drudge Retort.

And if that weren’t bad enough, there’s this:

Ironically, in January 2007, the AP syndicated reports written by a group of Media Bloggers Association member bloggers covering the Scooter Libby trial. The AP did not compensate the bloggers, though it benefited from their work.

Now, to be fair, in that last case it looks like it was win-win.

But isn’t that really the point? With fair use, it’s always win-win, especially on the Internet, where links back to the original material are pretty much par for the course. So basically, the AP gets free advertising and traffic for their site, and bloggers get a bit of free news.

You’d think a news gathering organization would be all for generating more buzz…but, of course, there’s this:

The central point of this post – that the AP’s middleman rewrite service business is becoming obsolete – stands.

Good point, Bill, good point. That’s what I think is really going on here: just like the music industry, the news media realizes that the gravy train is coming to the last station. Inevitably, markets destroy all middlemen, inevitably those middlemen resist and lash out, and inevitably they lose—and the rest of us win. That’s how I see it, any way. But what about you?

So…a show of hands from those who think that the AP was actually justified in its little blizzard of cease-and-desist letters? Those opposed? Crazy conspiracy buffs with a bizarre explanation of how everyone involved is really on the same side?

UPDATE: Really, this happens so often I sometimes forget, but I shouldn’t: Hat tip to Instapundit for pointing me towards this story.