The Outrage Industry

Author: Jeffrey M. Berry
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0199928975
Format: PDF, ePub
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A stimulating expose on how the roots of today's partisan rage lie in the "outrage industry" - deregulated, commodified media markets that will do anything for money and attention.

The Outrage Industry

Author: John Richard Skuse Professor of Political Science Jeffrey M Berry
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0190498463
Format: PDF
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In early 2012, conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh claimed that Sandra Fluke, a Georgetown University law student who advocated for insurance coverage of contraceptives, "wants to be paid to have sex." Over the next few days, Limbaugh attacked Fluke personally, often in crude terms, while a powerful backlash grew, led by organizations such as the National Organization for Women. But perhaps what was most notable about the incident was that it wasn't unusual. From Limbaugh's venomous attacks on Fluke to liberal radio host Mike Malloy's suggestion that Bill O'Reilly "drink a vat of poison... and choke to death," over-the-top discourse in today's political opinion media is pervasive. Anyone who observes the skyrocketing number of incendiary political opinion shows on television and radio might conclude that political vitriol on the airwaves is fueled by the increasingly partisan American political system. But in The Outrage Industry Jeffrey M. Berry and Sarah Sobieraj show how the proliferation of outrage-the provocative, hyperbolic style of commentary delivered by hosts like Ed Schultz, Bill O'Reilly, and Sean Hannity- says more about regulatory, technological, and cultural changes, than it does about our political inclinations. Berry and Sobieraj tackle the mechanics of outrage rhetoric, exploring its various forms such as mockery, emotional display, fear mongering, audience flattery, and conspiracy theories. They then investigate the impact of outrage rhetoric-which stigmatizes cooperation and brands collaboration and compromise as weak-on a contemporary political landscape that features frequent straight-party voting in Congress. Outrage tactics have also facilitated the growth of the Tea Party, a movement which appeals to older, white conservatives and has dragged the GOP farther away from the demographically significant moderates whose favor it should be courting. Finally, The Outrage Industry examines how these shows sour our own political lives, exacerbating anxieties about political talk and collaboration in our own communities. Drawing from a rich base of evidence, this book forces all of us to consider the negative consequences that flow from our increasingly hyper-partisan political media.

Rich Media Poor Democracy

Author: Robert W. McChesney
Publisher: New Press, The
ISBN: 1620970708
Format: PDF, ePub
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First published to great acclaim in 2000, Rich Media, Poor Democracy is Robert W. McChesney’s magnum opus. Called a “rich, penetrating study” by Noam Chomsky, the book is a meticulously researched exposition of how U.S. media and communication empires are threatening effective democratic governance. What happens when a few conglomerates dominate all major aspects of mass media, from newspapers and magazines to radio and broadcast television? Since the publication of this prescient work, which won Harvard’s Goldsmith Book Prize and the Kappa Tau Alpha Research Award, the concentration of media power and the resultant “hypercommercialization of culture” has only intensified. McChesney lays out his vision for what a truly democratic society might look like, offering compelling suggestions for how the media can be reformed as part of a broader program of democratic renewal. Rich Media, Poor Democracy remains as vital and insightful as ever and continues to serve as an important resource for researchers, students, and anyone who has a stake in the transformation of our digital commons. This new edition includes a major new preface by McChesney, where he offers both a history of the transformation in media since the book first appeared; a sweeping account of the organized efforts to reform the media system; and the ongoing threats to our democracy as journalism has continued its sharp decline.

In Your Face Politics

Author: Diana C. Mutz
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 1400865875
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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Americans are disgusted with watching politicians screaming and yelling at one another on television. But does all the noise really make a difference? Drawing on numerous studies, Diana Mutz provides the first comprehensive look at the consequences of in-your-face politics. Her book contradicts the conventional wisdom by documenting both the benefits and the drawbacks of in-your-face media. "In-your-face" politics refers to both the level of incivility and the up-close and personal way that we experience political conflict on television. Just as actual physical closeness intensifies people's emotional reactions to others, the appearance of closeness on a video screen has similar effects. We tend to keep our distance from those with whom we disagree. Modern media, however, puts those we dislike in our faces in a way that intensifies our negative reactions. Mutz finds that incivility is particularly detrimental to facilitating respect for oppositional political viewpoints and to citizens' levels of trust in politicians and the political process. On the positive side, incivility and close-up camera perspectives contribute to making politics more physiologically arousing and entertaining to viewers. This encourages more attention to political programs, stimulates recall of the content, and encourages people to relay content to others. In the end, In-Your-Face Politics demonstrates why political incivility is not easily dismissed as a disservice to democracy—it may even be a necessity in an age with so much competition for citizens' attention.

The Performance of Politics

Author: Jeffrey C. Alexander
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0199781354
Format: PDF, Mobi
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Contemporary observers of politics in America often reduce democracy to demography. Whatever portion of the vote not explained by the class, gender, race, and religious differences of voters is attributed to the candidates' positions on the issues of the day. But are these the only--or even the main--factors that determine the vote? The Performance of Politics develops a new way of looking at democratic struggles for power, explaining what happened, and why, during the 2008 presidential campaign in the United States. Drawing on vivid examples taken from a range of media coverage, participant observation at a Camp Obama, and interviews with leading political journalists, Jeffrey Alexander argues that images, emotion, and performance are the central features of the battle for power. While these features have been largely overlooked by pundits, they are, in fact, the primary foci of politicians and their staff. Obama and McCain painstakingly constructed heroic self-images for their campaigns and the successful projections of those images suffused not only each candidate's actual rallies, and not only their media messages, but also the ground game. Money and organization facilitate the ground game, but they do not determine it. Emotion, images, and performance do. Though an untested senator and the underdog in his own party, Obama succeeded in casting himself as the hero--and McCain the anti-hero--and the only candidate fit to lead in challenging times. Illuminating the drama of Obama's celebrity, the effect of Sarah Palin on the race, and the impact of the emerging financial crisis, Alexander's engaging narrative marries the immediacy and excitement of the final months of this historic presidential campaign with a new understanding of how politics work.

Soundbitten

Author: Sarah Sobieraj
Publisher: NYU Press
ISBN: 0814741363
Format: PDF, Kindle
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There is an elaborate and often invisible carnival that emerges alongside presidential campaigns as innumerable activist groups attempt to press their issues into mainstream political discourse. Sarah Sobieraj’s fascinating ethnographic portrait of fifty diverse organizations over the course of two campaign cycles reveals that while most activist groups equate political success with media success and channel their energies accordingly, their efforts fail to generate news coverage and come with deleterious consequences. Sobieraj shows that activists’ impact on public political debates is minimal, and carefully unravels the ways in which their all-consuming media work and unrelenting public relations approach undermine their ability to communicate with pedestrians, comes at the expense of other political activities, and perhaps most perniciously, damages the groups themselves. Weaving together fieldwork, news analysis, and in-depth interviews with activists and journalists, Soundbitten illuminates the relationship between news and activist organizations. This captivating portrait of activism in the United States lays bare the challenges faced by outsiders struggling to be heard in a mass media dominated public sphere that proves exclusionary and shows that media-centrism is not only ineffective, but also damaging to group life. Soundbitten reveals why media-centered activism so often fails, what activist groups lose in the process, and why we should all be concerned.

Ideology in America

Author: Christopher Ellis
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 1107019036
Format: PDF, Kindle
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This book explains why the American public thinks of itself as conservative, but supports liberal positions on specific policy matters. Much scholarly work and popular commentary discusses the ideology of the American public: whether the public should be thought of as liberal or conservative, and why. This book is the first to focus squarely on the contradiction in public attitudes. By doing so, it can provide a broader explanation of American political ideology, and how American citizens connect their own beliefs and values to the choices presented by policy makers.

The Interest Group Society

Author: Jeffrey M. Berry
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 131553407X
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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Considered the gold standard on interest group politics, this widely-used text analyzes interest groups within the intuitive framework of democratic theory, enabling readers to understand the workings of interest groups within the larger context of our political system. Comprehensive coverage includes not only the traditional farm, labor, and trade associations, but also citizen groups, public interest organizations, corporations, and public interest firms Brief in page count yet comprehensive in coverage, the book is flexible for different class settings. The book's rich content and lean size allows it to stand alone as the centerpiece of a course, or be assigned as one of several texts. New to the Sixth Edition Updates the role of money in interest group activity following the Citizens United Supreme Court decision. Covers new interest group actors including the Tea Party, Occupy, and others. Examines new developments in key interest group arenas including health care and the environment. Looks at the role of social media in interest groups. Adds a comparative look at interest group action, organization, and scholarship abroad.

The Reunited States of America

Author: Mark Gerzon
Publisher: Berrett-Koehler Publishers
ISBN: 1626566607
Format: PDF, ePub
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Out of Many, One In this era of poisonous partisanship, The Reunited States of America is a lifesaving antidote. At a time when loyalty to party seems to be overpowering love of country, it not only explains how we can bridge the partisan divide but also tells the untold story of how our fellow citizens already are doing it. This book, a manifesto for a movement to reunite America, will help us put a stop to the seemingly endless Left-Right fistfight while honoring the vital role of healthy political debate. Mark Gerzon describes how citizens all over the country—Republicans, Democrats, and independents—are finding common ground on some of the most divisive and difficult issues we face today.

The Opposite of Hate

Author: Sally Kohn
Publisher: Algonquin Books
ISBN: 161620835X
Format: PDF, Docs
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“A stunning debut by a truly gifted writer--an eye-opening read for both liberals and conservatives—and it could not come at a better time.”--Adam Grant, New York Times bestselling author of Option B, with Sheryl Sandberg, and Originals CNN’s Sally Kohn has a talent for making friends across the political aisle. While establishing herself as a leading progressive voice as a commentator on Fox News, she went head-to-head with her colleagues on divisive issues, engaging in heated arguments but also developing unexpected friendships. But since the 2016 election and the epidemic of hate that surrounded it, Kohn began to wonder: Where did all this hate come from and how can we get beyond it? Drawing upon cutting-edge research from psychology, sociology, and the neurosciences, and from examples in history and even today’s twitter trolls, Kohn uncovers the evolutionary and cultural roots of hate in its most subtle and obvious forms--from implicit bias to racism to genocide. She travels across the country and worldwide for exclusive interviews with fascinating and inspiring people who have left hate behind, including a former white supremacist who is now a practicing Buddhist and a former Palestinian terrorist who now works with Israelis to forge understanding and peace. With her trademark humor, intelligence, and wit, Kohn boldly confronts her own prejudices and suggests that we all share some responsibility. She offers concrete tools for combating the crisis of hate sweeping our nation, showing readers the power of connection and our shared humanity. At a moment when bitter partisan politics have divided Americans, The Opposite of Hate is a thought-provoking and ultimately hopeful look at one of the most pressing issues of our time.