Echo Chamber: Rush Limbaugh and the Conservative Media Establishment [NOOK Book]

Overview

Rupert Murdoch's recent multibillion-dollar purchase of the Wall Street Journal made international news. Yet it is but one more chapter in an untold story: the rise of an integrated conservative media machine that all began with Rush Limbaugh in the 1980s.
Now Kathleen Hall Jamieson and Joseph Cappella--two of the nation's foremost experts on politics and communications--offer a searching analysis of the conservative media establishment, from talk radio to Fox News to the ...
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Echo Chamber: Rush Limbaugh and the Conservative Media Establishment

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Overview

Rupert Murdoch's recent multibillion-dollar purchase of the Wall Street Journal made international news. Yet it is but one more chapter in an untold story: the rise of an integrated conservative media machine that all began with Rush Limbaugh in the 1980s.
Now Kathleen Hall Jamieson and Joseph Cappella--two of the nation's foremost experts on politics and communications--offer a searching analysis of the conservative media establishment, from talk radio to Fox News to the editorial page of the Wall Street Journal. Indeed, here is the first serious account of how the conservative media arose, what it consists of, and how it operates. To show how this influential segment of the media works, the authors examine the uproar that followed when Senator Trent Lott seemed to endorse Strom Thurmond's segregationist past. Limbaugh called the remarks "utterly indefensible," but added that a "double standard" was in play. That signaled a broad counterattack by the conservative media establishment, charging the mainstream media with hypocrisy (yet using its reports when convenient), creating a knowledge base (a set of facts or allegations for partisans to draw upon), and fostering an in-group identity. By analyzing such cases, together with survey data, Jamieson and Cappella find that Limbaugh, Fox News, and the Wall Street Journal opinion pages create a self-protective enclave for conservatives, shielding them from other information sources, and promoting strongly negative associations with political opponents. Limbaugh in particular, they write, fuses the roles of party leader and opinion leader in a fashion reminiscent of the nineteenth century's partisan newspaper editors.
The rise of conservative media has fundamentally changed American politics. This thoughtful study offers the most authoritative and insightful account of this revolutionary phenomenon available today.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

In this heavily researched analysis of the conservative media establishment, Jamieson and Cappella (coauthors of Spiral of Cynicism) contend that Rush Limbaugh, the opinion pages of the Wall Street Journal and "key players" at Fox News share evidence, arguments and "tactical approaches in their defense of conservatism and their attack on its opponents." The authors argue that these three news outlets disseminate Reagan-era conservatism by creating a "common roguesa' gallery of enemies," which they fight by forming an "echo chamber"-a "bounded, enclosed media space that has the potential to both magnify the messages delivered within it and insulate them from rebuttal," turning audiences into a "balkanized cohort." The authors take pains to note that they are not arguing that "the conservative media menace the countrya's well-being"; rather, they are interested in the way changing media influence contemporary electoral politics. Their highly academic approach and chart- and citation-laden narration might be slow and difficult reading for those unfamiliar with the social sciences. However, readers seeking a carefully researched view of the changing face of news media will be rewarded for their efforts. (Aug.)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780199740864
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 7/22/2008
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • File size: 4 MB

Meet the Author

Kathleen Hall Jamieson is Director of the Annenberg Public Policy Center, which runs FactCheck.org. Her books include unSpun, Capturing Campaign Dynamics, and The Press Effect.

Joseph N. Cappella is Gerard R. Miller Chair at the Annenberg School for Communication, University of Pennsylvania. A nationally recognized communications theorist, he is a past president of the International Communications Association and the co-author (with Kathleen Hall Jamieson) of the award-winning Spiral of Cynicism: The Press and the Public Good.

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Table of Contents


Preface     vii
How the Conservative Opinion Media Attack the Democratic Opposition     3
How the Conservative Opinion Media Defend Conservatism     20
Conservative Opinion Media: The Players     42
The Conservative Opinion Media as Opponents of Liberalism and Custodians of the Reagan Narrative     56
Effects of an Echo Chamber     75
Speaking to the Republican Base: An Analysis of Conservative Media's Audience     91
Vetting Candidates for Office     105
Stirring Emotion to Mobilize Engagement     126
Framing and Reframing the Mainstream Media     140
Engendering and Reinforcing Distrust of Mainstream Media     163
Defining and Defending an Insular Interpretive Community     177
Balkanization of Knowledge and Interpretation     191
Distortion and Polarization     214
Conclusion: Echo Chamber: Cause for Concern or Celebration?     237
Notes     249
Index     283
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