Hot Air: All Talk All the Time

Overview


Kurtz takes readers into the studio for an in-depth and disturbing look at the performers and pundits behind today’s television and radio talk shows and at their corrosive influence on America’s social, political, and moral fabric. From Rush Limbaugh and Don Imus to Michael Kinsley and the McLaughlin Group, he guides us through our brave new electronic democracy, pointing out how the culture of celebrity has pervaded and even perverted journalism.
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Overview


Kurtz takes readers into the studio for an in-depth and disturbing look at the performers and pundits behind today’s television and radio talk shows and at their corrosive influence on America’s social, political, and moral fabric. From Rush Limbaugh and Don Imus to Michael Kinsley and the McLaughlin Group, he guides us through our brave new electronic democracy, pointing out how the culture of celebrity has pervaded and even perverted journalism.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Kurtz (Media Circus) takes a no-holds-barred look at America's electronic media from radio and TV talk shows to the Sunday morning punditocracy, which he calls a testosterone-driven calling. He skewers John McLaughlin and his McLaughlin Group for inaccuracy (they seldom predict an election right) and lack of preparation, even getting panelist Jack Germond to admit, "I am not comfortable with any of this, but I do it for the money." Kurtz then moves on to Phil Donahue, the granddaddy of daytime talk-show hosts. Covering such topics as dwarf-tossing and cross-dressing, Donahue pioneered the way for his successors from Geraldo Rivera, who had on-air liposuction performed on his own butt, to Jenny Jones, whose on-air ambush of a guest led to real-life homicide. He examines the lives of the pristine pontificators on the Sunday morning political shows, casting aspersions on their journalistic integrity (George Will once coached Ronald Reagan for a debate with Jimmy Carter, then later declared Reagan the winner on ABC) and noting their obvious conflicts of interest (journalists often give paid speeches to organizations they are reporting on). He also takes a close look at the not-so-orderly personal lives of such radio icons as Larry King and Rush Limbaugh. Kurtz has written a scathing profile of the national media and pseudo-media that will have intelligent Americans wondering why they just don't flick the dial to "Off." Major ad/promo; author tour. (Feb.)
Library Journal
"It's a talk show jungle out there," journalist Kurtz writes, "...the airways are crackling with insults, arguments, spin, and speculation." He covers in fascinating detail the cultural shift inherent in the proliferation of talk shows on both radio and television, where hosts are acting as political kingmakers and where the mores of society are being challenged by crudeness, rumor-mongering, bigotry of all stripes, sexual exhibitionism, and worse. Kurtz decries the loss of integrity in broadcast news, contending that such coverage has been compromised by the rush for bigger ratings by millionaire "performers" who have lost touch with reality. This is an important book, deserving library shelf space, with Kurtz's earlier study of newspapers, Media Circus (LJ 4/1/93).-Chet Hagan, Berks Cty. P.L. System, Pa.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780465030743
  • Publisher: Basic Books
  • Publication date: 9/28/1997
  • Edition description: 1 ED
  • Pages: 436
  • Lexile: 1090L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.12 (w) x 8.06 (h) x 1.07 (d)

Meet the Author


Howard Kurtz is media critic for the Washington Post and is a regular panelist on CNN’s Reliable Sources. He is also the author of Media Circus, named the best recent book on the media by the American Journalism Review.
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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
1 The Talkathon Culture 3
2 The Art of The Blurt 20
3 Daytime Dysfunction 49
4 The King of Schmooze 75
5 Caught in the Crossfire 100
6 Toe to Toe with Ted 126
7 Video Verite 151
8 Sunday Ritual 171
9 Talking for Dollars 203
10 The Rush Hour 228
11 Radio Rebels 256
12 The Influence Game 289
13 Blurring the Lines 310
14 A Personal Odyssey 338
15 The Future of Talk 356
Afterword 374
Sources 391
Index 406
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