Echo Chamber: Rush Limbaugh and the Conservative Media Establishment
Oxford University Press, 2008 - Political Science - 301 pages
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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1How the Conservative Opinion Media Attack the Democratic Opposition
2How the Conservative Opinion Media Defend Conservatism
4The Conservative Opinion Media as Opponents of Liberalism and Custodians of the Reagan Narrative
5Effects of an Echo Chamber
An Analysis of Conservative Medias Audience
7Vetting Candidates for Office
9Framing and Reframing the Mainstream Media
10Engendering and Reinforcing Distrust of Mainstream Media
11Defining and Defending an Insular Interpretive Community
12Balkanization of Knowledge and Interpretation
13Distortion and Polarization
Echo Chamber Cause for Concern or Celebration?
8Stirring Emotion to Mobilize Engagement
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American Annenberg argue argument attack attitudes audience’s bias Bill Clinton Bob Dole Brit Hume broadcast Buchanan Bush campaign candidates chapter claims conservatism conservative media establishment conservative opinion media conservative PTR December Democrats distortion Dole double standard echo chamber effects election emotion favorable flat tax foreign leaders Fox News Channel Fox’s frames Hannity and Colmes hosts ideological issues John Fund John Kerry Journal editorial Kerry Kerry’s liberal media Limbaugh listeners Limbaugh’s Limbaugh’s audience listening groups listening to Limbaugh Lott’s mainstream media McCain mistrust MSNBC NAES nonlisteners November October outlets partisan polarization policies Political Talk Radio positions President presidential Press primary programs PTR groups PTR listeners questions Reagan conservatism regular listeners reinforce Republican Party respondents rhetoric Rush Limbaugh Schwarzenegger Sean Hannity Senate sources survey talk radio Taranto tax cuts television Trent Lott viewers vote voters Wall Street Journal York