Echo Chamber: Rush Limbaugh and the Conservative Media Establishment

Kathleen Hall Jamieson, Author, Joseph N. Cappella, Author . Oxford Univ. $24.95 (301p) ISBN 978-0-19-536682-2

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 rogues’ 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 country’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.)

Reviewed on: 06/02/2008
Release date: 07/01/2008
Genre: Nonfiction
Paperback - 301 pages - 978-0-19-539860-1
Ebook - 318 pages - 978-0-19-971052-2
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