Echo Chamber: Rush Limbaugh and the Conservative Media Establishment

Paperback | January 28, 2010

byKathleen Hall Jamieson, Joseph N. Cappella

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Rupert Murdoch's multibillion-dollar purchase of the Wall Street Journal in 2007 was 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. Kathleen Hall Jamieson and Joseph Cappella - two of the nation'sforemost experts on politics and communications - here 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, Echo Chamber is the first serious account of how the conservative media arose, what itconsists of, and how it operates. Surprisingly, President Obama's election has only enhanced the influence of Limbaugh. As an unofficial leader of the Republican Party, he has issued marching orders to the rest of the conservative media bent on challenging President Obama's agenda. 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 abroad counterattack by the conservative media establishment, charging the mainstream media with hypocrisy (yet using its reports when convenient), creating a set of facts - or allegations - for partisans to draw upon, and fostering an in-group identity. Jamieson and Cappella find that Limbaugh, FoxNews, 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 opinionleader in a fashion reminiscent of the nineteenth century's partisan newspaper editors.

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Rupert Murdoch's multibillion-dollar purchase of the Wall Street Journal in 2007 was 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. Kathleen Hall Jamieson and Joseph Cappella - two of the nation'sforemost experts on politics and communication...

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 the...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:320 pages, 9.1 × 6.1 × 0.7 inPublished:January 28, 2010Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195398602

ISBN - 13:9780195398601

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Table of Contents

Preface1. How the Conservative Media Attack the Democratic Opposition2. How the Conservative Opinion Media Defend Conservatism3. Conservative Opinion Media: The Players4. The Conservative Opinion Media as Opponents of Liberalism and Custodians of the Reagan Narrative5. Effects of an Echo Chamber6. Speaking to the Republican Base: An Analysis of Conservative Media's Audience7. Vetting Candidates for Office8. Stirring Emotion to Mobilize Engagement9. Framing and Reframing the Mainstream Media10. Engendering and Reinforcing Distrust of Mainstream Media11. Defining and Defending an Insular Interpretive Community12. Balkanization of Knowledge and Interpretation13. Distortion and Polarization14. Conclusion: Echo Chamber: Cause for Concern or Celebration?AfterwardNotesIndex