The Outrage Industry: Political Opinion Media and the New Incivility by Jeffrey M. BerryThe Outrage Industry: Political Opinion Media and the New Incivility by Jeffrey M. Berry

The Outrage Industry: Political Opinion Media and the New Incivility

byJeffrey M. Berry, Sarah Sobieraj

Paperback | August 1, 2016

Pricing and Purchase Info


Earn 158 plum® points

Prices and offers may vary in store


In stock online

Ships free on orders over $25

Not available in stores


In early 2012, conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh claimed that Sandra Fluke, a Georgetown University law student who advocated for insurance coverage of contraceptives, "wants to be paid to have sex." Over the next few days, Limbaugh attacked Fluke personally, often in crude terms, while apowerful backlash grew, led by organizations such as the National Organization for Women. But perhaps what was most notable about the incident was that it wasn't unusual. From Limbaugh's venomous attacks on Fluke to liberal radio host Mike Malloy's suggestion that Bill O'Reilly "drink a vat ofpoison... and choke to death," over-the-top discourse in today's political opinion media is pervasive.Anyone who observes the skyrocketing number of incendiary political opinion shows on television and radio might conclude that political vitriol on the airwaves is fueled by the increasingly partisan American political system. But in The Outrage Industry Jeffrey M. Berry and Sarah Sobieraj show howthe proliferation of outrage - the provocative, hyperbolic style of commentary delivered by hosts like Ed Schultz, Bill O'Reilly, and Sean Hannity - says more about regulatory, technological, and cultural changes, than it does about our political inclinations. Berry and Sobieraj tackle the mechanics of outrage rhetoric, exploring its various forms such as mockery, emotional display, fear mongering, audience flattery, and conspiracy theories. They then investigate the impact of outrage rhetoric - which stigmatizes cooperation and brands collaboration andcompromise as weak - on a contemporary political landscape that features frequent straight-party voting in Congress. Outrage tactics have also facilitated the growth of the Tea Party, a movement which appeals to older, white conservatives and has dragged the GOP farther away from the demographicallysignificant moderates whose favor it should be courting. Finally, The Outrage Industry examines how these shows sour our own political lives, exacerbating anxieties about political talk and collaboration in our own communities. Drawing from a rich base of evidence, this book forces all of us toconsider the negative consequences that flow from our increasingly hyper-partisan political media.
Jeffrey M. Berry is John Richard Skuse Professor of Political Science at Tufts University. Sarah Sobieraj is Associate Professor of Sociology at Tufts University.
Title:The Outrage Industry: Political Opinion Media and the New IncivilityFormat:PaperbackDimensions:288 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 0.68 inPublished:August 1, 2016Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0190498463

ISBN - 13:9780190498467

Look for similar items by category:


Editorial Reviews

"The Outrage Industry provides a thorough, revealing look behind the scenes of today's angry rhetoric and the networks and systems that make it tick. The book is admirably empirical, thorough, and nuanced, and it should be required reading for those trying to understand our politicallandscape, how we got here, and the role of media in building and reproducing political identities." --Andrew Perrin, Associate Professor of Sociology, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill