Us Against Them: The Political Culture of Talk Radio

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Lexington Books, May 25, 2010 - Performing Arts - 275 pages
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Us against Them: The Political Culture of Talk Radio examines the phenomenon of talk radio and the role that it plays in the American political process as well as popular culture. Among the central questions addressed is a basic one regarding why people choose to listen to political talk instead of music. Do they listen to get objective information on both sides of political issues to help them make their own voting decisions, or do they seek out the hosts and content that simply validates their own beliefs? After a consideration of the history of talk radio as well as where the industry stands today in terms of audience demographics and advertiser support, Randy Bobbitt takes a theoretical look at how talk radio may or may have not impacted political issues and campaigns from the 1950s through the 2006 mid-term election, as well as the real impact of talk radio on the 2008 presidential campaign. Finally, Bobbitt considers the future of political talk radio in light of the newest threat to the First Amendment: the possible return of the Fairness Doctrine, a twentieth century law that once required broadcasters to provide politically balanced programming.
  

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Contents

Hot Air
1
The Audience Who Listens and Why
17
The Sponsors Who Advertises and Why
29
The Conservatives
39
The Progressives
75
The Libertarians
99
The Women
111
The Haters and the Shockers
123
In Theory Talk Radio and American Politics
165
In Practice Talk Radio and the 2008 Presidential Election
197
Talk Radio the First Amendment and the Fairness Doctrine
213
Notes
227
Sources
245
Index
257
About the Author
275
Copyright

The Locals
145

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2010)

Randy Bobbitt is assistant professor in the department of communication arts at the University of West Florida and author of Lottery Wars: Case Studies in Bible Belt Politics, 1986-2005.