Race-Baiter: How the Media Wields Dangerous Words to Divide a Nation

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St. Martin's Press, Oct 30, 2012 - Social Science - 288 pages

Gone is the era of Edward R. Murrow and Walter Cronkite, when news programs fought to gain the trust and respect of a wide spectrum of American viewers. Today, the fastest-growing news programs and media platforms are fighting hard for increasingly narrow segments of the public and playing on old prejudices and deep-rooted fears, coloring the conversation in the blogosphere and the cable news chatter to distract from the true issues at stake. Using the same tactics once used to mobilize political parties and committed voters, they send their fans coded messages and demonize opposing groups, in the process securing valuable audience share and website traffic. Race-baiter is a term born out of this tumultuous climate, coined by the conservative media to describe a person who uses racial tensions to arouse the passion and ire of a particular demographic. Even as the election of the first black president forces us all to reevaluate how we think about race, gender, culture, and class lines, some areas of modern media are working hard to push the same old buttons of conflict and division for new purposes. In Race-Baiter, veteran journalist and media critic Eric Deggans dissects the powerful ways modern media feeds fears, prejudices, and hate, while also tracing the history of the word and its consequences, intended or otherwise.


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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - ragwaine - LibraryThing

Great view into journalism, media, race relations. I haven't read any other books on the subject but this seemed to be a fair assessment of what goes on "behind the scenes" and often right in front of ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - aoxford - LibraryThing

More timely than the analyses of recent political events are Deggans' thoughts about the intersection of media, race, and the commons. Whether Americans are discussing the racial dynamics of poverty ... Read full review


Introduction Making All the Right Enemies
Downgrading All Journalism in the Race to Win a Political Fight
How Partisan Media Manipulate Facts to Get Your Attention
3 Fox News Channels Focus on Scary Black People Leaves Race Relations as Collateral Damage ...
The Pitfalls of Race and Gender in Political Coverage
Why Network TV Still Often Stars White America
6 How News Media Became a Haven for Middle Aged White Guys and a Few Women
Why Talk Radio May Not Be a Haven for Angry White Guys Much Longer
Searching Past the Stereotypes in Reality TV
How Lax Poverty Coverage Helps Politicians Demonize the Poor
Resisting Propaganda while Integrating Our Lives and Media

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About the author (2012)

Eric Deggans is TV and Media Critic for National Public Radio and formerly for the Tampa Bay Times, Florida's largest newspaper. He also contributes to CNN.com and the Huffington Post. Deggans regularly appears as a pundit/expert on MSNBC's "Countdown"; CNN's "Reliable Sources"; Fox News Channel's "Fox and Friends" morning show and "Hannity and Colmes"; PBS's "The NewsHour"; CNN Headline News' "Showbiz Tonight"; "The Tavis Smiley Show" on Black Entertainment Television; and the PBS shows "Livelyhood" and "The Calling." His work has also appeared in a host of newspapers and magazines ranging from the conservative Newsmax magazine to the Chicago Tribune, Seattle Times, Chicago Sun-Times, Detroit News and Miami Herald, VIBE magazine, Hispanic magazine and Ebony magazine.

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