Race-baiter : how the media wields dangerous words to divide a nation /

"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...

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Main Author: Deggans, Eric.
Format: Book
Language: English
Published: New York : Palgrave Macmillan, 2012.
Edition: 1st ed.
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Review by Choice Review

Media watchdog Deggans (television and media critic, Tampa Bay Times) turns an unflinching, unapologetic spotlight on race and racism in the media, examining how the media, through niche marketing, exacerbates the cultural divide among the races, allowing the Rush Limbaughs and Bill O'Reillys an unprecedented platform from which to espouse racist rhetoric unimaginable in a public sphere a half century ago. Deggans explores how this phenomenon took shape and spread and how anyone who questions it becomes the enemy of those at its epicenter--primarily Fox News and conservative talk radio. Intriguing, engaging, and at times unnerving, Deggans's text reveals what is happening behind the scenes of today's most popular cable newscast, examining who is watching and why. Moreover, he analyzes the monetary benefits of a cultural divide for producers and news pundits willing to do whatever is necessary to maintain profits even if it means promoting coded and overt racist ideology. A must-read book for those interested in media or cultural studies, Deggans's work serves as an excellent example of media watchdogging at its best. Summing Up: Highly recommended. All readership levels. A. F. Winstead Our Lady of the Lake University

Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.
Review by Publisher's Weekly Review

Deggans, the TV and media critic for the Tampa Bay Times, dissects how popular pundits and anchors concoct a web of hate and untruth to recruit viewers, saying " trust us, not them." Much of the emphasis is on the provocative nature of FOX News, under conservative media guru Roger Ailes and featuring the right-wing stars Bill O' Reilly, Glenn Beck, and Sean Hannity. Whether it's media coverage of President Obama, Trayvon Martin, Sandra Fluke, or the 2008 presidential election, the shadow issues of race and gender infect the national dialogue with code words and manipulated images, saying that "any journalism that opposes their core values is dishonest and inaccurate." In this thoughtful, controversial book, Deggans explores the racial strategies he sees used by conservative media for political advantage, and also cites the blow-by-blow battles between FOX and MSNBC. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Review by Library Journal Review

Citing Trayvon Martin and Sandra Fluke, among others, Deggans (TV & media critic, Tampa Bay Times) explores how using certain words to talk about race, gender, and class colors how people perceive that information. He explains that when cable news pundits, talk-radio personalities, and political bloggers use race-baiting phrases, code words, and overt name calling, they perpetuate stereotypes and confirm prejudices. Suggesting that a young black person wearing a hoodie is probably a gang member and calling a law student a "slut" are examples of how the real concerns of neighborhood crime and women's health care are drowned out by derogatory images and words. While he theorizes that much of this problem stems from polarizing cable news and talk-radio programs, Deggans shows how other media such as newspapers and network television, as well as the lack of diversity in company hiring practices, also contribute to this divisive political and social discourse. He closes with prescriptions for finding a more productive way to communicate. VERDICT This insightful analysis is for aspiring journalists, media studies students, and news junkies.-Donna Marie Smith, Palm Beach Cnty. Lib. Syst., FL (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Review by Kirkus Book Review

Tampa Bay Times TV and media critic Deggans' first book dissects "the powerful ways modern media often works to feed our fears, prejudices, and hate toward each other." Gone are the days when a TV network could garner a large, diverse audience that might engage in a shared dialogue on race by viewing, say, the 1977 TV series Roots. Instead, race, as well as bigotry, has become the purview of niche outlets, from cable TV and talk radio to the endless media sources of the Internet. Such niche outlets, by and large, are dominated by conservative commentators who, in search of anger and outrage that builds ratings, serve and reinforce the racial fears and hatreds of their select audience. This audience tends to be overwhelmingly white, male, older and wary of people of color. And so new and old stereotypes against racial minorities persist. Viewers and listeners, having their views confirmed, neither trust nor listen to opposing viewpoints, and true dialogue on race becomes an impossibility. Deggans traces the history of this rise of "prejudice as a business model," but he also puts it into the larger context of the failure of media in general to address issues of race. When people of color are portrayed at all on TV entertainment programs, and that is not often enough, they may tend to be placed within specific one-dimensional stereotypes such as "The Angry Black Woman." TV news, for its part, lacks true diversity--no cable news channel has a person of color as anchor during prime time. Deggans concludes that acting to refute racism whenever it appears in the media is both possible and necessary for understanding across races. Troubling, detailed account of race and racism in today's media.]] Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.