Kathleen Hall Jamieson and Joseph Cappella-two of the nation's foremost experts on politics and media-offers a searching analysis of the conservative media establishment, from talk radio to Fox News to the editorial page of The Wall Street Journal. Echo Chamber is the first serious account of how the conservative media arose, what it consists of, and how it operates. Jamieson and Cappella find that Limbaugh, Fox News, and The Wall Street Journal opinion pages create a self-protective enclave for conservatives, shielding them from other information sources and promoting highly negative views toward conservatism's political opponents. A thoughtful and incisive study, Echo Chamber offers the most authoritative and insightful account of this revolutionary phenomenon and its indelible effect on the American political landscape.
In this heavily researched analysis of the conservative media establishment, Jamieson and Cappella (coauthors of Spiral of Cynicism) contend that Rush Limbaugh, the opinion pages of the Wall Street Journal and key players at Fox News share evidence, arguments and tactical approaches in their defense of conservatism and their attack on its opponents. The authors argue that these three news outlets disseminate Reagan-era conservatism by creating a common rogues gallery of enemies, which they fight by forming an echo chamber a bounded, enclosed media space that has the potential to both magnify the messages delivered within it and insulate them from rebuttal, turning audiences into a balkanized cohort. The authors take pains to note that they are not arguing that the conservative media menace the country s well-being ; rather, they are interested in the way changing media influence contemporary electoral politics. Their highly academic approach and chart- and citation-laden narration might be slow and difficult reading for those unfamiliar with the social sciences. However, readers seeking a carefully researched view of the changing face of news media will be rewarded for their efforts.