Above, Professors Jeffrey Berry and Sarah Sobieraj of Tufts University discuss their book "The Outrage Industry," which tracks the growth of "outrage" programming on cable news, talk radio and political blogs.
"I think it's critical that we recognize that although we've always had outrageous speech, what has happened in the last 30 years is unprecedented, and that its meteoric rise can't simply be understood as a response to ideological audiences pounding their fists for red meat. It's much more complicated than that," Sobieraj said in an interview before Sunday's broadcast.
"There has been an increase in political polarization in the citizenry, but not nearly enough to account for this development," she added. "The technological, regulatory, and media space has shifted into one in which this is profitable, and profit is the driving force."
Berry concurred: "We argue in the book that outrage should be understood as a business. In short, these media businesses make money by attracting audiences through outrage content, which is highly compelling. In turn, those audiences make it possible to attract advertisers. For hosts, this incentivizes pushing the envelope, using extreme language, as becoming controversial is seen as a help in building ratings."
From the book, "two findings stand out," Berry said. "First, in terms of conservative outrage vs. liberal outrage, the density and frequency of outrage is greater on the conservative side. By density we mean media programs and outlets. By frequency, we mean the number of times outrage is used on a program or in a blog. Second, it’s the same business model for both conservative and liberal. That is, they use polarizing, provocative language and themes in much the same way. In the book we're critical of both conservative and liberal outrage but indicate that the conservatives are more successful at it in terms of audience size."
Berry added that "CNN has in the past had a small amount of outrage programming (Glenn Beck, Lou Dobbs) but we found the network generally free of this approach."
So if some Americans are "addicted" to outrage, as Berry and Sobieraj assert, is there some way to break the addiction?
First, Sobieraj said, "We need to be clear on where the addiction lies. From our perspective, the addiction is to the revenue, much more so than the hyperbole and hatred. These shows are inexpensive to produce, entertaining, and profitable. Since our existing media environment is one in which outrage if profitable, we suspect its decay will also be the result of market forces."
"Importantly though, we don't necessarily think it should disappear," she added. "Controversial political speech has some benefits - it's engaging, and can start conversations that are worth having. But, for the public interest, it would be preferable if these voices weren't so overrepresented. A more diverse opinion space would be fabulous - both in terms of the temperature of the rhetoric, the variation in political views (programming now is decidedly two party - with so many networks and program slots, it would be great to see a show that represents the Green perspective, the Right to Life Perspective, the Libertarian perspective, etc.), and diversity in the voices. MSNBC is making some inroads in terms of diversity, but overall the industry as a whole is still dominated by white men."
Hi, I do think this is a great website. I stumbledupon it 😉 I may come back once again since I bookmarked it. Money and freedom is the greatest way to change, may you be rich and continue to guide others.
Hello there! I could have sworn I’ve been to this website before but after going through many of the posts I realized it’s new to me. Anyhow, I’m certainly pleased I came across it and I’ll be bookmarking it and checking back often!
Spot on with this write-up, I truly believe that this amazing site needs much more attention. I’ll probably be returning to read through more, thanks for the information!
I could not resist commenting. Perfectly written!
Aw, this was a really good post. Taking the time and actual effort to make a great article… but what can I say… I hesitate a whole lot and don't manage to get anything done.
I love reading through an article that will make men and women think. Also, thank you for allowing for me to comment!
Everything is very open with a clear clarification of the issues. It was truly informative. Your website is very useful. Many thanks for sharing!
bookmarked!!, I really like your web site!
This is a very good tip especially to those new to the blogosphere. Short but very accurate information… Thanks for sharing this one. A must read article!
Hello, I believe your web site could possibly be having internet browser compatibility issues. Whenever I look at your web site in Safari, it looks fine however, if opening in IE, it's got some overlapping issues. I merely wanted to give you a quick heads up! Apart from that, wonderful site!
This is the perfect website for anybody who would like to find out about this topic. You realize a whole lot its almost tough to argue with you (not that I personally will need to…HaHa). You certainly put a new spin on a topic which has been discussed for decades. Great stuff, just great!
That is a very good tip particularly to those fresh to the blogosphere. Brief but very precise info… Appreciate your sharing this one. A must read post!
Hi! I simply would like to give you a huge thumbs up for your excellent information you have got here on this post. I'll be coming back to your website for more soon.
A fascinating discussion is worth comment. I think that you ought to write more on this subject, it might not be a taboo matter but typically people don't talk about these topics. To the next! All the best!!
May I just say what a comfort to uncover a person that genuinely understands what they're discussing on the web. You certainly know how to bring an issue to light and make it important. A lot more people really need to check this out and understand this side of your story. I was surprised that you're not more popular given that you certainly possess the gift.
It’s difficult to find well-informed people about this subject, but you seem like you know what you’re talking about! Thanks
Nice post. I learn something new and challenging on blogs I stumbleupon every day. It's always useful to read articles from other writers and practice a little something from their web sites.
Hello there! I could have sworn I’ve visited this web site before but after going through a few of the articles I realized it’s new to me. Regardless, I’m certainly pleased I came across it and I’ll be bookmarking it and checking back frequently!
Oh my goodness! Amazing article dude! Thanks, However I am having difficulties with your RSS. I don’t know why I am unable to subscribe to it. Is there anyone else getting the same RSS issues? Anybody who knows the solution can you kindly respond? Thanks!!
It’s hard to find well-informed people for this subject, however, you sound like you know what you’re talking about! Thanks
Greetings! Very helpful advice within this article! It's the little changes that produce the biggest changes. Thanks for sharing!
Hi there! I could have sworn I’ve been to this blog before but after going through some of the posts I realized it’s new to me. Anyhow, I’m definitely happy I discovered it and I’ll be book-marking it and checking back often!
I'm extremely pleased to find this great site. I need to to thank you for your time due to this wonderful read!! I definitely loved every little bit of it and I have you saved to fav to look at new information on your web site.
Great post. I'm facing many of these issues as well..
It’s nearly impossible to find educated people about this subject, however, you sound like you know what you’re talking about! Thanks
Howdy! I simply would like to offer you a big thumbs up for your great information you have got right here on this post. I will be coming back to your site for more soon.
I couldn’t refrain from commenting. Exceptionally well written!
I'd like to thank you for the efforts you've put in penning this site. I really hope to check out the same high-grade blog posts from you later on as well. In fact, your creative writing abilities has encouraged me to get my very own website now 😉
I really like reading through a post that can make men and women think. Also, thank you for permitting me to comment!
Pretty! This was an incredibly wonderful article. Thank you for providing these details.
I was more than happy to find this site. I want to to thank you for ones time due to this fantastic read!! I definitely liked every part of it and I have you bookmarked to check out new information in your blog.
You're so interesting! I don't believe I've read a single thing like this before. So great to find somebody with a few unique thoughts on this topic. Seriously.. thanks for starting this up. This website is one thing that is required on the internet, someone with a little originality!
I need to to thank you for this wonderful read!! I absolutely loved every bit of it. I've got you bookmarked to look at new stuff you post…
Greetings! Very useful advice in this particular post! It is the little changes that will make the most significant changes. Thanks a lot for sharing!
An outstanding share! I've just forwarded this onto a co-worker who had been doing a little research on this. And he in fact bought me dinner because I discovered it for him... lol. So let me reword this.... Thank YOU for the meal!! But yeah, thanks for spending the time to discuss this subject here on your blog.
You have made some really good points there. I checked on the net for additional information about the issue and found most people will go along with your views on this site.
This blog was... how do I say it? Relevant!! Finally I have found something which helped me. Kudos!
Greetings! Very helpful advice in this particular article! It is the little changes that will make the most significant changes. Thanks for sharing!
Excellent blog post. I absolutely appreciate this site. Thanks!
This is a topic that is close to my heart... Many thanks! Where are your contact details though?
Spot on with this write-up, I absolutely believe that this website needs much more attention. I’ll probably be back again to read through more, thanks for the advice!
It’s hard to find educated people in this particular topic, however, you seem like you know what you’re talking about! Thanks
I must thank you for the efforts you've put in writing this website. I'm hoping to check out the same high-grade content by you later on as well. In truth, your creative writing abilities has motivated me to get my own website now 😉
Excellent blog post. I absolutely appreciate this website. Continue the good work!
Regards for helping out, good information.
A fascinating discussion is definitely worth comment. I believe that you need to publish more on this topic, it might not be a taboo subject but usually people don't discuss such subjects. To the next! All the best!!
Howdy, There's no doubt that your blog could possibly be having web browser compatibility issues. When I look at your site in Safari, it looks fine however when opening in I.E., it has some overlapping issues. I simply wanted to provide you with a quick heads up! Aside from that, great site!
Oh my goodness! Awesome article dude! Thank you so much, However I am having difficulties with your RSS. I don’t know why I can't join it. Is there anybody else having similar RSS issues? Anybody who knows the answer can you kindly respond? Thanx!!
This was awesome! I would like you to clean up all this spam though
Hello there! I could have sworn I’ve been to this site before but after looking at many of the articles I realized it’s new to me. Nonetheless, I’m definitely delighted I came across it and I’ll be bookmarking it and checking back frequently!