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The Tea Party and the Remaking of Republican Conservatism$
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Theda Skocpol and Vanessa Williamson

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199832637

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:osobl/9780199832637.001.0001

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Getting the Word Out

Getting the Word Out

The Media as Cheerleader and Megaphone

(p.121) 4 Getting the Word Out
The Tea Party and the Remaking of Republican Conservatism

Theda Skocpol

Vanessa Williamson

Oxford University Press

This chapter discusses how the structure and dynamics of US communications media provided Tea Party organizers with the publicity and access needed to flourish and have a major impact on governance. The challenge of spreading and germinating the Tea Party idea was surmounted with impressive ease because a major sector of the US media today is openly partisan—including Fox News Channel, the right-wing “blogosphere,” and a nationwide network of rightwing talk radio programs. The conservative media reaches into the homes of many Americans, buffets as well as boosts the Republican Party, and has considerable ability to set the agenda of issues that other media outlets also take up. The conservative media quickly joined and helped to orchestrate the Tea Party, breaking down the barriers between media and movement that have usually been so challenging for protesters to navigate.

Keywords:   Tea Party, right-wing Republicans, mass media, communications media, partisanship, conservative media

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