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Irony and OutrageThe Polarized Landscape of Rage, Fear, and Laughter in the United States$
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Dannagal Goldthwaite Young

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780190913083

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190913083.001.0001

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Outrage and Satire as Responses and Antidotes

Outrage and Satire as Responses and Antidotes

(p.48) 3 Outrage and Satire as Responses and Antidotes
Irony and Outrage

Dannagal Goldthwaite Young

Oxford University Press

This chapter illustrates how conservative outrage programming and liberal satire were articulated as reactions to perceived problematic aspects of the political information environment in the 1990s. Both genres were fueled by the political polarization and media distrust that had exploded in the last third of the twentieth century. And both genres were made possible by new media technologies of the late 1990s. In the face of political polarization and a reduction of trust in journalism, conservative talk radio’s Rush Limbaugh and Fox News’s Roger Ailes created programming to deconstruct the ideological bias they perceived in mainstream news. Meanwhile, comedians worked to deconstruct the bias that they saw in the profit-driven news of that era; not an ideological bias but a bias in favor of strategy, spin, and partisan jargon.

Keywords:   Rush Limbaugh, Fox News, Bill O’Reilly, Sean Hannity, Glenn Beck, Jon Stewart, The Daily Show, Bill Maher, Comedy Central

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