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The outrage machine and you

Tired of all the deliberate hysteria prolific in the 24/7 news media?

Maybe you just think you are.

Politico Magazine has an article by political scientist Jeffrey M. Berry and sociologist Sarah Sobieraj that attempts to prove American news consumers are, to at least some degree, addicted to outrage spread by talking heads. They recently studied the conversational tone across a large sample of cable news, talk radio and political blogs:

What we found was a constant outpouring of venom that overwhelmed the political commentary. In many cases, outrage is not part of the content, outrage is the content. Fully 100 percent of the cable program episodes our coders watched contained outrage, while close to 90 percent of radio shows and about 80 percent of blog entries were characterized by outrage. On the Fox and MSNBC shows that predominated in our cable sample, outrage appeared roughly every other minute of non-commercial airtime.

That's a lot of outrage.

One last thing…
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