The following is an excerpt from Ezra Klein’s new book, Why We’re Polarized, published by Simon & Schuster and available January 28. We talk a lot about the left/right divide in political media.
Originally bookmarked on January 29, 2020 at 06:42AM
This is a damning result: The more political media you absorb, the more warped your perspective of the other side becomes. ❧
Annotated on February 04, 2020 at 01:51PM
Chris Hayes, who anchors MSNBC’s 8 pm newscast and is among the most thoughtful, civic-minded journalists in the industry, referenced a Will Ferrell joke from Anchorman 2 on his podcast, saying, “What if instead of telling people the things they need to know, we tell them what they want to know?” That is, he says, “the creation story of cable news.” ❧
Annotated on February 04, 2020 at 01:57PM
But we don’t just want people to read our work. We want people to spread our work — to be so moved by what we wrote or said that they log on to Facebook and share it with their friends or head over to Reddit and try to tell the world. That’s how you get those dots to multiply. But people don’t share quiet voices. They share loud voices. They share work that moves them, that helps them express to their friends who they are and how they feel. Social platforms are about curating and expressing a public-facing identity. They’re about saying, “I’m a person who cares about this, likes that, and loathes this other thing.” They are about signaling the groups you belong to and, just as important, the groups you don’t belong to. ❧
Annotated on February 04, 2020 at 01:59PM
When we talk about political media, we tend to cut a sharp line between the political elites who create the media and the audience that consumes it. But that’s a mistake. No one consumes more political, and politicized, media than political elites. This is part of the reason political media has an enormous effect on politics, even though only a small fraction of the country regularly consumes it. ❧
Annotated on February 04, 2020 at 02:08PM
Politics is, first and foremost, driven by the people who pay the most attention and wield the most power — and those people opt in to extraordinarily politicized media. They then create the political system they perceive. ❧
How can we push it back so that the power stems from the people? How could we up-end the current system?
Annotated on February 04, 2020 at 02:10PM