Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Biff! Oof! Thwack!

What does it take to make the Fair 'n' Balanced homepage? See if you can draw some conclusions from the headlines:

Ex-chief blasts Iran talks

One reason the two main flavors of agenda-setting (mass media and policy studies) often seem to be talking past each other is that neither one is set up to consistently look for the effects that the other thinks are most important. If you see a lot of Iran stories but no corresponding rise in the public salience of Iran, it's tempting to conclude that media salience doesn't affect public opinion -- unless the public has decided to channel all its Iranianoia into "terrorism" or "our place in the world" or some other broad-brush category.

Similarly, nothing here is going to raise the salience of climate change or Marco Rubio's finances. But we do have a remarkable proportion of stories about Striking Back at The Enemy, which assumes an ongoing condition in which The Enemy is up to no good. Apparently the cool kids are calling it the "outrage industry."

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