Library Journal Review
Citing Trayvon Martin and Sandra Fluke, among others, Deggans (TV & media critic, Tampa Bay Times) explores how using certain words to talk about race, gender, and class colors how people perceive that information. He explains that when cable news pundits, talk-radio personalities, and political bloggers use race-baiting phrases, code words, and overt name calling, they perpetuate stereotypes and confirm prejudices. Suggesting that a young black person wearing a hoodie is probably a gang member and calling a law student a "slut" are examples of how the real concerns of neighborhood crime and women's health care are drowned out by derogatory images and words. While he theorizes that much of this problem stems from polarizing cable news and talk-radio programs, Deggans shows how other media such as newspapers and network television, as well as the lack of diversity in company hiring practices, also contribute to this divisive political and social discourse. He closes with prescriptions for finding a more productive way to communicate. VERDICT This insightful analysis is for aspiring journalists, media studies students, and news junkies.-Donna Marie Smith, Palm Beach Cnty. Lib. Syst., FL (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Publishers Weekly Review
Deggans, the TV and media critic for the Tampa Bay Times, dissects how popular pundits and anchors concoct a web of hate and untruth to recruit viewers, saying " trust us, not them." Much of the emphasis is on the provocative nature of FOX News, under conservative media guru Roger Ailes and featuring the right-wing stars Bill O' Reilly, Glenn Beck, and Sean Hannity. Whether it's media coverage of President Obama, Trayvon Martin, Sandra Fluke, or the 2008 presidential election, the shadow issues of race and gender infect the national dialogue with code words and manipulated images, saying that "any journalism that opposes their core values is dishonest and inaccurate." In this thoughtful, controversial book, Deggans explores the racial strategies he sees used by conservative media for political advantage, and also cites the blow-by-blow battles between FOX and MSNBC. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Booklist Review
Media watchdog Deggans (television and media critic, Tampa Bay Times) turns an unflinching, unapologetic spotlight on race and racism in the media, examining how the media, through niche marketing, exacerbates the cultural divide among the races, allowing the Rush Limbaughs and Bill O'Reillys an unprecedented platform from which to espouse racist rhetoric unimaginable in a public sphere a half century ago. Deggans explores how this phenomenon took shape and spread and how anyone who questions it becomes the enemy of those at its epicenter--primarily Fox News and conservative talk radio. Intriguing, engaging, and at times unnerving, Deggans's text reveals what is happening behind the scenes of today's most popular cable newscast, examining who is watching and why. Moreover, he analyzes the monetary benefits of a cultural divide for producers and news pundits willing to do whatever is necessary to maintain profits even if it means promoting coded and overt racist ideology. A must-read book for those interested in media or cultural studies, Deggans's work serves as an excellent example of media watchdogging at its best. Summing Up: Highly recommended. All readership levels. A. F. Winstead Our Lady of the Lake University