Closed-Information Circle of Far-Right Media

In her coming history of conservative media, Hemmer writes, “In the 1950s, conservative media outlets were neither numerous nor powerful enough to create an entirely alternate media ecosystem” for like-minded Americans.[125] Sixty years later, apparently they are. And the Republican Party is grappling with the implications.

In 2010, libertarian scholar Julian Sanchez at the Cato Institute provoked a lively debate among conservative intellectuals when he wrote that the expansion and success of conservative media had created a closed information circle harmful to conservatism. Conservatives, he said, could pick from so many sources to buttress their biases that they could dismiss as false any contrary information from outside that circle. He called this “epistemic closure,” borrowing from a term in philosophy (and perhaps ensuring that the highfalutin phrase did not catch on beyond the intelligentsia). For many conservatives, “Reality is defined by a multimedia array of interconnected and cross-promoting conservative blogs, radio programs, magazines and of course, Fox News,” Sanchez wrote in the first of several online essays. “Whatever conflicts with that reality can be dismissed out of hand because it comes from the liberal media, and is therefore ipso facto not to be trusted.”[126]

The result, Sanchez said in another piece, was that conservative media’s logic had become “worryingly untethered from reality as the impetus to satisfy the demand for red meat overtakes any motivation to report accurately.”[127] His theory first got attention as the Tea Party was ascendant, and nonpartisan surveys provided evidence of many conservative voters’ mistaken beliefs in Obama’s foreign birth and Muslim faith, death panels, and climate change as a hoax, among others. But the debate revived after the 2012 election to explain how Republicans could have been so surprised by Romney’s defeat when mainstream media had widely reported on nonpartisan polls showing him behind.


Folksonomies: rhetoric cognitive bias

/law, govt and politics/politics/elections (0.519188)
/science/social science/philosophy (0.436577)
/sports/martial arts/judo (0.391778)

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Julian Sanchez:Person (0.894462 (negative:-0.280514)), media outlets:FieldTerminology (0.539325 (neutral:0.000000)), mainstream media:FieldTerminology (0.461961 (negative:-0.274674)), Republican Party:Organization (0.435438 (neutral:0.000000)), Hemmer:Person (0.373570 (neutral:0.000000)), Tea Party:Organization (0.358090 (neutral:0.000000)), Cato Institute:Organization (0.344357 (negative:-0.280514)), Romney:Person (0.330669 (negative:-0.274674)), Obama:Person (0.316380 (negative:-0.274497)), Fox News:TelevisionShow (0.301142 (neutral:0.000000)), climate change:FieldTerminology (0.300448 (negative:-0.312273)), Sixty years:Quantity (0.300447 (neutral:0.000000))

Mass media (0.988152): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc
Libertarianism (0.892724): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc
Liberalism (0.704724): dbpedia | freebase
Republican Party (0.703660): website | dbpedia | freebase | opencyc | yago
Conservatism (0.690583): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc
Ronald Reagan (0.676457): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc | yago
Social conservatism (0.673003): dbpedia | freebase
Democratic Party (0.668223): website | dbpedia | freebase | opencyc | yago

 They Don't Give a Damn About Governing: Conservative Media's Influence on the Republican Party
Electronic/World Wide Web>Internet Article:  Calmes, Jackie (July 27, 2015), They Don't Give a Damn About Governing: Conservative Media's Influence on the Republican Party, Shorenstein Center, Retrieved on 2015-11-09
  • Source Material []
  • Folksonomies: politics rhetoric cognitive bias