Broadcast Hysteria by A. Brad SchwartzThe enthralling and never-told story of the War of the Worlds radio drama and its true aftermath On October 30, 1938, families across the country were gathered around their radios when their regular programming was interrupted by an announcer delivering news of a meteor strike in New Jersey. With increasing intensity, the announcer read bulletins describing terrifying war machines moving toward New York City. As the invading force approached, some listeners sat transfixed before their radios, while others ran to alert neighbors or call the police. Some even fled their homes in panic. But the broadcast was not breaking news--it was Orson Welles's adaptation of the H. G. Wells classic The War of the Worlds. In Broadcast Hysteria, A. Brad Schwartz examines the history behind the infamous radio play. Did it really spawn a wave of mass hysteria? Schwartz is the first to examine the hundreds of letters sent directly to Welles after the broadcast. He draws upon them, and hundreds more sent to the FCC, to recapture the roiling emotions of a bygone era, and his findings challenge conventional wisdom. Relatively few listeners believed an actual attack was under way. But even so, Schwartz shows that Welles's broadcast prompted a different kind of "mass panic" as Americans debated the bewitching power of the radio and the country's vulnerability in a time of crisis. Schwartz's original research, gifted storytelling, and thoughtful analysis make Broadcast Hysteria a groundbreaking work of media history.
Call Number: PN1991.77.W3 S48 2015
Publication Date: 2015-05-05
Bunk by Kevin YoungLonglisted for the National Book Award for Nonfiction "There Kevin Young goes again, giving us books we greatly need, cleverly disguised as books we merely want. Unexpectedly essential."--Marlon James Award-winning poet and critic Kevin Young tours us through a rogue's gallery of hoaxers, plagiarists, forgers, and fakers--from the humbug of P. T. Barnum and Edgar Allan Poe to the unrepentant bunk of JT LeRoy and Donald J. Trump.Bunk traces the history of the hoax as a peculiarly American phenomenon, examining what motivates hucksters and makes the rest of us so gullible. Disturbingly, Young finds that fakery is woven from stereotype and suspicion, race being the most insidious American hoax of all. He chronicles how Barnum came to fame by displaying figures like Joice Heth, a black woman whom he pretended was the 161-year-old nursemaid to George Washington, and What Is It?, an African American man Barnum professed was a newly discovered missing link in evolution. Bunk then turns to the hoaxing of history and the ways that forgers, plagiarists, and journalistic fakers invent backstories and falsehoods to sell us lies about themselves and about the world in our own time, from pretend Native Americans Grey Owl and Nasdijj to the deadly imposture of Clark Rockefeller, from the made-up memoirs of James Frey to the identity theft of Rachel Dolezal. In this brilliant and timely work, Young asks what it means to live in a post-factual world of "truthiness" where everything is up for interpretation and everyone is subject to a pervasive cynicism that damages our ideas of reality, fact, and art.
Call Number: BJ1421 .Y68 2017
Publication Date: 2017-11-14
Entertaining Politics by Jeffrey P. JonesIn this completely revised and updated edition (including eight new chapters), Jeffrey Jones charts the evolution and maturation of political entertainment television by examining The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, The Colbert Report, Politically Incorrect/Real Time with Bill Maher, and Michael Moore's TV Nation and The Awful Truth. This volume investigates how and why these shows have been central locations for the critique of political and economic power and an important resource for citizens during numerous political crises. In an age of Truthiness, fake news and humorous political talk have proven themselves viable forms of alternative reporting and critical means for ascertaining truth, and in the process, questioning the legitimacy of news media's role as the primary mediator of political life. The book also addresses the persistent claims that these programs have cynical effects and create misinformed young citizens, demonstrating instead how such programming provides for an informed, active, and meaningful citizenship. The new edition takes account of the many changes that have occurred in television and political culture since Entertaining Politics' initial release.
Call Number: HE8700.76 .U6 J663 2010
Publication Date: 2009-12-16
From Cronkite to Colbert by Geoffrey D. BaymIn a time when increasing numbers of people are tuning out the nightly news and media consumption is falling, the late-night comedians have become some of the most important newscasters in the country. From Cronkite to Colbert explains why. It examines an historical path that begins at the height of the network age with Walter Cronkite and Edward R. Murrow, when the evening news was considered the authoritative record of the day's events and forged our assumptions about what "the news" is, or should be. The book then winds its way through the breakdown of that paradigm of "real" news and into its reinvention in the unlikely form of such popularized shows as The Daily Show and The Colbert Report. From Cronkite to Colbert makes the case that rather than "fake news," those shows should be understood as a new kind of journalism, one that has the potential to save the news and reinvigorate the conversation of democracy in today's society.
Call Number: PN4888 .T4 B39 2010
Publication Date: 2009-09-01
The Smear by Sharyl AttkissonNew York Times Bestseller Ever wonder how politics turned into a take-no-prisoners blood sport? The New York Times bestselling author of Stonewalled pulls back the curtain on the shady world of opposition research and reveals the dirty tricks those in power use to influence your opinions. Behind most major political stories in the modern era, there is an agenda; an effort by opposition researchers, spin doctors, and outside interests to destroy an idea or a person. The tactic they use is the Smear. Every day, Americans are influenced by the Smear without knowing it. Paid forces cleverly shape virtually every image you cross. Maybe you read that Donald Trump is a racist misogynist, or saw someone on the news mocking the Bernie Sanders campaign. The trick of the Smear is that it is often based on some shred of truth, but these media-driven "hit pieces" are designed to obscure the truth. Success hinges on the Smear artist's ability to remain invisible; to make it seem as if their work is neither calculated nor scripted. It must appear to be precisely what it is not. Veteran journalist Sharyl Attkisson has witnessed this practice firsthand. After years of being pitched hit jobs and puff pieces, she's an expert at detecting Smear campaigns. Now, the hard-hitting investigative reporter shares her inside knowledge, revealing how the Smear takes shape and who its perpetrators are--including Clinton confidant Sidney Blumenthal and, most influential of all, "right-wing assassin turned left-wing assassin" (National Review) political operative David Brock and his Media Matters for America empire. Attkisson exposes the diabolical tactics of Smear artists, and their outrageous access to the biggest names in political media--operatives who are corrupting the political process, and discouraging widespread citizen involvement in our democracy.
Call Number: PN4888.C6 A85 2017
Publication Date: 2017-06-27
The Stewart/Colbert Effect by Amarnath Amarasingam (Editor)The Daily Show with Jon Stewart and The Colbert Report have attracted much interest in recent years from popular audiences as well as scholars in various disciplines. Both Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert have been named on Time magazine's list of the most influential people in the world. The ten essays in this interdisciplinary collection explore the issues engendered by the popularity of entertainment news, including the role of satire in politics, the declining level of trust in traditional sources of media, the shows' cathartic or informational function, and the ways in which these shows influence public opinion. Instructors considering this book for use in a course may request an examination copy here.
Call Number: PN1992.77.D28 S74 2011
Publication Date: 2011-05-02
The Sun and the Moon by Matthew GoodmanThe Sun and the Moon tells the delightful, entertaining, and surprisingly true story of how in the summer of 1835 a series of articles in the Sun , the first of the city’s "penny papers,” convinced the citizens of New York that the moon was inhabited. Six articles, purporting to reveal the lunar discoveries made by a world-famous British astronomer, described the life found on the moon--including unicorns, beavers that walked upright, and, strangest of all, four-foot-tall flying man-bats. The series quickly became the most widely circulated newspaper story of the era. And the Sun , a brash working-class upstart less than two years old, had become the most widely read newspaper in the world. Told in richly novelistic detail, The Sun and the Moon brings the raucous world of 1830s New York City vividly to life--the noise, the excitement, the sense that almost anything was possible. The book overflows with larger-than-life characters, including Richard Adams Locke, author of the moon series (who never intended it to be a hoax at all); a fledgling showman named P.T. Barnum, who had just brought his own hoax to New York; and the young writer Edgar Allan Poe, who was convinced that the moon series was a plagiarism of his own work. An exhilarating narrative history of a city on the cusp of greatness and a nation newly united by affordable newspapers, The Sun and the Moon may just be the strangest true story you’ve ever read.
Call Number: QB581.9 .G66 2008
Publication Date: 2008-11-04
The Trouble with Reality by Brooke GladstoneEvery week on the public radio show On the Media, the award-winning journalist Brooke Gladstone analyzes the media and how it shapes our perceptions of the world. Now, from her front-row perch on the day's events, Gladstone brings her genius for making insightful, unexpected connections to help us understand what she calls--and what so many of us can acknowledge having--"trouble with reality." Reality, as she shows us, was never what we thought it was--there is always a bubble, people are always subjective and prey to stereotypes. And that makes reality actually more vulnerable than we ever thought. Enter Donald J. Trump and his team of advisors. For them, as she writes, lying is the point. The more blatant the lie, the easier it is to hijack reality and assert power over the truth. Drawing on writers as diverse as Hannah Arendt, Walter Lippmann, Philip K. Dick, and Jonathan Swift, she dissects this strategy, straight out of the authoritarian playbook, and shows how the Trump team mastered it, down to the five types of tweets that Trump uses to distort our notions of what's real and what's not. And she offers hope. There is meaningful action, a time-tested treatment for moral panic. And there is also the inevitable reckoning. History tells us we can count on it. Brief and bracing, The Trouble with Reality shows exactly why so many of us didn't see it coming, and how we can recover both our belief in reality--and our sanity.
Call Number: P95.82.U6 G58 2017
Publication Date: 2017-05-16
Skewed by Larry Atkins"In a media landscape dominated by advocacy news networks pushing competing points of view, how can the average person uncover the truth about any particular issue? This book will show you how to separate the facts from the agenda-driven spin and selective presentation often used by such news sources as Fox and MSNBC. The author describes the goals of advocacy journalism-i.e., journalism that transparently advocates a biased worldview-and shows that it has been a part of our history since the 1700s. He assesses the role of talk radio, cable news networks, and the more recent phenomena of special-interest blogs, websites, and citizen journalists in creating the current media climate.a While conceding that advocacy journalism is undoubtedly popular and has some positive aspects, the author also points out its many negative features. Perhaps the most important of these is its polarizing effect on society. Skewedwill give readers the tools to critique the media, to see both sides of any issue, and to become better informed citizens and voters."