3: Consuming Opinion

WELCOME TO THE WORLD OF AMERICAN MEDIA. BELLICOSE anchors opine about the state of world affairs, on cable news channels that don’t actually report the state of world affairs. Political blogs and Web sites are visited by millions each day—millions of people who already agree with the points of view expressed there, that is. The New York Times television critic is given front-page real estate to analyze political debates between presidential candidates as if they were the season finales of network dramas. Media consolidation has left 90 percent of the top fifty cable stations in the hands of the same parent companies that run the broadcast networks, and the major media conglomerates in control of 75 percent of all prime-time ...

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