Race-Baiter by Eric Deggans
How the Media Wields Dangerous Words to Divide a Nation

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Synopsis

Gone is the era of Edward R. Murrow and Walter Cronkite, when news programs fought to gain the trust and respect of a wide spectrum of American viewers. Today, the fastest-growing news programs and media platforms are fighting hard for increasingly narrow segments of the public and playing on old prejudices and deep-rooted fears, coloring the conversation in the blogosphere and the cable news chatter to distract from the true issues at stake. Using the same tactics once used to mobilize political parties and committed voters, they send their fans coded messages and demonize opposing groups, in the process securing valuable audience share and website traffic. Race-baiter is a term born out of this tumultuous climate, coined by the conservative media to describe a person who uses racial tensions to arouse the passion and ire of a particular demographic. Even as the election of the first black president forces us all to reevaluate how we think about race, gender, culture, and class lines, some areas of modern media are working hard to push the same old buttons of conflict and division for new purposes. In Race-Baiter, veteran journalist and media critic Eric Deggans dissects the powerful ways modern media feeds fears, prejudices, and hate, while also tracing the history of the word and its consequences, intended or otherwise.


 

About Eric Deggans

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Eric Deggans is TV and Media Critic for the Tampa Bay Times, Florida's largest newspaper, as well as a freelance contributor to National Public Radio, CNN.com and the Huffington Post. He regularly appears as a pundit/expert on MSNBC's "Countdown"; CNN's "Reliable Sources"; Fox News Channel's "Fox and Friends" morning show and "Hannity and Colmes"; PBS's "The NewsHour"; CNN Headline News' "Showbiz Tonight"; "The Tavis Smiley Show" on Black Entertainment Television; and the PBS shows "Livelyhood" and "The Calling." His work has also appeared in a host of newspapers and magazines ranging from the conservative Newsmax magazine to the Chicago Tribune, Seattle Times, Chicago Sun-Times, Detroit News and Miami Herald, VIBE magazine, Hispanic magazine and Ebony magazine.
 
Published October 30, 2012 by Palgrave Macmillan Trade. 289 pages
Genres: Political & Social Sciences. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Race-Baiter

Kirkus Reviews

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Gone are the days when a TV network could garner a large, diverse audience that might engage in a shared dialogue on race by viewing, say, the 1977 TV series Roots.

Aug 30 2012 | Read Full Review of Race-Baiter: How the Media Wi...

Publishers Weekly

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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."

Aug 20 2012 | Read Full Review of Race-Baiter: How the Media Wi...

Entertainment Weekly

Deggans, the first-rate TV and media critic for the Tampa Bay Times, was called a ''race-baiter'' by no less than Bill O'Reilly, who has objected numerous times to the thesis of Race-Baiter: that when it comes to matters involving race, the media frequently send out either mixed messages or the w...

Dec 14 2012 | Read Full Review of Race-Baiter: How the Media Wi...

Tampa Bay Times

Before my new book Race-Baiter: How the Media Wields Dangerous Words to Divide a Nation was published last week, the Huffington Post asked me to identify the nine most dangerous words media -- and the rest of us, really -- use to talk about race.

Nov 09 2012 | Read Full Review of Race-Baiter: How the Media Wi...

Tampa Bay Times

Race-Baiter, my new book on prejudice, stereotypes and media, hits stores today Discussions sparked by new book Race-Baiter reveals important lessons on talking across difference Talking Race-Baiter with critics from Newsweek and AOL TV/Huffington Post Mad Men creator Matt Weiner begs me...

Oct 15 2012 | Read Full Review of Race-Baiter: How the Media Wi...

Tampa Bay Times

Possibly the most critical guy at the Times, he has served as music, media and TV critic at various times over 10 years.

Dec 13 2012 | Read Full Review of Race-Baiter: How the Media Wi...

Reader Rating for Race-Baiter
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