Fox Populism (Communication) (Paperback)
Cambridge University Press, 9781108721783, 308pp.
Publication Date: March 6, 2019
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Fox Populism offers fresh insights into why the Fox News Channel has been both commercially successful and politically effective. Where existing explanations of Fox's appeal have stressed the network's conservative editorial slant, Reece Peck sheds light on the importance of style as a generative mode of ideology. The book traces the historical development of Fox's counter-elite news brand and reveals how its iconoclastic news style was crafted by fusing two class-based traditions of American public culture: one native to the politics in populism and one native to the news field in tabloid journalism. Using the network's coverage of the late-2000s economic crisis as the book's principal case study, Peck then shows how style is deployed as a political tool to frame news events. A close analysis of top-rated programs reveals how Fox hails its audience as 'the real Americans' and successfully represents narrow, conservative political demands as popular and universal.