We also see outrageous voices wielding disproportionate influence in elections, independently vetting candidates, anointing or tarring the contestants, particularly during primaries. This has been most evident on the right, where outrage media are more abundant and mature. Finally, we believe outrage to be increasingly divisive in the world of congressional policymaking, as it works to brand collaboration, open-mindedness, and compromise as weak. This stigmatization of cooperation has particular gravity because public servants are well aware that key votes will be closely monitored by outrage venues and heralded as tests of ideological purity.
Attention. Great new book coming out from my friend, Sarah Sobieraj and her colleague, Jeffrey M. Barry – The Outrage Industry: Political Opinion Media and the New Incivility. You can read an excerpt in Salon.