The Inevitable Downward Spiral of American Political Discourse

Continuing to Broaden the Marketing Concept

ISBN: 978-1-78754-825-1, eISBN: 978-1-78754-824-4

ISSN: 1548-6435

Publication date: 17 September 2020


We live in very adversarial political times. Tribalism and hateful rhetoric abound. This chapter argues that this state of affairs was an inevitable consequence of political cable television. I blame Ted Turner and CNN. Once Ted showed the world that news could be a profit center, competition, differentiation, and partisan one-sided coverage in broadcasting were inevitable. Product differentiation of cable news stations coupled with confirmation biases that lead viewers to watch networks on which the broadcasters reinforce their political views polarizes public opinion. The chapter concludes with suggestions for climbing out of the downward spiral.



Steckel, J.H. (2020), "The Inevitable Downward Spiral of American Political Discourse", Iacobucci, D. (Ed.) Continuing to Broaden the Marketing Concept (Review of Marketing Research, Vol. 17), Emerald Publishing Limited, pp. 53-60.

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