In this definitive socio-political analysis of the Tea Party, Anthony DiMaggio examines the Tea Party phenomenon, using a vast array of primary and secondary sources as well as first-hand observation. He traces the history of the Tea Party and analyzes its organizational structure, membership, ideological coherence, and relationship to the mass media. And, perhaps most importantly, he asks: is it really a movement or just a form of “manufactured dissent” engineered by capital? DiMaggio’s conclusions are thoroughly documented, surprising, and bring much needed clarity to a highly controversial subject.
In this fresh and provocative book, Anthony DiMaggio uses the war in Iraq and the United States confrontations with Iran as his touchstones to probe the sometimes fine line between news and propaganda. Using Antonio Gramsci’s concept of hegemony and drawing upon the seminal works of Noam Chomsky, Edward Herman, and Robert McChesney, DiMaggio combines a rigorous empirical analysis and clear, lucid prose to enlighten readers about issues essential to the struggle for a critical media and a functioning democracy. If, as DiMaggio shows, our newspapers and television news programs play a decisive role in determining what we think, and if, as he demonstrates convincingly, what the media give us is largely propaganda that supports an oppressive and undemocratic status quo, then it is incumbent upon us to make sure that they are responsive to the majority and not just the powerful and privileged few.