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In politics, caricatures can become facts, and that is bad for everyone

Cacciatore, Michael, Yeo, Sara K., Sceufele, Dietram A., Xenos, Michael A., Choi, Doo-Hun, Brossard, Dominique, Becker, Amy B. and Corley, Elizabeth A. (2014) In politics, caricatures can become facts, and that is bad for everyone. LSE American Politics and Policy (15 Sep 2014). Website.

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The distortion of facts is nothing new to politics and election campaigns. But, with the rise of the internet and 24-hour news cycle, rumors and conspiracy theories can now spread easier than ever through social networks to reach potential voters. Michael Cacciatore and co-authors look at two examples from the 2008 presidential election campaign to better understand how unsubstantiated rumors can become facts in voters’ minds. They find that values, including political ideology and evangelical Christian status, were primarily responsible for propelling misperceptions about President Barack Obama’s faith, while media use played a more important role in driving the misperception that Sarah Palin, and not Saturday Night Live’s Tina Fey, was responsible for the “I can see Russia from my house” quote. The latter finding lends some credibility to the so-called “lamestream media” effect often espoused by prominent Republican figures.

Item Type: Online resource (Website)
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2014 The Authors
Divisions: LSE
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
J Political Science > JK Political institutions (United States)
P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General) > PN1990 Broadcasting
Date Deposited: 17 Oct 2014 10:41
Last Modified: 01 Nov 2021 00:23

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