Episode 118: Does conservative media have too much power?

A new breed of conservative media is having a far larger influence on the GOP than most think.

Conservative media has gone through surprising changes in recent years, not that many people outside that orbit have noticed. There is a world of talk radio, podcasts and Websites far bigger, a new breed like the commentator Steve Deace, who are more conservative and, surprisingly, more hostile to the Republican Party than Fox News and Rush Limbaugh. And they’re having a serious influence on Republican lawmakers.

On this week’s podcast, we speak with Jackie Calmes, a national correspondent for The New York Times, who recently published a study for Harvard’s Shorenstein Center on Media and Politics and Public Policy called, “’They Don’t Give a Damn about Governing’: Conservative Media’s Influence on the Republican Party.” Calmes, who’s covered Congress and the White House since the 1980s, says that the conservative media has influenced the Republicans’ internal battles, especially in the House, far more than generally acknowledged.


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