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The Branding of Right-Wing ActivismThe News Media and the Tea Party$
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Khadijah Costley White

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780190879310

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190879310.001.0001

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Reading the Tea Leaves—the News about the News

Reading the Tea Leaves—the News about the News

(p.148) Chapter 4 Reading the Tea Leaves—the News about the News
The Branding of Right-Wing Activism

Khadijah Costley White

Oxford University Press

This chapter looks at how the media explained, critiqued, and reported on their own role in the branding and coverage of the Tea Party, and what that says about news media function and convergence in a headphone culture. Whether it was a “media war” on Fox News, a reporter’s rant at CNBC, or a defamatory online video triggering the dismissal of a high-ranking Obama appointee for “racism,” one thing was clear—at its core, Tea Party news narratives were also a story about modern journalism. This section of the book explains how members of the news media portrayed (implicitly and explicitly) their own roles, functions, and values as they advanced the Tea Party’s recognition, messaging, and growth through the logics, action, and discourse of branding.

Keywords:   journalism, hard news, political branding, Tea Party, opinion media, media war, Rick Santelli

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