46,218 news transcripts show ideologically extreme politicians get more airtime

By | February 17, 2021

Joshua Darr, Jeremy Padgett, and Johanna Dunaway, write:

Committee assignments are normally a blessing for new House members. But some of today’s newer members, like freshmen Republican representatives Marjorie Taylor Greene and Madison Cawthorn, seem to be more interested in punditry than policy.

When Greene was stripped of her committee assignments on Feb. 4 for a series of past statements that included threats directed against her Democratic colleagues, she replied by tweeting that she woke up “literally laughing” that “a bunch of morons” had given her “free time” to promote her views in the media.

Meanwhile, Cawthorn, in a recent email to colleagues, noted that he built his staff “around comms [communications] rather than legislation.”

We research how changes in the media have shifted the incentives of elected officials and the considerations of voters, and what that means for American democracy.

In recent work, we showed that extremely conservative and extremely liberal legislators receive far more airtime on cable and broadcast news than their moderate counterparts. [Continue reading…]

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