Monday, September 14, 2009

Katz: Limbaugh and the Mobilization of White Male Anger in the Health Care Debate

Jackson Katz had a great editorial in the Huffington Post a week ago. If you missed it you can read it here.

A great dissection of Rush Limbaugh's emotional manipulation techniques when discussing issues with people who phone into his radio program.

In this case, a caller named Tom calls in to share his feelings about his own financial crisis,. Limbaugh expertly guides his feelings of shame and sadness into white male privilege and anger.
One of Rush Limbaugh's greatest strengths as a rhetorical alchemist is the way he turns fear into anger - especially men's fear. Limbaugh regularly takes (white) men's sadness, disappointment and apprehension - about a range of political and personal subjects -- and interprets it for them as anger. This is effective, in part, because for so many men, anger is much less treacherous emotional terrain than other emotions - and much more socially acceptable.

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