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A deeper look at the impact of partisan media’s growing divide

A pedestrian walks past the NBC News studios, November 29, 2017 in New York City.
A pedestrian walks past the NBC News studios, November 29, 2017 in New York City.
Drew Angerer/Getty Images

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How much would today’s conservative and liberal news have influenced the Watergate scandal?

That’s one question explored in a recent Associated Press article on the divide between partisan media outlets. The article points to comments made by Geraldo Rivera of Fox News, who said Nixon would never have had to resign if Sean Hannity was hosting in the 1970s. In the age of Hannity and Rachel Maddow, it’s tough not to hear opinions and accusations against Dems and Republicans in the zeitgeist. Now, with special counsel Robert Mueller’s ongoing Russia investigation, partisan commentators are magnifying opposition in Washington.

While combative style and accusations aren’t new on partisan cable news shows, political discussions have taken air-time from other forms of news, and the financial success of Fox and MSNBC continue to thrive.

As the country becomes more divided – and so do these news outlets – what are the consequences? And to what extent are partisan hosts influencing public policies?


Joe Concha, media reporter and columnist for The Hill; he tweets @JoeConchaTV

Judy Muller, journalism professor emerita at USC where she focuses on the changing news industry, news literacy and fake news; she tweets @judusc ‏