In Race-Baiter, veteran journalist and media critic Eric Deggans dissects the powerful ways modern media feeds fears, prejudices, and hate, while also tracing the history of the word and its consequences, intended or otherwise. He describes how news programs and media platforms are fighting hard for increasingly narrow segments of the public and playing on old prejudices and deep-rooted fears, coloring the conversation in the blogosphere and the cable news chatter to distract from the true issues at stake. Using the same tactics once used to mobilize political parties and committed voters, they send their fans coded messages and demonize opposing groups, in the process securing valuable audience share and website traffic. Race-baiter is a term born out of this tumultuous climate, coined by the conservative media to describe a person who uses racial tensions to arouse the passion and ire of a particular demographic. Deggans explains and critiques the modern media landscape, and gives the reader a nuanced and intelligent way of understanding racial bias.
"Deggans makes a smartly presented call for more civil discourse."—Entertainment Weekly
"Mr. Deggans writes about race with clarity and wit. He understands and explains the politics of the broadcast and cable networks and the logic of its programming decisions without letting them off the hook for falling short of their own goals."—The Pittsburgh Post Gazette
"Eric Deggans is one of the most insightful and provocative writers about television today. In his columns for the St Petersburg Times and his NPR commentaries, Deggans has established himself as a voice worth listening to. His many fans -- and I'm one of them -- will devour this book."—Andy Borowitz
"If you care about this country, if you want to take part in a citizen's movement that helps heal the deep racial, economic, and cultural divides tearing us apart, you must read Eric Deggans' Race-Baiter. No book of recent vintage so thoroughly dissects the media's monetized appetite for division. Provocative, honest, and smart, Race-Baiter is a supremely important book. Read it and let the conversation begin."—Connie May Fowler, Author of Before Women had Wings
"Eric Deggans proves that he is one of the most insightful and courageous writers covering today's fast-shifting media landscape. This is an important book."—Michele Norris, NPR's All Things Considered and founder of The Race Card Project
"Troubling, detailed account of race and racism in today's media."—Kirkus Reviews