All Talk

All Talk

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Wayne Munson examines the talkshow as a cultural form whose curious productivity has become vital to America's image economy. As the very name suggests, the talkshow is both interpersonal exchange and mediated spectacle. Its range of topics defies classification: from the sensational and bizarre, to the conventional and the advisory, to politics and world affairs. Munson grapples with the sense and nonsense of the talkshow, particularly its audience participation and its construction of knowledge. This hybrid genre includes the news/talk qmagazine, q celebrity chat, sports talk, psychotalk, public affairs forum, talk/service program, and call-in interview show. All share characteristics of lucidity and contradictiona€”the hallmarks of postmodernitya€”and it is this postmodern identity that Munson examines and links to mass and popular culture, the public sphere, and contemporary political economy. Munson takes a close look at the talkshowa€™s history, programs, production methods, and the qtalkq about it that pervades media culturea€”the press, broadcasting, and Hollywood. He analyzes individual shows such as qGeraldo, q qThe Morton Downey Show, q qThe McLaughlin Group, q and radio call-in qsquawkq programs, as well as movies such as Talk Radio and The King of Comedy that investigate the talkshowa€™s peculiar status. Munson also examines such events as the political organizing of talkhosts and their role in the antitax and anti-incumbency groundswells of the 1990s. In so doing, Munson demonstrates how qinfotainmentq is rooted in a deliberate uncertainty. The ultimate parasitic media form, the talkshow promiscuously indulges ina€”and even celebrateda€”its dependencies and contradictions. It qworksq by qplayingq with boundaries and identities to personalize the political and politicize the personal. Arguing that the talkshow's form and host are productively ill-defined, Munson asks whether the genre is a degradation of public life or part of a new, revitalized public sphere in which audiences are finally and fully qheardq through interactive.... the talkshow, 153-54; and Frank Rizzo, 99-108; freedom of, 1 ; and Geraldo Rivera, 74-84; in The Morton Downey, Jr., Show ... See also panopticon Susman, Warren, 34 Susskind, David, 60 syndication, 9; of daytime television talkshows, 62;anbsp;...

Title:All Talk
Author:Wayne Munson
Publisher:Temple University Press - 1993-12-15


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