Why Liberal Satire and Conservative Outrage are Both Responses to Mainstream Media—but with Very Different Powers

1996 was a banner year for America’s polarized media ecosystem.

In October, a new 24-hour news channel was introduced to American audiences. “I figure there are 18 shows for freaks,” the former Republican strategist and Rush Limbaugh producer Roger Ailes told the Associated Press in 1995. “If there’s one network for normal people it’ll balance out.”

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