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By Scott Borchert:
Occupy Your Thoughts
Scott Borchert interviews Anthony DiMaggio on his new book, “The Rise of the Tea Party: Political Discontent and Corporate Media in the Age of Obama” out in November 2011 from Monthly Review Press.
Scott Borchert: Your primary focus as a scholar is on media and communications. Why a book on the Tea Party?
Anthony DiMaggio: I’ve also researched and participated in social movements and interest-group politics consistently for the last ten years, although much of my research does focus on media and public opinion. My participation and study of these movements spans the anti-corporate-globalization movement, the anti-Iraq War movement, the antinuke movement and the pro-labor Madison and Occupy Wall Street movements. This book project actually brought all three areas of my research – media, public opinion and movements – together, examining the Tea Party as a conglomeration of interest groups and measuring how they have influenced media coverage and public opinion. As someone who has taken part in and studied social movements for my entire adult life, I felt I was in a unique position, scholarly and in terms of practical experience, to make a distinctive contribution in these areas. I also focus quite closely in my popular writings on current events, so the Tea Party seemed like an appropriate area to focus on in light of the massive political and media attention it has received.