Using Media to Further Political Ideology: A Case of Rush Limbaugh’s Radio Shows & EPA in USA
Political parties use mass media to further their political ideologies as mass media is considered an influential source to persuade public opinion. However, scholars have identified these efforts as propaganda. These propaganda efforts are directed to bring the party issues of concern to fore, and push those higher on public agenda by building a political narrative among masses. The literature suggests that mass media has an impact on public opinion and therefore the process of influencing public opinion needs to be studied. Among mass media sources, radio has been used for spreading political and religious ideology throughout history. Even today, in the era of alternative media, radio is used as a propaganda weapon to set agenda and extend ideological narrative through framing. The political parties in America are criticized by the scholars for their propaganda efforts through media, and these efforts gets more intense during presidential elections. Thus, this study analyzes the case of American political right’s attack on Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) by employing Rush Limbaugh’s radio talk show where Mr. Limbaugh connects his ideological views to EPA policies. The study examines the radio shows of Rush Limbaugh, conducted from April 2012 to July 2012. The statements of Mr. Limbaugh’s were analyzed through the lens of agenda setting, framing and propaganda by using interpretive analysis methodology. The study found Mr. Limbaugh’s conservative ideological agenda aired through radio waves, where he framed his statements to deteriorate EPA image by repeatedly associating liberal’s efforts as anti religious and to destruct the world. Moreover, study found Mr. Limbaugh’s propaganda efforts where the listeners are misinformed by providing half side of the story and failed to provide any fact and figures.