Wednesday, February 3, 2021

"Beyond Bias"

New from Oxford University Press: Beyond Bias: Conservative Media, Documentary Form, and the Politics of Hysteria by Scott Krzych.

About the book, from the publisher:

Beyond Bias offers the first scholarly study of contemporary right-wing documentary film and video. Drawing from contemporary work in political theory and psychoanalytic theory, the book identifies what author Scott Krzych describes as the hysterical discourse prolific in conservative documentary in particular, and right-wing media more generally. In its hysterical mode, conservative media emphasizes form over content, relies on the spectacle of debate to avoid substantive dialogue, mimics the aesthetic devices of its opponents, reduces complex political issues to moral dichotomies, and relies on excessive displays of opinion to produce so much mediated "noise" as to drown out alternative perspectives or viewpoints.

Though often derided for its reliance on nonsense or hyperbole, conservative media marshals incoherence as its prized aesthetic and rhetorical weapon, a means to bolster the political status quo precisely by confusing those audiences who come into its orbit. As a work of documentary studies, Beyond Bias also places conservative non-fiction films in conversation with their more conventional counterparts, drawing insight from the manner by which conservative media hystericizes such issues as the archive, observational methods, directorial participation, and the often moral imperatives by which documentary filmmakers attempt to offer insight into their subjects.
--Marshal Zeringue