• Broken News

  • Why the Media Rage Machine Divides America and How to Fight Back
  • By: Chris Stirewalt
  • Narrated by: Chris Stirewalt
  • Length: 7 hrs and 15 mins
  • 4.6 out of 5 stars (104 ratings)

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Broken News  By  cover art

Broken News

By: Chris Stirewalt
Narrated by: Chris Stirewalt
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Publisher's Summary

A former Fox News political editor reveals how news organizations have succumbed to the temptation of “rage revenue” through slanted coverage that drives political division and rewards outrageous conduct.

Rage revenue-addicted news companies are plagued by shoddy reporting, sensationalism, groupthink, and brain-dead partisan tribalism. Newsrooms rely on emotion-driven blabber to entrance conflict-addled super users.

In Broken News, Chris Stirewalt, celebrated as one of America’s sharpest political analysts in print and on television, employs his trademark wit and insight to give readers an inside look at these problems. He explains that these companies don’t reward bad journalism because they like it, but because it is easy and profitable.

Take it from Stirewalt: As a top editor and election forecaster on Fox News’ decision desk during the 2020 election, he knows firsthand what happens when viewers (including the president of the United States) become more accustomed to flattery and less willing to hear news that punctures their bubbles.

Broken News is a fascinating, deeply researched, conversation-provoking study of how the news is made and how it must be repaired, with surprising takeaways about who’s to blame. Stirewalt goes deep inside the history of the industry to explain how today’s media divides America for profit. And he offers practical advice for how everyday readers, listeners and viewers can (and should) become better news consumers for the sake of the republic.

This is a book for those who care about our country—and want the news to do the news again. 

©2022 Chris Stirewalt (P)2022 Center Street

Critic Reviews

"One of America’s most experienced and exemplary journalists has written an unsparing analysis of the dreadful consequences—for journalism and the nation—of “how the news lost a race to the bottom with itself.” Readers of Stirewalt’s indispensable, mind-opening book-as-warning should remember this: There actually is no such thing as rock bottom."—George F. Will

"Chris Stirewalt is an ideal guide to what has happened to the news business because he doesn’t just hate what it has become, but also loves what it ought to be. Free of nostalgia or partisan vitriol, and full of insight, experience, and clear-eyed realism, this book is an essential guide to repairing American journalism."—Yuval Levin, author of A Time to Build

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Stirewalt at his best!

What do you get when you combine Stirewalt's folksy style with his incredible insider knowledge of politics and the history and workings of American media? A joy to listen to, and a lot of fascinating insights to absorb.

He goes out of his way to be an equal opportunity critic or observer of every political party (from post-Revolutionary times and the Sedition Act through Ted Cruz's groveling to Tucker Carlson for referring to the January 6 criminals as "terrorists") as well as red and blue media outlets. Into this broad-casting of information and history as to the interaction between news agencies (paper, radio, tv and internet) and politics, and its resultant effects on America, Stirewalt shares his personal stories - from his first newspaper job at age 17 to his new gigs after departing from FoxNews. The Stirewalt "war stories" add street cred to the observations, and they coincide directly with so many of the recent trends we have all observed and that he explains from his insider viewpoint.

The news providing business has morphed from journalism to Post-journalism (the providing of information in a manner that will sate the emotional needs of the audience). This theme, which Stirewalt explains and explores so well, is considered along with another matching transition. Readers and receivers of news have morphed from being the customers (defined as those who paid for their news product) to being the "product" itself, which "free" news agencies now sell to advertisers. The clear and simple effect is that such news agencies must maximize the "products" (views) they can sell, so they must pander to the "readers," "listeners" and "watchers.". Stirewalt mixes his own experiences and downhome style in discussing such weighty topics with a smile and many laughs.

While his suggestions at the end to journalists and readers as to how to "fight back" are well-intended and accurate, he is probably preaching too much to the choir (to readers who already had the sense to read or listen to his book); and he is fighting the growing tide of profit and fame for journalists who maintain the status quo. ... But a boy from Wheeling, West Virginia can dream, can't he.

If you ever enjoyed listening to Chris Stirewalt, you will certainly enjoy and learn from listening to him read this book. I certainly did.

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A must-read for every news junkie.

An exceptional journalist telling the sad truth of the demise of the news business model.

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Just okay...

Easy to listen to in terms of his delivery and did offer some good points. But spent quite a bit of time railing on news sources like the Times and Post before saying he subscribes to both along with WSJ.

The basic premise is that our electorate is not smart and I agree with that.

I'm an independent voter and I'm done with people trying compare what Democrats are doing to what Republicans are doing. There's no comparison. One party supports a democratic way of life and the constitution and the other doesn't.

I will continue to vote Democrat till the Republican Partt is remade or disappears completely.

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We definitely need to promote more local news.

I wanted to like this book. the book started strong and was open and honest from the beginning about the author stances and where they're coming from. they admit that they'll be a little biased but they're going to try to reign it in and be as objective as they can. I respected that and continued to listen but I couldn't even finish chapter 2 from all the blatant political messaging. I got this to listen to and learn about the news not hear the author's personal preferences on politics.

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An enjoyable analysis of a serious in our country

A very interesting and enjoyable book. While I have grown up following politics, I am saddened by the tone of the political debate over the last 10-15 years between fellow citizens and equally frustrated at how the media on both sides intentionally adds fuel to the fire. Stirewalt does a great job pointing out how assumptions across the political spectrum cause people to assume the worst about those who disagree with them. If more people read and digested the themes outlined in this book, we would have a country that is more civil, more respectful, and more focused on policy discussions to help move our country forward. I always appreciate seeing Stirewalt on TV and listening to him on various podcasts, and this book (also read by the author) does not disappoint.

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Confirmation of how bad the Media slant has gotten

Shows how we are being
manipulated by most media sources . We are so consumed by partisan politics, and now most people identify with being in a political party over just being and American.

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A good advocate for local news, but with littered with dubious use of sources

While this book is pitched as a “least bias possible” telling of the internal failures of how the news works, it nonetheless plods ahead anyway.

The reader will eagerly consume the numerous citations and references the author used to back up these pitched ideas for the failure of national news. However if one digs a like deeper we find some striking omissions Freon those same citations.

As a brief single example. The 2005 Groseclose paper cited to demonstrate the “liberal bias in media,” provides a figure of all the newspapers and shows considered and plots them across a single dem/rep scale with respect to various house members at the time of the paper. Curiously omitted is the fact that all of the “left wing biased” news sources sit only slightly left of the average voter and well right of the average democrat. Even more interesting is the omissions of least and most biased organizations. The most left leaning (according to the paper) being the Wall Street Journal and the most right leaning being CNN. No those were not accidentally flipped. This Leaves one to wonder what the author believes the ideal case really is. More biased news to the right? Everyone standing on a needlepoint centered at the american voter, who themselves shifted over 20 years? Questions that will remain unanswered.


These kinds of oversights at best and omissions at worst require the reader to carry a salt-lick with them through the course of this book. While I don’t dispute the death of local news bringing about significant harm to local communities across the nation, it is hard to not see this book as an often hypocritical, often disingenuous screed of the author’s profession. Lots of finger pointing with little to no suggestions for remedy.

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Great Job!

Chris does a great job explaining the inner workings and incentives of the media. Also, what has changed and not changed in the media throughout the years.

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It gave me needed perspective

I thank Chris Stirewalt for providing history and background regarding the news busIness. It's easy to criticize today's news. By reviewing how we got here in addition to today's challenges, it gave me the desire and the tools become a better new consumer.

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How we got to here

Great breakdown by Stirewalt of the history of the news media how the incentives have changed over time, how technology shaped the industry as well as how the parties have become warped to reward rage and extremism. For a weighty topic it’s a breezy listen and Chris does a great job narrating as well.

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  • Karim B
  • 11-12-22

No broken news here just no news

No news here unfortunately and it is a book made for American audience only.