Asia Pacific Media Educator


Scheuer, Jeffrey (1999)
The Sound Bite Society: Television and the American Mind,
Four Walls Eight Windows, New York, 230 pp. ISBN 1-56858-141-6.

Reviewed by Roger Patching

The central theme of the book – that American television is tailor-made for the simple ‘sound bite’ messages of the right and gives little coverage to liberals because their messages are more complex and don’t fit neatly into the formula – is hard to accept. Scheuer also accuses TV of being responsible for the rise of the conservative right in US society. That’s not to say that the author, who has written for the New York Times, Washington Post, Chicago Tribune doesn’t present a powerful and interesting argument. It’s just that reading at it from the other side of the Pacific, it’s a bit hard to cop.