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Political Correlates of Daytime Talk Show Viewing
Carroll J. Glynn
The Ohio State University
School of Communication
Bruce W. Hardy
Department of Communication
Department of Communication
Running Head: Daytime Talk Shows
Bruce W. Hardy
Department of Communication
338 Kennedy Hall
Ithaca, NY 14850
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Submission for presentation at the 2005 AEJMC Conference
Political Correlates of Daytime Talk Show Viewing
This study examined the influence of daytime talk shows on opinion
formation, from a cultivation perspective. Specifically, we examined
how exposure to daytime talk shows and the extent that these shows
are perceived as real are related to support for government
involvement in family issues. Not only did we find that both exposure
and perceptions were positively related to levels of support, we
found a mainstreaming effect toward a liberal position. That is,
conservatives mainstreamed towards liberals the more they watched
daytime talk shows and, also, the more they perceived these shows to
be real. Overall, this study demonstrated that daytime talk shows
play a significant role in public opinion formation.
Political Correlates of Daytime Talk Show Viewing
One of the characteristic developments of American television in the
1990s and beyond is the rise of the daytime talk show. Within this
genre are many different types of shows, ranging from the
community-oriented therapy of The Oprah Winfrey Show to the shocking
sensationalism of Jerry Springer. However, regardless of the format,
political and social issues have been, and continue to be, central
topics of discussion and debate featured on these shows. Not only do
daytime talk shows hosts occasionally take explicit political
positions on current issues, these shows consistently feature social
issues such as sexuality, family conflict, drug addiction, abuse, and
criminal activity. This study examines the relationship between
exposure to these daytime talk shows and attitudes concerning
political and social issues. Specifically, this study explores the
cultivation phenomenon by examining the links between daytime talk
show viewing and support for government involvement in family issues
– issues which are frequently emphasized on these types of shows.
Theoretical background: Cultivation
The central hypothesis of cultivation states that television viewing
gradually leads to the adoption of beliefs about society that are
consistent with those systematically portrayed on television
(Gerbner, et al., 1980; Shanahan & Morgan, 1999). That is,
perceptions of the "real" world will be "cultivated" by exposure to
the same symbolic messages over and over again. As Gerbner et al.,
(1982) noted, "Television provides perhaps for the first time since
pre-industrial religion, a strong cultural link, a shared daily
ritual of highly compelling and informative content, between the
elites and all other publics." Gerbner and his colleagues then asked,
"What is the role of this common experience in the general
socialization and political orientation of Americans?" (p.101).
Twenty-some years later, this question has yet to be fully answered.
Partly due to the fact that television is constantly morphing, trying
to study the social effects of this medium is comparable to shooting
at a moving target. However, we are able to partly address this
question by examining specific types of television content and their
relationships with specific political opinions. In this study we
examine daytime talk shows and support for government involvement on
The daytime talk show format
The format for daytime talk shows is usually informally-guided
conversation among the host, guests and the audience. Beginning in
1970, Phil Donahue pioneered this format in which he first
interviewed a guest or guests. He would then guide the audience by
posing questions to and eliciting reactions from the interviewees.
The success of his program led to the rise of other competitors,
including a variety of talk show hosts such as Ricki Lake, Montel
Williams, Sally Jessy Raphael, Geraldo Rivera, and Oprah Winfrey.
The popularity of this type of format is due to the unique
opportunity, in a mass media setting, to mix conversation with a more
institutionally directed form of discourse such as the more formal
news interview (Ilie, 2001). These talk shows provide a middle ground
between private, free-flowing individual conversation and more
rigidly structured forms of institutional discourse. Because talk
shows allow for "participation," they may be an under-recognized
arena for the expression of public opinion about an enormous variety
of issues. Although radio talk shows have received some attention
concerning their influence on opinion formation, expression and
participation (see, Hofstetter, 1998; Pan & Kosicki, 1997), daytime
television has received less attention. Currently, it is an open
question as to how or whether daytime TV talk shows provide a forum
that would encourage attention to political and social issues.
Content of daytime talk shows
In an analysis of 200 episodes of talk shows, Greenberg and Smith
(1995) found that themes of marriage, family, children, relationships
and sex were predominant. Unfortunately, to our knowledge, apart from
Greenberg and Smith's analysis, there are no other systematically
collected data available. Therefore, in order to add strength to our
theoretical argument, we examined show topics for The Oprah Winfrey
Show for the year 2002. Show titles are available on the program's
website for several years. From the show's title we ascertained the
basic theme of the program. The most prevalent theme in the program
was "family/children." This was followed by celebrity/personality
interviews, and relationships/sex. Additionally, these themes can
be seen while perusing transcripts of the shows. Oftentimes the host
will conclude the show with a message intended to drive home a lesson
or conclusion center on these themes, as in the following examples:
TOLERANCE (Montel Williams on gay parents): At least we found out
something. It's not about political correctness. It's just about
respect for another human being. If you don't agree, OK. It's not a
lifestyle you have to live. And it also is not something that really
affects you. So don't run around giving your children an attitude so
it affects them that they gotta go and voice their opinion at
somebody else. We could stop this garbage now. Just as Ramona said,
tolerance is learned and taught. So is ignorance. (March 18, 2003)
CHILDREN COME FIRST (Jerry Springer on dealing with unexpected
pregnancies): You know, nobody's suggesting that pregnancy means life
for the woman must stop, nor is this show about whether stripping or
making porn movies are an appropriate way to make a living. No, this
is about the undeniable responsibility one has in bringing life into
the world and whether decency, if not good sense, requires a
modification of lifestyle so as to ensure that the newborn has the
best chance of making it.
Stories about how rough your childhood was are no excuse for passing
that abuse and irresponsibility on to your child. To be using drugs
and alcohol or be whoring around while pregnant suggests that one is
nowhere near ready to be a mother, and perhaps it's in the best
interest of the newborn to be removed from the home at birth, even if
the state has to do it. That may shake up the moms-to-be, but nothing
else seems to be working. It's a lot easier to become a mother than
to actually be one. (October 24, 1996)
SELF-EXPRESSION (Oprah Winfrey): The realization that you are a
person who's been given life and a voice and that that voice means
something--that voice means something not only to you, not only to
your family, but to the rest of the world. You were meant and born to
speak your voice. (March 18, 2003)
RESPONSIBILITY (Montel Williams on paternal responsibility for
children): Well, whether he wants to or not, I'd take him to court
and make him do what's right. Even if he's not seeing the
child--your--your child--not for you, but your child deserves to have
child support to help take care of their needs in case your child
becomes a gifted student and someday wants to go to a school or go
somewhere. That person should be paying to make sure that child has
the right to do that. OK? And so make sure you do that.
Daytime talk shows rarely take an explicitly political focus. But
this does not mean that the shows lack political content.
Occasionally, hosts will take explicit political positions on their
shows. For example, in 1999 O'Donnell publicly attacked New York City
Mayor Rudolph Giuliani on his new homeless policy (Nordlinger, 2000).
O'Donnell, on her show, said "He's out of control, this guy! Sure,
just, you know, arrest all the homeless people" (Nordlinger, 2000, p.
2). O'Donnell has been involved in other political debates concerning
social issues, including gun control, child welfare, and her own
homosexuality. Many of these issues were frequently discussed on her
show (Nordlinger, 2000).
Davis and Owen (1998) stated that "political content is intermittent
on these programs" (p. 148). They highlight that the viewers of
daytime talk shows tend to be younger and are more likely to be
female. They also are more likely to have less education, to have
lower income, and not to be white. These characteristics are
concurrent with what we would expect from people more likely to be
disaffected from the political system and less likely to pay
attention to other more politically oriented media.
Daytime talk shows and support for government involvement in family issues
Unfortunately, the few existing studies on the influence of daytime
talk shows have not explicitly looked at their influence on support
for government intervention concerning social well-being. Most
studies have looked at how perceptions of social relationships are
cultivated by the portrayal of atypical behavior often showcased on
these shows. For example, Davis and Mares (1998) found that talk show
viewers overestimated the frequency of some social problems. As Woo
and Dominick (2003) noted, "Some observers, such as Sen. Joseph
Liebermann, have suggested that these programs may have negative
effects on viewers because their focus on bizarre behaviors and
dysfunctional relationships might prompt audience members to think
such behaviors are typical…" (p. 109). However, it has been suggested
that this effect is more pronounced for those who are unfamiliar with
societal norms and values. For example, Woo and Dominick (2003) found
that international students who scored low on acculturation –
familiarity with host country's norms and values – and watched
daytime talk shows were more likely to have negative perceptions and
attitude toward human relationships in the United States.
Relying on past cultivation research (for an overview see Shanahan &
Morgan, 1999), we can assume that heavy viewers of daytime talk shows
depend on these shows to learn about social issues. Not only do these
viewers extract information on social issues from these shows, but
their beliefs should reflect those consistently portrayed. In other
words, the more viewers spend time "living" in the televised world of
daytime talk shows they will be more likely to see the "real" world
in terms of the values and ideologies portrayed on these shows. We,
therefore, hypothesize that daytime talk shows encourage a
liberal-oriented philosophy of support for women and family on social
issues. The shows emphasize repeatedly that there are problems in
child-care, keeping families together, and personal health and
fulfillment. The presentation of these problems rarely involves
specific demands for government action, but we can hypothesize that
regular viewers of daytime talk shows would tend to adopt a social
and political agenda in favor of greater government assistance with
family issues. We put forth the following hypothesis:
H1: Viewership of daytime talk shows will be positively related to
support for greater government involvement in family issues.
As previously outlined, daytime talk shows have frequently been
criticized for giving an unfair picture of social relationships,
presenting and emphasizing sensational and dysfunctional aspects of
society in order to improve ratings. Some programs, such as Jerry
Springer, have even been accused of scripting interactions that are
presented as real. Therefore, we are interested in the extent to
which people actually believe what they see is real and what effect
does this perception of realism have on support for government
involvement on social issues such as family and child well-being.
Davis and Mares (1998) found that perceived realism of talk shows
did not make much difference for viewers' judgments about the world.
But Greenberg and Smith argued that "most research models would posit
that these perceptions mediate or intervene in the viewer's
acceptance of what they see and hear on such shows" (p. 91). Potter
(1986; 1988) has argued that perceived realism makes a difference in
how viewers' conceptions of reality are constructed. Conversely,
Shanahan and Morgan (1999) argued that such perceptions play a less
important role in viewers' tendency to absorb depictions of reality
from television. Shapiro and Lang (1991) hypothesized that the
effects of television on perceptions of reality is a result of people
simply forgetting that what they view is not real. Simply put,
viewers get so involved in the story of a television show that they
forget that they are watching fiction. Moreover, Shrum (1995, 1996)
has suggested that heavy viewers use images on television as
heuristic cues for mental judgments about social reality. He has
empirically supported this hypothesis and found that heavy viewers
have more readily accessible opinions to issues in directions
consistent with what cultivation predicts.
Perceived realism could be more important with talk shows than other
television shows because these shows are presented explicitly as
non-fiction. That is, daytime talk shows explicitly put forth that
the guest are telling true-life stories and that the interactions
among the host, guests, and audience are unscripted. If viewers
believe that these interactions displayed in daytime talk shows are
centered on true-life stories then repeat viewers should perceive
these issues as very salient problems facing American society. For
example, if a viewer repeatedly views pregnant teenage girls on
daytime talk shows, and perceives these teenage girls to be truthful
and their situations realistic, then this viewer should believe that
teenage pregnancy is a major social problem facing our country.
Therefore, perceptions that daytime talk shows are real should
influence support for government involvement in family issues. We put
forth the following hypothesis:
H2: Perceptions of talk shows as realistic will be positively related
to support for greater government involvement in family issues.
Mainstreaming and daytime talk shows
Mainstreaming can be defined as a convergence of opinion of
individuals of different socio-political subgroups toward the
"mainstream." This "mainstream" can be conceptualized as a "relative
commonality of outlooks and values that exposure to features and
dynamics of the television world tends to cultivate." (Gerbner, et
al., 1982, p.104). Therefore, mainstreaming results in an accordance
of opinions and world views shared by heavy views of different
socio-political backgrounds, whereas light viewers of these different
sub-groups would hold divergent views. Mainstreaming can be viewed as
an "interaction in which cultivation is stronger for some subgroups,
weaker or absent for other groups, and in which heavy viewers'
responses [i.e., opinions] are closer than those of light viewers"
(Shanahan & Morgan, 1999, p. 141, original emphasis). In other words,
the effect of some socio-demographic variable is moderated by
exposure to television. Differences in views, or opinions, of
different demographic subgroups that are otherwise associated with
socio-political or cultural characteristics diminish, or may even
become absent, when examining heavy television viewers.
Additionally, political science scholars, such as John Zaller
(1992), have discussed the idea of an elite opinion consensus on a
particular policy across the political spectrum producing a
mainstreaming effect. Zaller (1992) asked, "What would be the
expected effect on public opinion if virtually all persuasive
messages carried in political media on a particular policy were
favorable of that policy, and if there were no cueing messages to
alert people that the policy was inconsistent with their values?" (p.
98). The answer, of course, is mainstreaming. Although a small
conceptual leap is required, one can view the daytime talk shows as
an "elite opinion" source providing consistent messages that family
issues are salient a problem that needs government intervention.
Therefore, heavy viewers of daytime talk shows are more likely to
have similar opinions on government involvement on family issues than
For this study we expect political ideology, i.e. conservative
versus liberal, to influence support for government intervention in
family issues. This effect will be moderated by exposure to daytime
H3: The effect of political ideology, i.e. conservative versus
liberal, on support for government intervention on family issues will
be moderated by exposure to daytime talk shows.
Additionally, we expect to see a mainstream effect among those who
perceive the daytime talk show to be realistic. In other words,
perceptions of daytime talk shows as realistic should play a
moderating role on the influence of political ideology on support of
government intervention in family issues. Intuitively, it seems that
those who believe that the content of these shows are realistic are
more likely to have their perception of reality cultivated by such
shows. We put forth the following hypothesis:
H4: The effect of political ideology, i.e. conservative versus
liberal, on support for government intervention on family issues will
be moderated by perception that daytime talk shows are realistic.
A meta-analysis of cultivation studies conducted by Shanahan and
Morgan (1999) suggested that most mainstreaming consists of liberal
views moving toward conservative views. Analyses by Gerbner et al.,
(1982) showed that, although, television viewing brings left- and
right-leanings closer together, "it is the liberal position that is
weakest among heavy views" (p. 122). However, it should be noted
that, historically, family and child welfare issues are not
polarizing and government spending on such issues is usually
generally supported regardless of political ideology (Entman &
Paletz, 1980). Numerous surveys have shown that respondents are
likely to support government spending on services that benefit them
while taking a more negative position on other social issues such as
taxes, political equality, and crime (Gerbner, et al., 1982).
Therefore, given that our first hypothesis predicts that exposure to
daytime talk shows will be positively related to support of
government intervention in family issues, we expect that the
mainstream effect will consist of conservative views moving toward
liberal views. Although, this does not seem to be unreasonable,
empirical evidence for mainstreaming in a liberal direction is weak
at best. However, Gerbner et al., (1982) demonstrated that heavy
viewing conservatives and moderates converged toward a liberal
position concerning federal funding on health, education, and welfare
programs. Given that we are examining support for government
involvement in family issues we predict:
H5: Heavy viewers of daytime talk shows will mainstream toward a
The data for this study came from a national US telephone survey
conducted between May 5th and May 30th, 2000. Professional telephone
interviewers surveyed 596 randomly selected adults throughout the 48
contiguous states and Washington, D.C. (the response rate was 60%,
based on AAPOR definitions) Multiple callbacks were conducted in
order to reduce response bias. The confidence level used for analysis
was 95% and the standard error was +/- 4%.
Demographic variables. In order to isolate the independent
contribution of daytime talk show viewing, we controlled for several
socio-demographic variable that may possibly precede and influence
the relationships among our variables of interest. Specifically, we
controlled for respondents' gender, (62% female); age (M = 45 yrs.,
SD =16.9); education (M = 13.4 years of education completed, SD =
2.0); household income (median = $50,000); and race (21.3% non-white).
Political ideology. Respondents' political ideology (M=4.2, SD=1.4)
was tapped by a 7-point scale where 1 meant "extremely liberal" and 7
meant "extremely conservative" and the midpoint, 4, meant "moderate."
Talk show exposure. To tap respondents' exposure to daytime talk
shows we asked people how often they watched the following programs:
Jenny Jones, Jerry Springer, Leeza, Montel Williaims, Oprah Winfrey,
Ricki Lake, Rosie O'Donnell, and Sally Jessy Raphael. Responses were
rated on a four-point scale from 1 ("never") to 4 ("frequently"). An
exploratory factor analysis suggested that responses to the specific
program items clustered into two factors. The first was comprised
mainly of exposure to the more "controversial" shows such as Jenny
Jones and Jerry Springer. The second factor comprised of exposure to
shows focused more on presenting the host as a friendly therapeutic
companion, such as Oprah and Rosie O'Donnell. However, a confirmatory
factor analysis (see Loehlin, 1992) of these two factors failed to
produce an adequate model fit. Moreover, the two latent variables, or
factors, were correlated producing a f coefficient of .51. Therefore,
we decided against operationalizing talk show exposure as a two
factor construct and create a single factor additive index of
exposure consisting of the 8 items (a =.82).
Perception that daytime talk shows are real. To tap respondents'
perception that daytime talk shows are real we first asked "How
accurately do you think talk shows represent issues that are
important?" Then we asked "What about most other people, how do you
think most other people think talk shows represent issues?" Response
options ranged from 1 ("not at all accurately") to 4 ("very
accurately"). We also asked respondents to agree or disagree with two
statements about talk shows. The first was "Most people who go on
talk shows are usually being honest." The second was "Watching talk
shows is a useful way to find out about values and norms in our
society." Response options ranged from 1 ("strongly disagree") to 5
("strongly agree"). We then combined these items into a single scale (a = .61).
Criterion measure. For our dependent variable, we asked respondents
to express their support concerning five different social issues.
These were: government provided daycare for children, government
required parental leave for employees, government provided health
care, expanding Medicare coverage to include prescriptions and
spending more money on education. For each issue, respondents could
indicate support on a five-point scale ranging from 1 ("strongly
oppose") to 5 ("strongly support"). All the issues, on balance,
receive support from our sample. Especially strong support is shown
for parental leave, Medicare prescription coverage, and spending more
money on education. All issues receive support significantly above
the midpoint value of 3. We created a summative index from these
issue variables, measuring an overall tendency of the respondent to
judge that government should be involved in social issues (a = .73).
In this study we examined the influence of daytime talk shows on
political opinion formation. Specifically, we hypothesized that
consumption of this type of media will be positively related to
support for government involvement in family issues and that a
mainstreaming effect will result from heavy viewing of talk shows.
That is, regardless of political ideology, heavy viewers of daytime
talk shows will have similar levels of support for government
intervention, or, in other words, daytime talk show viewing will
moderate the influence of political ideology. To test these direct
and interactive effects it is necessary to construct two regression
models. The first model includes socio-demographic variables,
political ideology, exposure to daytime talk shows, and the
interaction term (political ideology × exposure to daytime talk
shows). The second model includes the same socio-demographic
variables and political ideology; however, instead of the exposure
measure we have included a perception measure and the corresponding
interaction term (political ideology × perception that talk shows are
real). We ran each of these models separately because a single model
with both interaction terms would end up over-controlling for
political ideology as the variable would be included, directly and in
the interaction terms, three times. In constructing the interaction
terms, the main effect variables were standardized by translating
them into z-scores before the interaction terms were formed in order
to avoid multicollinearity problems among the interaction terms and
their components (Cohen, Cohen, West, & Aiken, 2003).
[Insert Table 1 about here]
Table 1 details the results of the two regression models. Age,
education, and income were all negatively related to support for
government intervention on family issues. Non-whites were more
supportive than whites, and females were more supportive of
government intervention than males. Political ideology produced the
largest beta coefficient in both models (ß = -.29, p = .01) meaning
that liberals were more likely to support government intervention on
family issues than conservations, as would be expected. Supporting
our first hypothesis, exposure to talk shows was significantly and
positively related to our criterion measure (ß = .15, p = .01).
Supporting hypothesis 2, perception of talk shows as reality was also
positively and significantly related to the criterion measure ((ß =
.10, p = .05). Finally, supporting hypothesis 3 and hypothesis 4,
both the interaction terms were positively and significantly related
to support for government intervention on family issues.
Specifically, the interaction between exposure to daytime talk shows
and political ideology produce a beta coefficient of .09, p = .05,
while the interaction between perceptions of daytime talk shows
produced a beta coefficient of .12, p = .01.
Supporting hypothesis 5, we found that conservatives do, indeed,
mainstream toward liberal views. This relationship held for exposure
to daytime talk shows as well as perceptions that daytime talk shows
are real. That is, conservatives mainstreamed toward liberals the
more they watched daytime talk shows and, also, the more they
perceived these shows to be real. For illustrative purposes we
graphed the means of support for the subgroups. Figure 1 illustrates
difference in the means for 1) low exposure/conservative, 2) high
exposure/conservative, 3) low exposure/liberal, and 4) high
exposure/liberal. Figure 2 illustrates the difference in means for 1)
low perception/conservative, 2) high perception/ conservative, 3) low
perception/ liberal, and 4) high perception/liberal.
[Insert Figure 1 and Figure 2 about here]
The findings from this study add to our limited knowledge on the
relationship between exposure to daytime talk shows and attitude
concerning political and social issues. Before we discuss the
implications of our results it is first necessary to briefly discuss
some potential limitations to our study. Like many studies using
cross-sectional surveys, the data are dependent on self-report.
Therefore, there is a potential for social desirability bias
concerning our criterion measure, i.e., respondents reporting more
support for government involvement in social issues because they
believe that it is the socially acceptable answer. Another limitation
to cross sectional data concerns causality, i.e., does media use
precede opinion formation or does certain opinions drive media use?
Although, there is no statistical test for causality we have based
our interpretation of the analyses on a strong theoretical argument
building on past cultivation research. Therefore, we are confident in
modeling these relationships as unidirectional.
Given these limitations, this study makes a number of significant
contributions to our understanding of the role of daytime talk shows
in public opinion formation. First, we found a direct relationship
between exposure to daytime talk shows and support for government
intervention in family issues, above and beyond socio-political
characteristics. Our analyses suggest that daytime talk shows do seem
to offer possibilities for issue discussion that is relevant to
viewers' political thoughts and views on family issues. Secondly, we
found a direct relationship between the extent that daytime talk
shows are perceived as real and our criterion measure. In other
words, the more real viewers believe these shows to be the more
influence these shows have on their political views. This supports
Potter's (1986; 1988) hypothesis that perceived realism is an
important factor in how viewers' conceptions of reality are cultivated.
More interesting, however, is the mainstreaming effect produced by
viewing daytime talk shows. Our analyses suggest that exposure to
these shows and that the perception that these shows are real pushes
viewers to adopt liberal positions above and beyond their
self-identified political leanings. This suggests that these shows
highlight a liberal "mainstream" and that those viewers outside this
"mainstream" will move toward such position as exposure increases.
However, we caution against generalizing this result to all social
issues. Recall that we only analyzed support for government
involvement in family issues and that support for federal funding of
programs concerning such issues is consistently positive regardless
of political leanings. Future research should examine the mainstream
effect of daytime talk shows on other social issues. It would be
interesting to see the relationship between daytime talk shows and
attitudes toward other issues such as the death penalty, political
tolerance, and abortion.
Overall, this study has demonstrated that daytime talk shows play a
significant role in public opinion. Recently, communication
researchers have begun to examine the civic consequences of
entertainment media that also provides public affairs information –
often referred to as "info-tainment" (see, Kwak, Wang, & Guggenheim,
2004, Moy, Xenos, & Hess, 2004). Realizing that many citizens are
extracting information on political and social issues from
non-traditional news outlets, i.e. info-tainment television,
communication scholars have just begun a research agenda to explore
the role that this type of television show has in informed public
opinion and active democratic citizenship. We, therefore, suggest
that future research continues to examine the impact that daytime
talk shows may have on American democratic society. For instance,
future research should examine what effects these types of shows have
on willingness to participate in public deliberation. The
deliberative format of these shows may have a significant impact on
viewers' willingness to express conflicting opinions in a hostile
environment or a willingness to listen to opposing views. A recent
study by Hardy, Scheufele, and Wang (2005) found that different types
of media influence these dimensions of deliberation differently.
These researchers found that television news views was directly
related to expressing conflicting views while newspaper news use was
directly related to listening to conflicting viewpoints. These
authors suggest that this is a result of the presentation format of
information, i.e., newspapers tend to give both sides of a story
while television focuses on only one side. It would be interesting to
see if the deliberative aspects of daytime talk shows influence
respondents' willingness to participate in a deliberative forum.
As the popularity of the daytime talk show continues, their impact on
public opinion will, as well, continue. We have found that daytime
talk shows are directly related to support for government involvement
in family issues. Unfortunately, this is a very small slice of public
affairs. Therefore, we are unable to predict the overall significance
of exposure to daytime talk shows and future research is required to
fully understand how these shows fit into the American political landscape.
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Table 1: Dependent Variable: Support for Government Intervention on
Daytime Talk Shows
Ideology × Exposure
Ideology × Perceptions
Note: ** p= .01 * p= .05
Race coded 1 for white and 0 for non-white.
Gender coded 1 for males and 0 for female.
Figure 1: Interaction between political ideology and exposure to
daytime talk shows
Figure 2: Interaction between political ideology and perception that
talk shows are real
 Reliability for this analysis was measured with Scott's pi,
which was equal to .73.