Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.

Buy Used
+ $3.99 shipping
Used: Good | Details
Condition: Used: Good
Comment: Book shows minor use. Cover and Binding have minimal wear and the pages have only minimal creases. A tradition of southern quality and service. All books guaranteed at the Atlanta Book Company. Our mailers are 100% recyclable.
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

Hot Air: All Talk, All The Time Paperback – September 6, 1997

4.3 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

See all 6 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
New from Used from
"Please retry"
"Please retry"
$3.67 $0.14

Books with Buzz
Discover the latest buzz-worthy books, from mysteries and romance to humor and nonfiction. Explore more
click to open popover

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Talk has never been cheaper in political journalism. On radio and TV, cable and network, there are now dozens of political talk shows. They range from the calm and ego-less Brian Lamb conducting a C-Span roundtable to the vein-popping G. Gordon Liddy telling his listeners exactly where to shoot federal agents. For this book, Howard Kurtz, a Washington Post media reporter and sometime talk show guest himself, interviewed nearly everyone associated with the genre. Frequently, the interviewees put their finger on what's wrong. "It's gotten to be a game," Sam Donaldson says of the guests on ABC's This Week. "They come on with one thing in mind--to put forward their view on a particular topic or two, but make certain they don't give us anything else. . . . They'll lie as part of their game plan. I can't immediately disprove what they're saying. . . . We're just an extension of the PR mechanism." According to Michael Kinsley of Slate (and former Crossfire cohost), what television wants is "jovial disagreement. We're all pals here, just joshing around in the locker room, when I think they're (expletive) liars." --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

Kurtz (Media Circus) takes a no-holds-barred look at America's electronic media from radio and TV talk shows to the Sunday morning punditocracy, which he calls a testosterone-driven calling. He skewers John McLaughlin and his McLaughlin Group for inaccuracy (they seldom predict an election right) and lack of preparation, even getting panelist Jack Germond to admit, "I am not comfortable with any of this, but I do it for the money." Kurtz then moves on to Phil Donahue, the granddaddy of daytime talk-show hosts. Covering such topics as dwarf-tossing and cross-dressing, Donahue pioneered the way for his successors from Geraldo Rivera, who had on-air liposuction performed on his own butt, to Jenny Jones, whose on-air ambush of a guest led to real-life homicide. He examines the lives of the pristine pontificators on the Sunday morning political shows, casting aspersions on their journalistic integrity (George Will once coached Ronald Reagan for a debate with Jimmy Carter, then later declared Reagan the winner on ABC) and noting their obvious conflicts of interest (journalists often give paid speeches to organizations they are reporting on). He also takes a close look at the not-so-orderly personal lives of such radio icons as Larry King and Rush Limbaugh. Kurtz has written a scathing profile of the national media and pseudo-media that will have intelligent Americans wondering why they just don't flick the dial to "Off." Major ad/promo; author tour.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

The latest book club pick from Oprah
"The Underground Railroad" by Colson Whitehead is a magnificent novel chronicling a young slave's adventures as she makes a desperate bid for freedom in the antebellum South. See more

Product Details

  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Basic Books; 1st edition (September 6, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0465030742
  • ISBN-13: 978-0465030743
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 1 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,060,920 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

5 star
4 star
3 star
2 star
1 star
See all 3 customer reviews
Share your thoughts with other customers

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Howard Kurtz is an insider. He knows about that which he speaks. As a result this book offered wonderful insight into the program format of "talk." Although I can't put my finger on exactly why, it seems that the talk format got a lot of attention in the early 1990s. Perhaps it was because Rush Limbaugh was getting so much attention after the '94 elections; or that James Carville was single-handedly dumbing down the political talk show circuit? In any case, Kurtz go this book out in 1996 right at the tail end of the whole deal.
The stories are classic Kurtz and as such are quite entertaining, but take 'em with a grain of salt. I based my masters thesis on a premise in another Kurtz book (Spin Cycle) only to discover that a quantitative analysis proved the premise slightly off-mark. In other words, when Kurtz says that Imus was responsible (or "helpful") for getting Bill Clinton elected, it's a good idea to pause and take note of all the factors involved.
The genre is certainly fascinating fare, but Kurtz often wants us to believe that talk show hosts are the real agenda-setters in our society. The fact is that mass society theory (aka: magic bullet or hypodermic needle approaches) has largely been discounted. We know that the influence of these shows can be great in certain instances, but by and large their influence is best described as moderate. If you want to push the case that people who watch Jerry Springer everyday are prone to behavioral disorders, I would recommend reading several research articles by George Gerbner (or Bandura & Ross) and then rejoining the discussion.
In fact, the whole book is a budding communication researcher's dream. There are so many passages that are screaming to be tested.
Read more ›
Comment 4 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback
Howard Kurtz gives the best analysis I've seen of today's talk show circus. His best point is that "television is the enemy of complexity." Tons of details are available on virtually every major talk show host/hostess and regular participants, both in radio and television. I like this book much more than I expected, and encourage anyone who likes "talking head" shows to give it a look.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
By Andrew Welsh on September 20, 1999
Format: Paperback
I picked up this book with one goal in mind: cure myself of my own tendency to watch the talk shows. Not so much Springer/Stern, etc.., but the Sunday a.m. and evening politcial shows - particularly Crossfire. And this book definitely accomplished that goal.
The most striking thing to me is how disingenuous this whole culture has become. Anything to get on TV seems to be the theme. We have always made that comment when watching some buffoon on Jenny Jones expose their sad life for all the world. Now we can add Robert Novak, et.al., to the list. They just go about it in a more high-minded manner and expose their self-righteous beliefs and attitudes.
If these shows really cared about content, they would have more objective hosts and panelists. But it's entertainment and so we get Sam Donaldson and John McLaughlin.
Oh well, I'm cured.
On the other hand, it was slightly tedious at times (like the shows themselves) because there is only so much one can say about this genre.
Comment One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Pages with Related Products. See and discover other items: communication skills