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New York Times publishes President Glassner’s essay on fear

December 15, 2015

The New York Times has published the commentary of President Barry Glassner in its online opinion forum, Room for Debate. The topic of discussion: Are Americans’ fears legitimate?

In his piece, “Fear Has Always Been a Marketing Tool in the U.S.,” President Glassner writes: “Politicians sell themselves to voters by using scare tactics. Cable news stations use fear to sell their programs to viewers. Advocacy groups do the same to sell memberships, realtors use it to sell homes in gated communities, the list goes on.” The focus of fear-mongering has changed in recent years, Glassner reports. “But the fearmongering is at least as self-serving and overblown as before… . The demonization of immigrants and Muslims serves only to extract votes, ratings and donations—and further increase the level of fear among the American populace.”

A sociologist, President Glassner wrote the best-selling book, The Culture of Fear: Why Americans Are Afraid of the Wrong Things, released in 1999 with an updated edition in 2010.

President Glassner’s research was also recently cited in Newsweek’s “Are Misleading Textbooks Encouraging Racist Attitudes?” and Time Magazine’s, “Why Americans Are More Afraid Than They Used to Be.”



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