Politics & Polls #106: How the Conservative News Media Shaped History

Sep 13 2018
By Sophie Helmers and B. Rose Kelly
Topics Politics
Source Woodrow Wilson School

The conservative news media has had a historical role in shaping national politics.

In this episode, Julian Zelizer discusses the influence of conservative news media, both then and now, with historian Laurence Jurdem.

Jurdem goes into detail about how conservative publications were created as a means to influence policymakers and as an alternative to the liberal news media. These outlets influenced presidents like Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, and Ronald Reagan.

Jurdem is the author of a new book, “Paving the Way for Reagan: The Influence of Conservative Media on US Foreign Policy 1964-1980.” He also is a regular contributor to numerous national publications including The New York Times, The Washington Post, and the National Review.


Zelizer is the Malcolm Stevenson Forbes, Class of 1941 Professor of History and Public Affairs at Princeton University's Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. He is also a CNN Political Analyst and columnist for the Atlantic. He is the author of several books including, most recently, "The Fierce Urgency of Now: Lyndon Johnson, Congress, and the Battle for the Great Society," which was just awarded the DB Hardeman Prize for the Best Book on Congress. He has edited and authored 19 books on American political history and published over 700 hundred op-eds, including his popular weekly column on CNN.com.