“These venues offer flattering, reassuring environments that make audience members feel good,” researchers Sarah Sobieraj, Jeffrey Barry and Amy Connors from Tufts University write in this month’s Poetics journal. “Fans experience them as safe havens from the tense exchanges that they associate with cross-cutting political talk they may encounter with neighbors, colleagues, and community members.” …

“Whereas political conversation generates fear of social exclusion, outrage-based programs incorporate and even include viewers and listeners,” the researchers write. “The host presents as a kindred spirit who ‘gets you’ even when other folks do not.”