Natalie Jomini Stroud of the University of Texas at Austin, in her illuminating 2011 book "Niche News: The Politics of News Choice," relates an experiment in which subjects (unaware they were being observed) were left in a waiting room with a selection of reading matter. Predictably, when political magazines were available, the subjects chose those that matched their predilections. What's more intriguing is that as more choices were made available, the likelihood that a subject would select a magazine for a nonpolitical reason actually declined. The greater the cacophony of voices, the greater our desire to hear only those that agree with us.
Stephen Carter, Bloomberg View