Publication Date

Summer 2017

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Justice Studies


William Armaline


Content Analysis, Hegemony, Media Studies, Propaganda Model, Radical Environmentalists, White Supremacy

Subject Areas



The rise of the Trump presidency has highlighted not only the white supremacist history of the U.S., but also reflects danger to the survival of the species in the form of wholesale climate change denial. These ideologies are not unique to Trump or his cabinet, instead reflecting long standing U.S. policy. This research seeks to examine how the U.S. media supports and propagates propaganda to support these hegemonic goals. Relevant literature and research seem to suggest that because radical environmental movements often challenge the hegemony of capital accumulation, they might be portrayed as more violent and a greater terrorist threat than white supremacists who support the long standing “white racial” hegemony of racial hierarchy and domination in the U.S. This research examined the relative media portrayal of these two groups, the radical environmental movement and white supremacists in the traditional mainstream news media. Content analysis of three different papers of record (the New York Times, the Washington Post, and the Los Angeles Times) was performed over a 30-year period from 1985 to 2015. Results showed that radical environmentalists were referred to as terrorists three times as often when compared to white supremacists. Mixed results were found in relation to the use of violence frameworks. Additionally, the media plays a significant role in the framing of these groups, both under and over covering these groups and activating certain frameworks to serve hegemonic goals.