Sarah Kendzior on Media in the Age of Trump
In Conversation with Andrew Keen on the Keen On
The coronavirus pandemic is dramatically disrupting not only our daily lives but society itself. This show features conversations with some of the world’s leading thinkers and writers about the deeper economic, political, and technological consequences of the pandemic. It’s our new daily podcast trying to make longterm sense out of the chaos of today’s global crisis.
On today’s episode, Sarah Kendzior, reporter and author of the new book Hiding in Plain Sight: The Invention of Donald Trump and the Erosion of America, discusses the reality television show we’re all stuck in and where to turn for clarity.
From the episode:
Andrew Keen: This vision you have of all of us being trapped in a reality television, autocratic funhouse mirror: is that the way we should be thinking about history and society in the age of the coronavirus?
Sarah Kendzior: That’s certainly the way we should be thinking about it in terms of media in the age of Trump, by which I mean both mainstream media where we have our daily propaganda, and also social and digital media, which he’s always used as a one-way forum, tweeting out at people, forcing reporters to decipher his words. At this point, the public health crisis relies on our ability to decipher hidden meanings in a tweet.
He does that to abuse power. That kind of one-sided communication is always how he’s abused power. It’s always how he’s manipulated the public and especially manipulated the media, and that continues. Now, that said, I urge people to rely on each other to break through that facade, to continue to search for truth, regardless of the circumstances. God knows we have enough time on our hands now to do that.
Sarah Kendzior is best known for her reporting on St. Louis and the 2016 election, her academic research on authoritarian states, and her New York Times bestselling debut The View from Flyover Country. She is a co-host of the podcast Gaslit Nation and was named one of Foreign Policy‘s “100 people you should be following on Twitter to make sense of global events.” Her reporting has been featured in Politico, The Atlantic, Fast Company, The New York Times, Globe and Mail, and more. She lives in St. Louis.