Post Truth


It is a cynical view of politics that envisages the public as a television audience. In an interview for the film Get Me Roger Stone Trump evaluates his campaign, his political ambition and its efficacy: “I’ve always got good ratings. Ultimately it’s all about the ratings, and it is all about people watching and the eyeballs”.[xvi] More recently he boasted that his ratings on Fox News ‘Face the Nation’ were the “highest they’ve ever had… It’s the highest for ‘Deface the Nation’ since the World Trade Center. Since the World Trade Center came down. It’s a tremendous advantage”.[xvii] It is the drive for these ratings that motivates his post-truth attitude to the media. For Trump ratings are akin to a traditional notion of democratic legitimacy. Crucially, this is not a public that speaks. This is a public that watches.

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Elle Aspell-Sheppard — Verso

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