People like Chuck Todd aren’t presenting news. They’re covering politics as a game and critiquing strategies, legal, factual, or wholly made up.

It doesn’t matter if it’s dangerous, fascistic, or otherwise, what matters is whether it will work. We have to reject this mindset.
For years now we’ve had “news shows” engaging in coverage of “news behind the news,” or breathless speculation about strategies and maneuvers that influence the news.

Chuck Todd is literally discussing whether Republican lies will influence him and his friends.
Again, I’ve compared politics to wrestling, and the modern news media, like wrestling, isn’t focused on the product, whether it’s matches or coverage, but is obsessed with how power makes its decisions and how power alters reality for consumption.
One of the ways Trump came to power was this tabloid obsession with palace intrigue and moves within moves. What we’re fed is an insider’s perspective of how powerful people maintain power. It’s not about what’s actually happening but the lies that hide what’s actually happening.
Without exaggeration, a good chunk of the media is focused solely on discussing, as if they were at a cocktail party, whether attempts to brainwash voters and capture them in alternate realities will be successful. What’s lost is the real fate of real people.
Let’s be clear. Politics should be about whether we live better, safer lives. But it has been twisted into a game played by the powerful and an entire ecosystem paid to watch and comment on those games. It’s insidious and repugnant and we have to move beyond it.
This moment we’re at, with this spectacle journalism and the raging sea of conspiracy theories, is symptomatic of the obvious illusion of representation in our system. We know the game is rigged, that we’re being lied to, so we shift to rumors and analysis of the lies.
The only remedy and solution is to build grassroots coalitions, hold the powerful accountable, reject this postmodern, nihilistic coverage and gamesmanship, and return government to the people. Otherwise we’re just going to drown in this sludge.

• • •

Missing some Tweet in this thread? You can try to force a refresh

Keep Current with Jared Yates Sexton

Jared Yates Sexton Profile picture

Stay in touch and get notified when new unrolls are available from this author!

Read all threads

This Thread may be Removed Anytime!


Twitter may remove this content at anytime! Save it as PDF for later use!

Try unrolling a thread yourself!

how to unroll video
  1. Follow @ThreadReaderApp to mention us!

  2. From a Twitter thread mention us with a keyword "unroll"
@threadreaderapp unroll

Practice here first or read more on our help page!

More from @JYSexton

15 Nov
I’m thinking a lot this morning about how to cover Trump going forward. I think it’s important to keep an eye on him as he’s the leader of a violent, fascist movement, but there needs to be a change to how we allow him into our lives and how we let him affect discourse.
To understand the reactionary Right and this growing anti-democratic threat, I’m going to continue studying and analyzing the Trump behaviors and communications that motivate and shape his dangerous followers but turn away from any of the spectacle.
I’m done with palace intrigue. Who has an advantage with Trump. Who is in and who is out. And I’m done with the pathetic outbursts and attention grabbing stunts. I’ll only cover them if they might radicalize or change the political situation.
Read 7 tweets
12 Nov
All right.

We need to talk about Donald Trump, this bad-faith, haphazard coup, and how professional wrestling explains what's going on and why this grift could become incredibly dangerous.

I wrote a thread the other day about how this coup is both legitimate and a total grift, but something people need to realize is that we're watching the rhetorical strategies of professional wrestling play out in politics and our country.

Here's an explanation.

Professional wrestling is an industry of grift. It's about open and closed system of power and knowledge. It is divided between "smarts," people who understand the grift and "marks," people who are being manipulated.

Right now, this coup is about the same systems.

Read 17 tweets
11 Nov
The most insidious invention of Trumpism was to move orthodoxy from the Republican Party to unceasing support for Trump, meaning anyone who stepped out of line or didn’t support his reality instantly became a heretic.
It’s a matter of a cult gaining control of the main religion and then dictating how even people on the periphery behave. Now we’re seeing it even play out in who has faith in election fraud even though there’s literally no evidence.
And that’s what it is. Faith in spite of evidence. There’s no fraud and yet there’s no amount of proof that could convince them otherwise. It’s a matter of religious conviction what Trumpists feel. That’s why I keep trying to explain this is actually a full blown cult.
Read 4 tweets
10 Nov
People keep asking whether Trump and the Republicans attempt to steal the election is legitimate, if it's a coup, if it's a fundraising scheme, if it's posturing, if it's actually all that dangerous.

The answer is yes. All of these things and so much more.

The first thing we have to establish is that Trump is erratic. He flails and rages. But that flailing and raging, paired with his shamelessness, exposes weaknesses in our system.

When Trump finds a weakness, he exploits it until he breaks through.

Right now Trump is defeated. He has no legitimate means of winning this election and so he's throwing everything at it in hopes something will stick. At times, it's laughable, but all he needs is ONE THING to work.

Read 18 tweets
9 Nov
The Four Seasons Landscaping debacle is a perfect encapsulation of just how haphazard, sloppy, and ultimately stupid the Trump operation has been from the very beginning.

The only reason they've succeeded at anything is rampant racism, greed, and misplaced trust in our systems.
That Trump and his cronies would mishandle a moment like that to such a buffoonish degree is laughable, but it should also remind us that if they were the least bit more competent or disciplined that we would be in a completely different spot.
Trump capitalized on existing white supremacist, fascistic strains in this country and showed a willingness to act in bad faith and steamroll democratic institutions would largely go unchecked.

We need to understand that groundwork has been laid and someone else can pick it up.
Read 6 tweets
5 Nov
Before Trump speaks, I want to be very, very clear about something. Everyone needs to get this.

We're in the middle of a fascist coup. It may not work, but that's what's happening and we can't let the tally-jockeying obscure that fact.

Obviously this is a moment where we're dealing with shifting numbers, but the Right's attacks on polling places, threats against officials, and intimidation of the public at-large can't just be dismissed.

This is a fascist movement.


If you have watched even a shred of Right Wing media in the past couple of days, it is fully unhinged, conspiratorial paranoia and is discussing killing people, executing opponents, undermining voting altogether, and using the power apparatus of the government.

Read 12 tweets

Did Thread Reader help you today?

Support us! We are indie developers!

This site is made by just two indie developers on a laptop doing marketing, support and development! Read more about the story.

Become a Premium Member ($3/month or $30/year) and get exclusive features!

Become Premium

Too expensive? Make a small donation by buying us coffee ($5) or help with server cost ($10)

Donate via Paypal Become our Patreon

Thank you for your support!

Follow Us on Twitter!