The Donald : media, celebrity, authenticity, and accountability

Higgins, Michael; Happer, Catherine and Hoskins, Andrew and Merrin, William, eds. (2018) The Donald : media, celebrity, authenticity, and accountability. In: Trump's Media War. Palgrave Macmillan Ltd., London, pp. 129-141. ISBN 9783319940694 (

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This chapter discusses the consequences of US President Donald Trump for our understanding of media and politics. It sets out by discussing the mediatisation of politics, highlighting the importance of political conditions and the development of celebrity politics. The chapter highlights the aftermath of the 2007 economic crash and the consequent rise of anti-government populism. In Trump’s exploitation of these anti-establishment sentiments, the chapter stresses the stigmatisation of specialist knowledge allied to developments in media affordances. The chapter also argues that Trump’s use of subjective discourses against expertise relates to developments around authenticity and sincerity. The chapter concludes that Trump’s media-centred politics amounts to a “pseudo-presidency”, which confounds orthodox forms of political accountability.