Evergreen Commons is closed for Thanksgiving. Otherwise I would go over and exercise today. I probably would have done so yesterday as well. Instead I went to the library and browsed a bit and found some very interesting books to take home and look at.
I’m already many pages into Bob Schieffer’s Overload: Finding the Truth in Today’s Deluge of News. It is looking at a question I think about a great deal. It was published this year and deals with the Trump phenomenon.
Here are some excerpts.
Dead Cat Strategy
“Whether Trump knew it or not, his was a version of a political strategy first defined by Lynton Crosby, an Australian political consultant who later worked in the campaigns of British prime minister, David Cameron. Crosby called it the ‘Dead Cat Strategy,’ which held that no matter what the conversation at a dinner party was about, if you threw a dead cat on the table people started talking about the dead cat.
“Time and again, no matter what the campaign conversation was about, Trump threw another dead cat into the mix and people talked about that and him.”
Good Analysis of the Clinton Campaign
“Whatever else can be said about it, the Clinton campaign was operating the old way and by the old rules—a huge, consultant-heavy staff focused on raising money and dependent on constant polling to develop policy statements and talking points in an effort to ‘control the narrative.’ By the old rules, campaigns shielded candidates from situations in which they might get unexpected questions or tough follow-ups. Clinton did few interviews, and campaign workers seemed more determined to shield her form voters and reporters than finding ways to connect with them.”
Sort of the opposite of Trump’s constant exposure.
Trump as a “toon”
When Bob Scheiffer interviewed Maureen Dowd she had these comments:
“I usually think of campaigns as Shakespearian because I studied Shakespeare in college, but this one was more like that old movie, Who Killed Jessica Rabbit, which was Toons (animated cartoon charecters) interacting with humans.
“Trump is a ‘toon running against a human,’ and the collision of those two cultures makes it very hard for the press to know how to deal with him.”
“It’s a whole new thing. The collision of reality television and social media with politics…. He [Trump] is dominating every news cycle, stepping on his own news cycle, then tweeting something that ruins the message.
“And it’s funny that it’s a seventy-year-old man who’s introduced Twitter to the campaign…”
More from Schieffer later.
I also checked out the following books.
I also picked an interlibrary loaned copy of Avedon’s 1964 collaboration with James Baldwin, Nothing Personal.
The library copy was rebound with a warning to treat it gently.