Since so much of Donald Trump’s reality is mediated through television, perhaps it’s best to view the trajectory of his candidacy as if it were a reality show that hit it big in the beginning but then saw its audience diminish over the years, buoyed at the end only by the most ardent of fans who faithfully watched.
Now Hillary Clinton is a public figure, and in an era of wall-to-wall PR it’s hard to argue that she’s not playing the game. But perhaps she simply backed into it. Perhaps she’s that Sixties activist at heart who preferred behind-the-scenes advocacy and the humility of action — but got drawn into politics as a result of her husband’s career. Perhaps she is a reluctant politician, not a Machiavellian schemer.
The debate post-mortem media analyses are filled with columns on who won and who lost. But rather than see the debate as an opportunity to get a measure of the candidate’s judgment, temperament, and approach to complex issues, we read instead about who “savaged” whom, which candidate “rattled” the other, who threw the most “punches” and who got the best “hit” on the other guy.
We live in a media-marinated society in which no problem is too large, too complex or too nuanced to be completely resolved in 60 minutes, including commercial breaks. Continue reading Using One Frame of Film to Review a Whole Movie