Brian L. Ott

Twitter usage is positively correlated to narcissism and Machiavellianism – and this isn't where our politics should live

In 1985, media critic Neil Postman authored the best-selling book, “Amusing Ourselves to Death,” in which he argued that the ascendancy of television was destroying public discourse in America. His primary support for this claim was that the medium of television was so structurally biased toward entertainment, triviality, and spectacle that it was incapable of fostering serious, sustained, and rational deliberation. The first time I read Postman’s book, I was skeptical. More than 30 years later, I not only agree with Postman, but I see an equally seismic cultural shift occurring, one that is moving us even further away from healthy public dialogue.

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Money couldn't buy the coverage Trump got in '16. Will 2020 be better?

As much as President Trump likes to (mis)represent the mainstream media as “the opposition party,” “fake news,” and even “the enemy of the people,” the truth is that he benefited greatly from news media coverage and reporting during the 2016 US presidential campaign.

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By giving 'a-plus treatment' to Alabama tornado victims, Trump decides which lives matter — and which do not

How a person responds in times of tragedy and hardship reveals their true character. I’m not talking about made up tragedies like the ludicrous national emergency the president recently declared at the southern border of the U.S., though that too speaks volumes about the president’s character. I’m talking about actual tragedies, like the deadly tornadoes that swept through it Alabama, Georgia and Florida on Sunday killing as many as 23 people. President Trump's response to this tragedy in comparison to his response to other natural disasters such as the California wildfires and Hurricane Maria very much reveals his true values.

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