Media Culpa?
Real-world ethics

What happened?

WhathappenedMy New Year's resolution is to get back to blogging regularly.  So I'll start with last year's biggest story: an outsider, dismissed by practically every professional prognosticator as an amusing sideshow, won the presidency. How'd he do it?

I think he did it by exploiting an old marketing technique: build a fire under the question to which you are the answer.  

In the 2016 campaign, such a question was already smoldering, but too few candidates noticed the smoke. Whether by instinct, chance, or study, Donald Trump became a human, high-decible fire alarm.

Trump recognized that many voters were angry that the country's best days were behind it. He articulated those feelings in a slogan that would fit on a baseball cap: "Make America Great Again." And he threw gasoline on the question implicit in it -- "Why are our best days behind us?" -- by fingering the culprits voters already suspected, from bad trade deals and Wall Street speculators to out-of-touch elites and dishonest media.  

The big story of 2017 is likely to be whether the marketing strategy that was so successful in a political campaign will work in governance. 



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