33 minutes | Oct 23rd 2020

TV critic James Poniewozik on Trump's season finale and the media's 'burnout' from four years of reality show governance

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New York Times chief TV critic James Poniewozik argues that President Trump's reality TV tendencies, and his reliance on "button-pushing, shocking stuff" to sustain attention from viewers or voters, has contributed to a feeling of "burnout" over time. Trump is so immersed in conservative media narratives, Poniewozik says, "that he can sort of only speak its language, and has a hard time speaking outside it." Poniewozik also suggests that Americans have become more adept at spotting reality and drama TV tropes through Trump, and he likens Joe Biden to an episode of “Antiques Roadshow,” in this conversation with Brian Stelter.

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