Trump, Populism and Affective Media
In my latest chapter for the Routledge Handbook of Global Populism I attribute the rise and efficacy of the Trump campaign to the transformation of media values and political economy I term “Affective Media Production”. Trump, Fox News, Alex Jones and Breitbart do not simply represent a new political and media voice but embody the convergence of politics and media in which affect and enjoyment are the central values of media production.
This has been a fecund space for media entrepreneurs and right-wing populists who use access to politicized, conservative audiences to make an end-run around the traditional disciplines of politics and journalism. Donald Trump is the synthesis of a media politics in which affective intensity and enjoyment are the principle political-economic values. He is not simply a media-savvy showman; he offers himself as a subject of enjoyment and elicits affective identification.