Trump and the Death of the Media Class
Free Public Lecture
Public Lecture Theatre
Trump has declared open war on 'mainstream' press, banishing many representatives from his briefing room. This lecture will not endorse that hostility, but will contend that the keenest injury to media is produced by friendly fire.
Outlets have not only adopted technologies and employment techniques that ultimately damage their revenue models, but have largely elected to offer a diminished analysis that appeals to a class itself diminished in size. As public trust and profits in media shrink, so has the horizon of media content providers.
Trump is so rarely seen by press as a policymaker; he is a fool, a narcissist and a pass to suspend the Goldwater rule. This lecture is a call for true scrutiny.
This lecture is part of a series: The Wednesday Lectures 2017: The Intelligentsia in The Age of Trump, hosted by Raimond Gaita.
It began with Brexit and entered another dimension with Donald Trump's election campaign. Many of the intelligentsia – those who choose or are required by their profession to comment on political affairs – were shocked. Hardly any anticipated that resentment, anger and even hatred could go so deep in parts of the British and American electorates almost unnoticed. When it was noticed few foresaw its transformative power.
In the case of Trump, many were incredulous that someone who had a good chance of becoming president of the US could be so radically disdainful of the practices, conventions and institutions that express and underpin democratic political civility, and pile lie upon lie so fast and shamelessly as to make the idea that reality mattered quixotic. He hasn't changed as president.
But commentators were not only shocked that they didn’t see Brexit or Trump coming. They were unsettled by a suspicion that some of the many reasons they didn’t played a significant role in ensuring that they did. Do we, even now, understand what has happened and why it did?
Helen Razer, Writer and former broadcaster
Writer and former broadcaster
Helen Razer was a broadcaster and is now a writer. Her appointments in radio were at the Triple J national network and ABC Melbourne. Her books include *A Short History of Stupid*, coauthored with national affairs correspondent Bernard Keane, a work on the history of bad Western thought which was shortlisted for the Russell Prize; and *Total Propaganda*, a work on Marx for Millennials and other angry beginners to be published by Allen & Unwin, coinciding with the centenary of the October Uprising. Helen has written on social and political matters for *The Age* and *The Australian*. She contributes news and cultural analysis to Crikey, *The Saturday Paper, The Daily Review*, SBS Online and Atlantic digital publication *Quartz*.