The Trouble With Reality

The Trouble With Reality

A Rumination on Moral Panic in Our Time

eBook - 2017
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Reality. It used to seem so simple-reality just was, like the weather. Why question it, let alone disagree about it? And then came the assault, an unending stream of "fake news," "alternative facts," and lies disguised as truths that is overwhelming our notions of reality. Now we can't even agree on what a fact is, let alone what is real. How on earth did we get here? Every week, the award-winning journalist Brooke Gladstone, along with her co-host Bob Garfield, reaches 1.2 million listeners through more than 420 NPR affiliate stations with WNYC Studios' On the Media, a shrewd and witty newsmagazine that analyzes media and how it shapes our perceptions of the world. With her front-row perch on the day's events and genius for making insightful, rapid-fire connections, Gladstone is ideally suited to explain The Trouble with Reality. Reality, as she shows us, was never what we thought it was-there is always a bubble, people are always subjective and prey to stereotypes. And that makes reality more vulnerable than we ever thought. Enter Donald J. Trump and his team of advisors. For them, as she writes, lying is the point. The more blatant the lie, the easier it is to hijack reality and assert power over the truth. Drawing on writers as diverse as Hannah Arendt, Walter Lippmann, and Jonathan Swift, she dissects this strategy straight out of the authoritarian playbook and shows how the Trump team mastered it. She analyzes Trump's preferred method of communication-Twitter- and the various types of Trump's tweets including the "diversion tweet," the "trial balloon tweet," the "deflection tweet." And she offers hope-the inevitable reckoning history tells us we can count on-and a way to recover both our belief in reality and our sanity.
Publisher: [United States]: Workman Publishing Company , 2017.
Characteristics: 1 online resource
text file
Additional Contributors: hoopla digital


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Thought-provoking but short read about what reality is. It's a mystery to me why it mentions "moral panic" on the cover, though.

Jul 31, 2019


SCL_Justin Jan 31, 2019

A brief book about why Trump is so debilitating to Americans and the rest of us who pay attention. Gladstone has some hope that reality will catch up with him and things might go back to normal politically, but the damage to the way we interact with the fact that facts aren't enough to define reality probably cannot be undone.

Aug 28, 2017

I firmly believe that On the Media should more honestly be called, In The Gutter News!
Week in and week out I listen and cringe as Brooke or Bob relates contrived and revisionistic nonsense to us. And yet there are people who claim there is a difference between the Fake News of Fox and the Fake News of NPR. How utterly depressing!
Last night, they had on yet another of their endless hucksters [there was one exception several months back, who attacked and disagreed with Garfield on every issue he sallied forth on - - amazing!] who claimed that Americans // perceived \\ that Chinese scab railroad workers were cheaper laborers, the same Chinese workers who had been brought in by the boatloads by the Robber Barons and their Money Trusts, who owned the ships and the shipping lines involved, to replace those American workers [white, black, Eastern European and Japanese] who were beginning to organize and unionize, and thus had been laid off] who had been working the railroad. This wasn't in the name of // diversity \\ the railroad owners worked the Chinese to death just as they had worked the others to death, or murdered them when they went on strike, et cetera! [Not the narrative inference that they were simply immigrants who got the wrong end of the stick - - ALWAYS neglecting to mention that they were brought here as replacement workers, a ruse that has been used time and again by the super-rich.]
No, guest-huckster-On-The-Media, there was no // perceiving \\ regardless of how much you lie and attempt to revise US labor history out of existence!!!!

Aug 26, 2017

A fantastic, dissonance and blood-pressure reducing short read. Highly recommended!

Jun 28, 2017

Yikes, I have not read the book but look forward to it; but the comments above are a bit scary, why have we swept polite discussion into the gutter?

Jun 24, 2017

I have yet to read this narrative that objectifies reality. I believe that if we happen to be at the disposal of a co-ordinated reality, a reality that is orchestrated by people we elect into office manipulated by the upper-class, then we are, i hypothisize, that we're obligated to create a reality that closely resembles one of the highest societies in the history of humanity..


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Apr 26, 2021

“(Trump) struck a bargain, a classic authoritarian deal, with his supporters. You can bask in my favor and recognition, in the promises I make and the license I bestow, and all I ask in return is that you believe whatever I say, whenever I say it. Even when it is false. Even when it contradicts the reality of your own experience. (Political theorist Hannah) Arendt saw that in her time, too. ‘Instead of deserting the leaders who had lied to them, they would protest that they had known all along the statement was a lie and would admire the leaders for their superior tactical cleverness.’”

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