Faking The News: What Rhetoric Can Teach Us About Donald J. Trump

Edited by Ryan Skinnell

In Faking the News: What Rhetoric Can Teach Us About Donald J. Trump, eleven prominent rhetoric experts explain how Trump’s persuasive language works. Specifically the authors explain Trump’s persuasive uses of demagoguery, anti-Semitism, alternative facts, populism, charismatic leadership, social media, television, political slogans, visual identity/image, comedy and humor, and shame and humiliation. Faking the News is written for readers who may not know anything about rhetoric, so each chapter explains a feature of rhetoric and uses that lens to illuminate Trump’s rhetorical accomplishments. Specifically, about how he has used and still uses language, symbols, and even style to appeal to the people in his various audiences.

Faking the News is a valuable addition to the growing field of analysis of both Trump’s conscious and intuitive use of rhetoric, propaganda, and branding in America’s profoundly disrupted politics. These essays are full of revelatory ‘So that’s why he does that!’ moments, and I highly recommend it to anyone interested in Trump’s language and his dark but brilliant manipulation of the American body politic.” — Rick Wilson, Republican political strategist, writer, and media consultant

If Trump’s presidency has been disturbing and his techniques have been annoying, these essays will clarify how Trump has attracted and retained a significant body of supporters and denigrated the view of citizens and politicians who do not share his vision of the nation and the world.” — Karlyn Kohrs Campbell, Professor of Rhetoric and author of Presidents Creating the Presidency: Deeds Done in Words

Once we get past the sordid inner workings of the White House, the lessons to be learned are really about persuasion and the ability to manipulate large numbers of voters. Kudos for a valuable contribution to our comprehension of ourselves.” — Pamela Keith, attorney, former Judge Advocate for the United States Navy, and Democratic candidate for U.S. Representative of the 18th Congressional District of Florida

“Faking The News brilliantly and simply explains how Trump weaponizes language, diverting attention from issues to stir emotions like anger and resentment. These ten chapters will enable you to understand what makes his rhetoric, simplistic as it is, so effective in rousing supporters.” David Cay Johnston, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, Trump biographer, and author of It’s Even Worse Than You Think: What the Trump Administration is Doing to America

If Trump is the Jedi master of commanding the loyalties of his fans and inflaming the animosity of his detractors through language and symbolism, then, says Skinnell, Faking the News is the guidebook on just how the president practices his dark arts.” — Wallace Baine, Silicon Valley Metro

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