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James Poniewozik (@poniewozik) is my guest today. He’s the chief television critic for the New York Times. We’ll be talking about his new book “Audience of One: Donald Trump, Television, and the Fracturing of America,” which was listed as one of the 10 best books of the year by Publishers Weekly, one of the 50 notable works of nonfiction in 2019 by The Washington Post, and a notable book of the year by the New York Times Book Review.

One critic called it “two books in one” because half the book examines the history of television from the Reagan era to today, and the other half illustrates how Donald Trump assiduously used television to create his persona. As Poniewozik puts it, Trump is “a character that wrote itself, a brand mascot that jumped of the cereal box and entered the world, a simulacrum that replaced the thing it represented.”

Audience of One combines both humor and serious analysis to explain how new forms of television programming–reality TV in particular–have changed the world we live in.

Here is a transcript of this episode.

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