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Celebrities As Political Actors And Entertainment As Political Media

Regina G. Lawrence, Amber E. Boydstun
Published 2017 · Political Science

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This chapter advocates a more inclusive approach to how we define “political actors” and “the media”. The authors highlight the importance of celebrity entertainers as political actors, both within entertainment formats and within the traditional media arena. Additionally, they point to the ways in which entertainment can function as political media. They argue that increasingly blurred boundaries between “entertainment” and “news” have opened pathways for entertainers to enter and shape the political field, and for political actors of all stripes to use (and be used by) entertainment media. They illustrate their argument with the case of Donald Trump, discussing how Trump was able to gain such high public support in part because the media treated him as an entertainer as much as a candidate.
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