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Farnsworth Publishes Book on Political Humor and the Presidency

Stephen Farnsworth, professor of political science and director of the University’s Center for Leadership and Media Studies, is co-author of a new book, Late Night with Trump: Political Humor and the American Presidency, published by Routledge Press.

The publisher’s description: “Political humor has been a staple of late-night television for decades. The Trump White House, however, has received significantly greater attention than that of past presidents, such as Barack Obama, George W. Bush, and even Bill Clinton. In response to Trump’s strident politics, late-night comics, including Stephen Colbert, Jimmy Kimmel, Trevor Noah and Jimmy Fallon, have sounded key policy notes, further blurring the boundary between news and satire. Weekly humorists, including John Oliver and Samantha Bee, extend the critique with in-depth probing of key issues, while Saturday Night Live continues to tap the progression from outrage to outrageousness.”

“Using unique content analysis techniques and qualitative discussions of political humor, Farnsworth and Lichter show how late-night political humor, and these seven programs in particular, have responded to the Trump presidency. Employing a dataset of more than 100,000 late night jokes going back decades, these noted media scholars discuss how the treatment of Trump differs from previous presidents, and how the Trump era is likely to shape the future of political humor. The authors also employ public opinion survey data to consider the growing role these late-night programs play in framing public opinion and priorities. This book will interest scholars, the curious public, and students of politics, communications and the media, and contemporary American culture.”

Ordering info

Feature story on the book

“Viewpoints” radio interview on book (10 minutes into the program)

Trump Signs Four Executive Orders (CTV News Canada)

Professor Stephen Farnsworth of the University of Mary Washington in Virginia said that President Trump’s latest round of executive orders speak to the Republican Party’s failure to reach agreement on a Covid-19 relief bill. The Democratic majority in the House passed a new bill to help Americans suffering from the economic and health care crisis months ago, Farnsworth said. Even Republican senators are questioning whether the president’s orders are legal or will be effective, Farnsworth said.

Link to report

Congresswoman Spanberger vs. Delegate Freitas (Virginia Seven Newsletter)

Dr. Stephen Farnsworth, Professor of Political Science at the University of Mary Washington, says that this race will come down to one issue – Donald Trump.

“To a considerable degree this congressional election in VA-07, like in other places, will be a referendum on the voter preferences regarding the presidential candidates,” said Dr. Farnsworth. “Rep. Spanberger was elected in part because of frustration with President Trump in 2018, and whether the suburban anger directed at the president two years ago remains as intense in 2020 is the key question that will be answered in November.” 

Link to report

With Tactics Honed On Climate Change, Ken Cuccinelli Turned to the Portland Streets (Inside Climate News)

“What you’re seeing on the national stage is a pattern very similar to his time in Virginia politics,” said Stephen Farnsworth, a political science professor and director of the Center for Leadership and Media Studies at the University of Mary Washington in Fredericksburg, Virginia. 

“His strategy was to take very conservative legal positions and wait and see if the courts agreed with him,” Farnsworth said. “And while his track record was not particularly good, it built him a base of support among Republican conservatives and helped make him a national figure on Fox News.” 

Link to report

Farnsworth Comments in the Regional and National News

Stephen Farnsworth, professor of political science and director of the University’s Center for Leadership and Media Studies, has been quoted in several regional and national news stories: NY Attorney General Sues to Dissolve NRA (CTV News Channel)  Congresswoman Abigail Spanberger vs. Delegate Nick Freitas – Edition #1 (Virginia Seven Newsletter)  Trump, Trade and Tariffs on the Drive with Jock Wilson 9 (CHQR segment on US- Canada Trade) With Tactics Honed On Climate Change, Ken Cuccinelli Turned to the Portland Streets (Inside Climate News) Donald Trump v. COVID-19 (CTV News Channel) Hogan Passes Torch to Cuomo, Reflects on Role of Governors and Trump in the Pandemic (Maryland Matters) Poll Shows Growing Distrust of Media Among Americans (Courthouse News Service)  Manhattan D.A. Trump Investigation (CTV News Channel) Mail-In Voting / COVID And Inequality (WHRO public radio Hear/Say) Stalemate Over Unemployment Insurance (CTV News Channel)

Trump, Trade and Tariffs (CHQR)

Professor Stephen Farnsworth of the University of Mary Washington said that President Trump’s imposition of tariffs against Canadian metal should be seen in the context of the upcoming presidential election. The president will get far more attention in US media for his attacks on Canadian than will the Canadian response of raising tariffs on US exports to Canada, Farnsworth said.

Link to report