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Todd Gitlin on deleted Trump fan video

Updated: Apr 25, 2019


Screen grab from deleted fan video.

On April 9, President Trump tweeted a link to an elaborately produced fan video that was meant to be a trailer for the 2020 campaign. “First they ignore you” and “Then they laugh at you,” claims the video, which is addressed to Trump voters. “Your vote proved them all wrong.” The menacing video included music from The Dark Knight, prompting Warner Bros. to demand that it be removed from YouTube.


Communications scholar and sociologist Todd Gitlin writes about the video in The New York Review of Books, comparing it to the work of filmmaker and Hitler propagandist Leni Riefenstahl: “Trump 2020 is less Morning in America and more Triumph of the Will, Leni Riefenstahl’s documentary paean to the Nazis’ 1934 Nuremberg rally. What it lacks in Riefenstahl’s legato rhythm, her lyrical talents, mobile camera virtuosity, and unity-of-action day-long time frame, not to mention the Wagnerian soundtrack, it gains in compression."

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