The Political Media We Deserve

Brooke Gladstone of On The Media and Arthur Brooks of the American Enterprise Institute join the governmentality podcast.

By Allen McDuffee | September 17, 2015


In this first episode of the governmentality podcast, Brooke Gladstone of WNYC’s On The Media discusses the power of the media, the state of our political media, and how she plans to cover the 2016 election cycle, among other things. And, in the book chat, Arthur Brooks, the president of the American Enterprise Institute, discusses his book, The Conservative Heart.

Brooke Gladstone on the questions she keeps in mind while covering the 2016 election cycle:

How much should you pay attention to this point in the cycle? Not much. In fact very, very little. . . . How do you understand a poll? What is a poll for? What is the question being asked? What does that question mean? The number one stupid question asked by polls cycle after cycle after cycle is: If you were going to vote now, who would you vote for? Meaningless! That gives people more than permission — it encourages people — to just sort of randomly pull out of a hat, which has absolutely nothing to do with how any of us will behave later. But if they asked, “Who are you going to vote for November after next?” they would say — about two-thirds would say — “I don’t know.” But that’s not a good headline and it’s news organizations that mostly pay for polls.

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Brooke Gladstone is the co-host of WNYC’s On The Media. Previously, she was an NPR Moscow-based reporter, its first media reporter, senior editor of NPR’s All Things Considered, and the senior editor of Weekend Edition with Scott Simon. She’s the recipient of two Peabody Awards, a National Press Club Award, and an Overseas Press Club Award, among others. Follow her on Twitter: @OTMBrooke

Arthur Brooks is president of the American Enterprise Institute. He holds a Ph.D. from the Frederick S. Pardee Graduate School at RAND and is the author of The Conservative Heart. Frederick S. Pardee RAND Graduate School. Follow him on Twitter: @arthurbrooks

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The show’s music was composed and performed by Jeremy Carlstedt.

Thanks to Bombfell for being the exclusive launch sponsor of the governmentality podcast.