General Summary: An interview with Brian Ott covers the interaction between Donald Trump’s rhetoric and the format of the social media platform Twitter as discussed in his book, The Twitter Presidency. A few undergraduate students conduct the interview and provide commentary in response to Professor Ott’s insight on Trump’s use of rhetorical devices, the effect of twitter’s format on its users and how Trump’s style has grown on this platform.
Detailed Summary: The podcast begins with Megan Price inquiring about Brian Ott’s scholarly career and his book that was recently published (0:00-4:45) Then, they go on to talk about the actual tweets of Donald Trump, and Rachel goes onto ask Brian Ott about the popularity of Trump’s tweets (4:45-8:01). Megan then asks about doubling the character allowance on Twitter and its effect on Trump’s tweets, and Ott explains his thoughts on the subject (8:01-11:22). Then, Rachel, Megan, and Ott discuss the rhetorical strategy of Trump’s tweets and how he influences people to think a certain way. Ott states that impulsivity is central to our national ethos, and questions why (11:22-15:44). He goes on to speak to the use of communication technology, and the filtering of our political discourse through these technologies (printing press, television, twitter) (15:44-18:47). Megan asks about the differences between Trump’s speech and his tweets throughout the presidential campaign, and Ott talks about how simple (4th grade level) Trump’s speech is and how well that translates to tweets. (18:47-21:48). Rachel then asks about how Twitter plays a role in the upcoming election, and Ott explains the difference between Trump voters and Trump followers and how they view his tweets in regards to the upcoming election. (21:48-23:47). The last segment of the podcast is a discussion about if/how Trump’s tweets have changed between his candidacy and presidency, and Ott discusses how Trump himself changes the presidential norms in our country. (23:47-26:10).
Scholarly Book Informing this Production: Ott, Brian and Greg Dickenson. “ The Twitter Presidency: Donald J Trump and the Politics of White Rage. Routledge, 2019.
Credits: This podcast was produced by Stefi Hsia, Evelyn Voelter, Megan Price, Rachel Chan, Srivalli Karri, Phoebe Loya, with resources and assistance provided by Mark Longaker. It features the voices of Brian Ott, Megan Price, and Rachel Chan. Music featured in this podcast, titled “commonGround " was created by airtone and has been repurposed here under Creative Commons Attribution Noncommercial license 3.0. Additionally, conversation.wav was adapted and incorporated under Creative Commons 1.0 license.