Menno Reijven, PhD student at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and Lecturer at the UvA, is the guest speaker at this online ACLC seminar on Friday 13 November 2020 from 16:15 till 17:30.
Please contact email@example.com to join the seminar.
Navigating the entertainment-political interview: U.S.A. political discourse on late-night talk shows
Today, visiting a late-night talk show seems to be a common practice in the United States for presidential hopefuls. Many candidates running in 2016 were featured by one of the many late-night talk shows and in 2020, a majority of the Democratic candidates during the primary appeared. These shows offer candidates an interesting opportunity, as usually the questions are not high-stakes and they can address an audience which may be difficult to address through other venues. Late-night talk show hosts even claim that the interviews they host have an important impact on the election campaign.
That these interviews consist of strictly spoken ‘easy’ questions — definitely compared to journalistic genres of interviews — does not mean that partaking in these interviews is an easy practice. Candidates have to craftily balance entertainment and political discourse; they have to invoke both an entertaining and a political identity. In this study, executed with colleagues, we employ membership categorization analysis to understand how these discourses are combined. Rather than creating a discourse which brings entertainment and politics together, the participants in these interviews orient to entertainment and politics as separate organizing discursive devices. Rather than talking entertainment and politics simultaneously, they alternate between them.