Chapter 12: Branding tragedy
This chapter explores two stories in which the fight to brand the narrative is ongoing. In one, there is a battle to characterize what happened at a Unite the Right Rally in Charlottesville and President Trump’s reaction to it. In the other, there is a battle to brand what happened after a mass shooting in Parkland, Florida. In both, one source of the branding battle is the question of who the real “victim” is. Of course, there are the actual victims who were killed and injured. But in the mind of the president, the victim of Charlottesville was himself; while in the mind of the National Rifle Association (NRA), the victim of Parkland was the NRA. However, neither the president nor the NRA is making these claims in a void; both are up against a tumultuous scrum of other political actors who are also trying to shape the narrative.
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