Podcast: Nicole Hemmer, “From Taft to Trump: How Conservative Media Activists Won — and Lost — the GOP”

As Donald Trump built his lead in the Republican primaries, the editors of National Review came out with an entire “Against Trump” issue, a full-throated — and ultimately ineffective — denunciation of the GOP nominee. Soon conservative media personalities were taking sides, culminating in the hiring of Breitbart’s Steve Bannon to run the Trump campaign.

But the centrality of conservative media to presidential politics is not a new development. As early as the 1950s, conservative media activists were organizing third-party tickets, promoting presidential candidates, and encouraging their audiences to cast votes based on ideology rather than party. In this talk, Nicole Hemmer explains how conservative media activists won the GOP for the right — and how in the era of Trump, they lost it.

Nicole Hemmer is an assistant professor at the University of Virginia’s Miller Center and a research associate at the US Studies Centre at the University of Sydney. Her book, Messengers of the Right, a history of conservative media in the United States, was published in Penn Press in September 2016. She is a columnist for Vox, US News & World Report, and The Age in Melbourne, Australia. Her writing has also appeared in a number of national and international publications, including the New York Times, Atlantic, New Republic, Politico, Washington Post, and the Los Angeles Times. She co-hosts and produces Past Present, a history podcast that launched in October 2015.

Vicky Zeamer

About Vicky Zeamer

My passions fall more in the realm of human-centered design. I have spent my previous education and work experience in the tech industry, specifically focusing on how user experience (UX) can help guide the development of technology to be better for people and society. At MIT, I earned my M.Sc. in Comparative Media Studies where I wrote my thesis on how the dining out food industry shifted in response to the proliferation of digital food culture on Web 1.0 & 2.0. I earned my B.A. at Wellesley College where I studied both how people and societies function and create culture (American Studies) and how computer science and design could be leveraged for innovation (Media Arts and Sciences). I am currently a UX Research role at HubSpot in Cambridge, a software company dedicated to helping small and medium-sized businesses grow through an online marketing and sales platform. I sit as a user-centered researcher within the Machine Learning (ML) engineering team where my main focus is to gather insights about our users and strategize how to create ML-enabled solutions for our customers. Being at the intersection of technology and people is really my sweet spot.

 
 

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