From a mass media perspective, let’s look at what brought us Donald Trump.
Once upon a time we had television networks that were truly mass media – they had something for everybody, and none of it patently offensive. Things changed with cable, satellite and online programming, many choices – some good, and a lot of them really bad.
One spawn of this was reality television – niche-oriented, cheap to produce, full of empty calories. Scripts? Actors? Actual plots? They’re for losers. In reality TV, when you’ve got your narrow niche audience, you can just make things up as you go along.
And with reality television – “The Apprentice” -- came Donald Trump as a pop culture and political player.
With him, and with the Republican National Convention last week, has come an embarrassment of riches – OK, just a bunch of embarrassments.