May 15, 2022 • 55M

Theory of Change #037: Jen Senko on how her father escaped far-right media

How far-right media manipulated a father — and a nation


Appears in this episode

Matthew Sheffield
Lots of people want to change the world. But how does change happen? History is filled with stories of people and institutions that spent big and devoted many resources to effect change but have little to show for it. By contrast, many societal developments have happened without forethought from anyone. And of course, change can be negative as well as positive. In each episode of this weekly program, Theory of Change host Matthew Sheffield delves deep with guests to discuss larger trends in politics, religion, media, and technology.
Episode details
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Fox News host Tucker Carlson is pictured during a recent program in which he attacked Democratic Chicago mayor, Lori Lightfoot. Photo: Screenshot

Episode Summary

It’s well-known by now that disinformation media played a significant role in enabling the political rise of Donald Trump.

But the truth is that far right media has been misinforming Americans for many decades. Fake news was a long thing before Facebook and other words.

A lot of times, it’s hard for people who aren’t familiar with the topic to understand it in the broad sense, in terms of facts and figures and statistics. That’s why it can be useful often to look at an individual’s story and how disinformation has impacted individuals. And that’s why on today’s show, I am happy to be joined by Jen Senko.

She is the director, producer, and writer of The Brainwashing of My Dad, which started off as a documentary and is now a book that chronicles how far-right radio and television hosts manipulated her father into believing all sorts of false and hateful ideas. And she’s turned it into a book as well.

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