In the spirit of Comic-Con and Star Trek conventions, political junkies now have Politicon, a nexus where they can socialize, debate, share obscure knowledge, and hope to catch a glimpse of a famous political figure or two. Politicon seems to arrived at just the right time, in a decade when the overlap between politics and entertainment has never been more evident. Businessman-turned-reality-TV-star Donald Trump is once again dominating the airwaves in his new pursuit as a presidential candidate. Republicans and Democrats alike have turned the debates of both their own parties, and of their competitors’ into social events with debate drinking games. Though the entertainment value of political media is only now coming to the forefront of social consciousness, the phenomenon itself is nothing new. According to Washington Post opinion writer Charles Lane, “politics has always been about entertainment,” from “the debate between Abraham Lincoln and Stephen A. Douglas,” to “civil rights, women’s suffrage [and] winning the cold war,” events and movements supposedly predicated—though not necessarily justified—by their entertainment value.
This post was originally published on the Cardozo Arts & Entertainment Law Journal website on February 9, 2016. The original post can be accessed via the Archived Link button above.
Tesser, Randy, "Politics as Entertainment, Fair Use, and the Campaign Industrial Complex" (2016). AELJ Blog. 91.