Battling the Big Lie: How Fox, Facebook, and the MAGA Media Are Destroying America

Twelve: Grand Central. Jun. 2022. 336p. ISBN 9781538707975. $30. POL SCI
Democratic political operative and Pod Save America cohost Pfeiffer (Yes We [Still] Can) demonstrates how U.S. Republicans used disinformation and propaganda to achieve political gains in the past few decades. He reviews the various ways they have eroded confidence in American governmental institutions, the press, and science—much to the detriment of society. By spreading disinformation–information intended to deceive–and by lying outright, the GOP has tried to hold on to power and boost its number of supporters. Using a conversational tone reminiscent of his podcast style, Pfeiffer conveys his concerns about how certain news organizations like Fox News and social media platforms like Facebook have assisted the Republicans in their mission by propagating or spreading “alternative facts,” such as during the previous two presidential elections, and harmful information during the COVID pandemic. Sprinkled throughout are irreverent footnotes, which provide humorous asides and ironic commentary.
VERDICT While not the first to identify these serious issues within the U.S. political system, Pfeiffer offers a concise overview of the issues and discusses ways that Democrats can remedy their messaging to combat these lies. Concerned citizens, political junkies, and fans of his podcast will find this work accessible and informative.
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