Airing: December 13, 2019

Coming Up: Gerry-rigged

A sign reads “Vote Here” in several languages and people stand in line behind it to vote. Image credit: aprilzosia / Flickr. Licensed by CC by SA-2.0.

Politicians from John F. Kennedy to Ronald Reagan have called gerrymandering a “cancer on our democracy.” It’s not a new issue, but everything from the way we draw lines to what’s considered legal has changed a lot in recent years. Michael Gilbert (University of Virginia) shares the latest on gerrymandering. And: Since 2016, states like Michigan and Ohio have made news for a turn to the Republican party. Democrats, meanwhile, see hope in traditionally red Southern states that have been turning blue. Quentin Kidd (Christopher Newport University) talks about what this process has looked like in Virginia and what’s spurring it on.

Later in the show: Fake news wasn’t invented by the Internet. It has long been used as a way to demonize political opponents. Elizabeth Losh (William & Mary) says there are fake news stories that appeal to both the left and the right.  Plus: Stephen Farnsworth (University of Mary Washington) traces the evolution of White House news management over the two decades from Bill Clinton and cable TV to Donald Trump and twitter. Farnsworth was named Outstanding Faculty by the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia.

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