Podcast: How did medical masks become a signal?

May 1, 2020

As tens of thousands of Americans die of COVID-19, fear and uncertainty devolve into paranoid tribalism. At our most extreme, one side believes science is sacrosanct, and the other claims the pandemic is a plot to destabilize the president. 

Political commentator Charlie Sykes was once at the center of the American conservative movement. Now he opposes Donald Trump and the right-wing media that enable his cult of personality. On this week’s Kicker, Sykes, founder and editor-at-large of The Bulwark, and Kyle Pope, editor and publisher of CJR, discuss the legitimate argument to be made for civil liberties, and the origins of anti-science sentiment among conservative voters.

CJR · How did medical masks become a signal?



Amplifying the coronavirus protests, Mathew Ingram, CJR

When science loses its voice, Cinnamon Janzer, CJR

How right-wing media is covering the COVID-19 epidemic, Howard Polskin, CJR

Amanda Darrach is a contributor to CJR and a visiting scholar at the University of St Andrews School of International Relations. Follow her on Twitter @thedarrach.