The Masthead Weekly 11.30.18

When the news distresses you, do you look closer, or do you look away? In this edition, the Atlantic culture writer Megan Garber worries about the consequences for the national psyche when a country’s leaders actively encourage the second option.  — Matt Peterson

What to Know: The Attention Wars

By Megan Garber

What we’re watching: The broad battle for attention playing out at the intersection of culture and politics. What do Americans, as consumers of news and entertainment, choose to give their attention to—every day, and over time? What do they, purposely or subconsciously, ignore? How are those questions shaped by an American media system that has so much power over the national attention span? And how are they shaped by an American president who is so uniquely skilled at strategic distraction?

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