Meta-imaging, The War Room, and the hyperreality of U.S. politics

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Abstract

In this essay we explore a new form of political communication, the meta-image, or the communicative act whereby political campaigns and their chroniclers publicly display and foreground the art and practice of political image construction. We examine a compelling example of meta-imaging-the 1993 film, The War Room. We identify how the film functions as a reflection of the hyperreality of U.S. politics. We then argue that The War Room, through the use of naturalized military metaphors, works toward the edification of image making as a normative campaign process and a reaffirmation of U.S. national identity.

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