You might have heard of kayfabe. It’s a term that originates in professional wrestling, and refers to the portrayal of staged events and actions as “real”. A brilliant video was posted by a YouTube channel called “Schism” over the summer, which explains how kayfabe has moved out of the world of wrestling and into the world of politics, which you can watch here:
Donald Trump, the post-truth president, is of course the ultimate kayfabe king. Not only did he take part in a “real” kayfabe fight at an actual wrestling match, but he has exploited the kayfabe method in his presidency more than any other politician before him. Remember when the first of his 101 press secretaries Sean Spicer said Trump had drawn the “largest audience to ever witness an inauguration — period” even though we could all see the photos showing that was untrue? Kayfabe.
Remember when Trump said he’d won the 2020 election? KAYFABE. But it turns out that we have some young pretenders on this side of the Atlantic too. (As BoJo would say: alas!) And our top pick for British kayfabe king has to be Matt Hancock. His particular brand of kayfabery mixed with schoolboy-cringyness makes the spectacle all the more excruciating to watch, and all the more difficult to tear yourself away from.
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