Reynolds HotBox

Todd Felts, On Free Speech, Strat Comm and the Methods of Turning Point USA

Episode Summary

Todd Felts, an Assistant Professor of Strategic Communication at the University of Nevada, Reno, has recently been researching the communication strategy of Turning Point USA, a controversial right-wing organization. He says one of the methods of this group, which has been actively recruiting on college campuses, is to create "pre-constructed anxiety" before events. Their current leader Charlie Kirk came to UNR in October 2019. The group had another event planned in April 2020 but it didn’t happen due to UNR’s coronavirus closure. In this episode with reporters Lucia Starbuck and Scott King, Todd Felts also discusses the continued importance of writing, his background in crisis communication, and the role of campuses in regards to free speech. “I would argue that speech is freer, in some ways, on a college campus than it is in a town square because of the types of participants in the speech, because folks are sitting in rooms learning things, they're thinking about things, and they have things to say,” Felts said. Listen to this episode for more insights in general, and concerning Turning Point USA in particular.