Is Donald Trump beyond satire?

This US election has been so bizarre it’s difficult to send up. PJ O’Rourke talks about the candidates, satire and his new book from the Cheltenham Literature Festival.

PJ O’Rourke’s next book, How the Hell Did This happen?: The Election of 2016 is by necessity a work in progress, and not without its challenges.

Speaking to Talking Books’ Gavin Esler at the Cheltenham Literature Festival, he explains why, as a political satirist and journalist, the 2016 race to The White House has been particularly difficult to cover.

“It’s been a terrible 18 months,” he explains. “I’m a political satirist… and the election has been completely self-satirising. I am a political humourist, and it’s been impossible to be funnier than Hillary’s pantsuits; and I’m a political commentator and I simply can't get a word in edgewise with Donald Trump around.”

O’Rourke was once a hippie and a communist and is now a self-styled “Republican reptile”. So why has he come out in support of Hillary Clinton? As he reveals before reading an extract from his book, his is hardly a ringing endorsement. “She’s the second worst thing that could happen to America”, he says. 

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