As the holidays approach, corporate media issue a spirited message to readers: Pipe down about politics. Major outlets repeatedly warn that family gatherings are potential hotbeds of political contention, and readers must be strategic with discordant relatives in order to prevent heated debate.

In November, the Washington Post’s “Have Different Politics From Your Family? Here’s How to Survive the Holidays” (11/25/19) offered strategies on how to “avoid detonating the room” with opinions. Last year, the New York Times (11/20/18) instructed readers on “surviving” Thanksgiving, with tips including “don’t mention President Trump” and “find the cutest thing in the room and home in.” The year before, PBS NewsHour (11/22/17) even produced a printable placemat with prescriptions for “civil” holiday conduct, with advice on questions like “how to end a conversation that gets heated or politically charged,” and “should we be having these conversations at all?”

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