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To normalize an individual and/or behavior that was previously judged as reprehensible. It is a (typically humorous) rehabilitation/humanization of a person's image. If tousling is effective, it reveals that any previous condemnation was just grandstanding.
"When Fallon tousled Trump, that normalized him and made him more sympathetic. I guess all those viewers who that that that was cute weren't really that concern about Trump after all!"; "When Colbert was tousling Sean Spicer at the Emmy's it really made me mad because I was like, 'I thought Colbert really believed that Spicer was a danger to the country; guess not!'"
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by psychophysics September 19, 2017
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