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Rhetrickery in the Media Advanced Rhetorical Writing Matt Barton.

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Presentation on theme: "Rhetrickery in the Media Advanced Rhetorical Writing Matt Barton."— Presentation transcript:

1 Rhetrickery in the Media Advanced Rhetorical Writing Matt Barton

2 Why it’s difficult Analyzing media corruption is difficult for these reasons: –The term “media” is ambiguous; what exactly should be considered “media?” –How much reliable info do we have about media in other countries? –Most of what we learn about corrupt media practices comes from the media!

3 What kind of Corruption? The media can be “corrupt” in two basic ways: –Unconscious misleading because of careless reporting and fact-gathering The media constantly make careless errors, rely on faulty evidence… We are all “thirsty” for evidence supporting our deeply held views, and tend to take it at face value when we find it. –Consciously, deliberately misleading

4 First Motive: Cash Money: –“I’m willing to accept bribes for giving rhetorical support to any position…By embracing the dictated position, I can maybe become rich.”

5 Second Motive: Job Security Political Support and Public Safety –“For the sake of job security, I have to be hide my true opinions. I must present myself as neutral, or even support for, issues I personally disagree with.” No one wants to lose his or her job over “a personal issue.”

6 Third Motive: Fame Celebrity: –“I want to ‘make it,’ to get to the top of the profession.” Fame yields money, serving the bosses yields money, money yields fame. –Fixating on frivolous “popular issues” will bring more viewers than addressing serious, truly relevant issues.

7 Fourth Motive: Dogma Dogmatic commitment –“I will passionately defend my own position; I will support my side while ignoring what my opponents say.” Being dogmatic is less dangerous when the person is upfront about being prejudiced; it’s worse when the dogma is touted as “objective” or “no spin.”

8 A Sad State of Affairs The success of corrupt political rhetoric depends on the media, which in turn are corrupted by political bias. –“Our politicians’ rhetoric is so riddled with misinformation, mindless cliché, and meaningless spectacle that it has ceased to have any relevance to the problems it alleges to address.” -- Alterman

9 “Crossfire-ism” Political talk shows pretend to present “both sides,” but no actual dialogue takes place—only shoddy “win rhetoric.” –Shouting matches make for entertaining viewing, perhaps, but are definitely not “listening rhetoric.” –“Opponents” are caricatures.

10 The Cure You must learn to be careful about what you take from the media: think hard about what you read and see. –Get more practice in listening-rhetoric and learn how to deal critically with media rhetrickery.


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