Tag Archives: media

Some Deceptive Rhetorical Tactics

Just thought I would make a note of some deceptive rhetorical tactics I’ve noticed and try to put a name to them. Move the needle by taking the extreme position. Whether consciously or unconsciously, taking a position on the extreme … Continue reading

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Always Arguing About That Elusive Kettle

In his book Icons of Evolution, biologist Jonathan Wells refers (p. 133) to an old lawyers’ joke in which “Jones sues Smith for borrowing his kettle and returning it with a crack in it.” The defense by Smith’s lawyers goes … Continue reading

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Greg Mortenson’s Three Cups of Trouble

CBS News’s 60 Minutes has broadcast an exposé of Greg Mortenson, author of the bestselling Three Cups of Tea, featuring interviewees who allege that Mortenson has lied in his books and has mismanaged the funds of his charity, the Central Asia Institute — … Continue reading

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The Atomic Bomb and World War II: Invocations of Pathos

A recent classroom discussion called my attention to the rhetorical usefulness of key traumatic events in the experience of a community. To invoke immediate pathos, the rhetor can use a reference like “9/11” to engage the audience at a gut … Continue reading

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Taibbi Comments on Media Responsibility for the Giffords Tragedy

Matt Taibbi, who writes about politics and the economy for Rolling Stone, makes some interesting points about the incendiary nature of political discourse these days — see his article from 10 Jan. 2011 at “The Giffords Tragedy: Is the Media … Continue reading

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