Donald Trump: Medias favourite joke

 

New Yorker Cartoon: Donald Trump
New Yorker Cartoon: Donald Trump

The controversial coverage of the US Presidential race, particularly media that challenges Donald Trumps candidacy, can be found in ample amounts. Generally, the media has been dominated by opposing views to the contentious character that is Donald Trump while pieces of support can be found few and far between. Three opinion pieces are noteworthy examples of such coverage; one by Lorraine Devon Wilke from The Huffington Post on October 29th 2016 entitled ‘Why Donald Trump Cannot Ever Be Our President.’ The second piece is by Toure from VICE published on August 13th 2015 entitled ‘The Real Reason Why Donald Trump Will Never Be President’ and the final piece is ‘Don’t Panic: Donald Trump Will Never, Ever Be President,’ by Ben Gran for PASTE Magazine on May 4th 2016. These articles are founded on a common ad hominen argument that establishes a clear opposition towards Trump as both a politician, and person. In addition to this, other media articles will also be discussed and referred to more briefly to provide a general overview of how the media tends to cover Donald Trump as both a person and a politician. They are generally innately similar in their assumption that the majority agree with their evaluative view, however, as always there are a few exceptions to the rule. Furthermore, it can be argued that some media portray out-of-context remarks made by Trump as full truths. These will be discussed as well, to ensure credibly and extensive analysis has been achieved.

These three articles offer a clear indication of the media’s opinion surrounding Donald Trump in the current context of the presidential election. The central commonalities of the three pieces are the ad hominen argument upon which they are founded and their assumption of an analogous or like-minded audience. It is evident that they assume the majority shares their opinion, however, they also appeal to an audience who are undecided and whose opinion can therefore be influenced. They do not, however, consider their audience may be supporters of Donald Trump, highlighting a rather meaningful issue of neglect.

In the article, ‘Why Donald Trump Cannot Ever Be Our president,’ it becomes immediately evident that Wilke stands in opposition to Donald Trump and his publicly expressed opinions. The opinion piece is based on ad hominen argument and therefore uses evaluative and persuasive language to attack the personal character of Trump throughout. Wilke forcefully relies on the use of emotional appeal to reach out to her audience and persuade them her opinion, like theirs, is the correct one. In doing this, Wilkes established a clear ‘us verse them’ mentality that almost attempts to humiliate Donald Trump’s supporters. This is evident in her inclusive language that evokes the protective instinct of humankind, “These children- your children, my children, the children of our world- are why Donald Trump cannot ever be our president.” The article therefore asserts that Trump is not a suitable political candidate and rejects any premise that he could rise to the occasion and benefit the people of our world. This emotional appeal is reiterated further along in the article,

Donald Trump does not possess, and is utterly incapable of, embodying and exemplifying the kind of integrity, consideration, grace, wisdom, compassion, impulse control, verbal acuity, knowledge, experience, honesty, and simple good manners…

This intense use of adjectives describing the most desirable attributes, all of which Trump arguably fails to possess, is used by Wilkes to consolidate in the mind of the reader, exactly why Trump should be opposed. To extenuate this view, Wilkes uses a comparison of Trump to criminals and other such unreliable peoples as a supporting argument,

There may be worse people; I’m sure there are, but odds are they’re either in prison, running multi-level marketing scams in other nondescript towns, or living in basements trolling ecologists and women with money.

This argument is therefore reliant on a like-minded readership who share the belief in the underlying warrant that these people are corrupt and should not be in a position of power. The assumption of an agreeable audience is supported in article, “The list is stunningly long and anyone reading this article likely knows it all.”

This assumption of a like-minded audience is consistent across the majority of articles opposing Trump. This is particularly evident in ‘If Donald Trump was President, Here’s What Would Happen to the US Economy,’ by Emily Stewart for The Street. In an appeal to social norm and fact, Stewart questions the personal fortune of Trump,

Trump’s brand has contributed an enormous amount of his net worth- he says more than $3 billion. But how will that trumpiness translate to the White House? Perhaps not well.

Here, Stewart invents the term ‘Trumpiness’, however, offers no definition or context for its meaning. Instead, the term simply carries with it negative connotations and an implicit meaning. The reader therefore has to deduce the meaning of the term, assuming they will reach the same conclusion as the author. This is reliant on a like-minded audience as seen in Wilke’s article.

However, while much less common in media articles, there is also an audience who do support Trump and the methods of his political campaign. In a piece entitled ‘The Five Key Ingredients of Donald Trump’s soar away Success’, Michael Barone makes the following point,

First, by staking out controversial stands on legitimate issues – immigration and trade – in his announcement speech on June 16, nearly 17 months before the general election, when he called illegal immigrants from Mexico “rapists”, conceding that some may be “good people”. This got enormous news coverage.

Therefore, despite the majority of pieces being presumptuous of an audience opposing Trump, it is evident that not everyone does and this could be considered a flaw in their arguments. This is arguably a flaw of Wilkes’ article as she fails to recognise this, slightly decreasing the validity of her argument as it appeals more to emotion than to fact and sources of authority.

Finally, Wilkes’ appeal to social norm and nationalism adopts an ad populum argument,

And we have an obligation- as caring, thinking, conscious Americans- to not allow our children, our country, our world, to be inflicted, infected, with the kind of bottom-feeding demagoguery that he and his cabal of alt-right coat tailers would impose upon this country.

The use of ad populum as an informal fallacy provides a stronger appeal to the audience and a more sincere argumentation throughout the piece. The author therefore effectively establishes their position on Donald Trump in an evaluative and highly persuasive manner. This could, however, be improved by the additional appeal to fact and authority to create more legitimacy in the argumentation of the article.

The use of informal fallacies is an exhausted tool in articles opposing Donald Trump. A noteworthy example is one by Markus Feldenkirchen from Spiegel Online International entitled ‘America’s Agitator: Donald Trump Is the World’s Most Dangerous Man’. This media piece is also based on an ad hominen argument as it attacks Trump on an innately personal level. The central argument is that Trump’s “most unique characteristic is his lack of scruples.” This is arguably a distraction method as it is ultimately taking attention away from his political standpoint and re-centring it on his personal mannerisms. This reinforces the notion of an ad hominen argument as the article focus not on the events and the political race, but on Donald Trump as a person.

The article by Toure, ‘The Real Reason by Donald Trump Will Never Be President’ shares the same foundational views. Also centred on an ad hominent argument, the piece attacks the character and public profile of Donald Trump as a means to derail his political position. This article, however, relies less significantly on the emotional appeal presented by Wilkes, and provides a more factual appeal. Before delving into this approach, however, the piece opens with a humorous remark, “Watching the 2016 race is like we’re watching an outlandishly madcap absurdist film mocking the presidential process.” The tongue-in-cheek nature of this comment firmly establishes the author’s position on Trump, and inaugurates in the audience a disrespect towards his presidential candidacy. This is furthered by an appeal to both authority and popular opinion,

As the Washington Post’s John Capehart tweeted recently, “The 2012 Republican presidential field was derided as a clown car. The 2016 clown is being driven by a clown.

Despite this joke within this reference, it alludes to an overwhelming opposition to Trump. The use of humour or a tongue-in-cheek method is common to articles opposing Trump. A prominent example is in ‘Donald Trump: Just cancel the election and name me president’ by Daniel Halper, published in the New York Post in October 2016. The opening of this piece is a clear tongue-in-cheek reference to one of Trump’s speeches, “Donald Trump has proposed a sure way for him to become president: Cancel the election and anoint him leader.” This statement essentially makes a joke out of Trump, opposing any support towards him.

Moving back to Tour’s article, in a further appeal to authority he refers to another news outlet, “An online NBC news/Survey Monkey poll conducted after the GOP debate found Trump at 23 per cent.” This also incorporates an appeal to fact, providing clear evidence and support for the view being presented rather than relying only on emotional appeals. However, emotional appeals are also evident in the text. A noteworthy example is Toure’s use of vulgar language designed to stir up disgust in the readership, arguing that Trump is “Using his words to pee all over the race, like an Alpha establishing its dominance.” This controversial claim focuses the readers attention on unrefined words used to describe Trump’s action, thus creating an emotional reaction. Toure’s article therefore uses the combination of emotional and factual appeals to build an intricate ad hominen argument.

The feature article, ‘Don’t Panic: Donald Trump Will Never Ever Be President’ by Ben Gran is an interesting analyses as it was published in May of 2016 prior to any real belief that Trump was in with a realistic chance of being elected President of the United States. Also based on an ad hominen argument, the article is an evaluative piece similarly opposing Donald Trump in both a personal and political sense. In line with ‘The Real Reason Why Trump Will Never Be President, Gran incorporates a more balanced used of appeal to fact and emotion, arguably creating a more credible argument than that presented by Wilkes’s in the first article. Notably, Gran uses an informal fallacy, ad populum, to appeal to wide ranging audience, “Donald Trump is especially unpopular with minority groups, women and young voters.” This appeals to a wide audience by referencing popular opinion to create a more reliable line of argument. This appeal to public opinion is also evident in Gran’s nationalistic opinions, “Most Americans hate Donald Trump,” and “Trump is trying to appeal to America by insulting America.” These argumentative approaches are based on creating an emotional agreement or response from the audience. However, Gran does not leave it there. To give a more substantial opinion piece, Gran supports his views with an appeal to fact, “67 per cent of Americans have an “unfavourable” view of Donald Trump.” Referencing statistics adds a new level of dependability in the piece, also acting a tool to persuade the audience. This is extended in the supporting argumentation, “No seriously, check out the polls.” Here, directing the audience to another reliable source demonstrates that Gran is firm his belief, and is also sure he is supported by the majority.

The underlying assumptions presented in Gran’s article are also present in an article titled ‘The mind of Donald Trump’ by Dan McAdams. In this, McAdams assumes a like-minded audience and relies on a number of assumptions. This is evident in his analogy, “More than even Ronald Reagan, Trump seems supremely cognizant of the fact that he is always acting.” Here, it is noteworthy that McAdams relies not only on a dislike for Trump, but also for Reagan. It is therefore evident that media pieces focusing on a dislike for Donald Trump are based on similar assumptions, particularly that of a similar audience.

Finally, there is a trend, particularly in the Huffington Post to include the following Editor’s note on pieces about Trump,

Editor’s note: Donald Trump regularly incites political violence and is a serial liarrampant xenophoberacistmisogynist and birther who has repeatedly pledged to ban all Muslims — 1.6 billion members of an entire religion — from entering the U.S.”

This demonstrates a clear bias from news corporation and world media in the case of Trump.

Lorraine Wilke’s piece, ‘Why Donald Trump Cannot Ever be our President,’ Toure’s article ‘The Real Reason Why Donald Trump Will Never be President’ and ‘Don’t Panic: Donald Trump Will Never, Ever be president’ by Ben Gran are three noteworthy examples of how the media covers the character that is Donald Trump. They are in line with general opinions about the legitimacy of Trump’s presidential candidacy and the type of leader he would be. Importantly, the articles are all based on a central ad hominen argument and thus, attack the personal character of Trump more so than his political position. Furthermore, they rely on a general assumption of a readership who share their opposition to Trump. This assumption is common across most media covering Trump, as made evident by other such examples included in this analysis. However, ‘The Five Key Ingredients of Donald Trump’s Soar Away success’ by Michael Barone was also discussed to demonstrate that while a minority, there is media that reports in favour of Donald Trump and applauds his character. Despite this, the in-depth analysis demonstrates key trends in media discussion Trump; an opposition to his character, an assumption of a like-minded audience, a central ad hominen argument and clear tongue-in-cheek approach, all culminating to produce similarly composed opinion pieces.

 

Word count, 2021

 

 

 

 

Sex education in nowadays – What teenagers need to be taught in class nowadays

MDIA2002 Analysing Media Communication
Assessment 4 Media Analysis Article 2
Winky Wong z3493441 AlexanneThur1.30

 

Sex education in nowadays – What teenagers need to be taught in class nowadays

 

It is often controversial and sensitive to the society and the parents when it comes to issue related to sex education and teenage sexuality. This, in nowadays’ digital era where information is ubiquitous and freely accessible on the internet, can no longer be discussed behind the curtain. Adolescences, in particular young male, are being exposed to sexual content on a substantial level, whether inadvertently or deliberately, according to the study of Australian Institute of Criminology. During the developmental period, teens are vulnerable and easily influenced by external factors, the exposure to sexual information such as pornography will pose hindrance to them in building healthy sexual knowledge. There has been a frequent news reports about teens involved in sexual intercourse and suffered from sexual harassment, with the easy access on sexual information on internet, concerns over the effectiveness of sex education in school have arisen.

Many articles address the notion of current sex education approach not comprehensive and that the outcome failed to meet expectation and adolescences are still lack of sufficient knowledge on dealing with sexual matter, while at the same time, reportage over teen sexual assault associated crime has been mounting, revealing an urgency for better sex education is in need for school kids. The two articles that will be analysed in the following alike present same perspective that current sex education is not enough for teenagers and it needs to be reconsidered. The first article that will be examined is a commentary piece from Sydney Morning Herald, and the second one is a soft news article also from Sydney Morning Herald. Interestingly, although they are journalism articles of different styles, they both draw attention to the problems teenagers are facing on sexual issue and what current sex education is deficient of, providing compelling arguments in reviewing the subject. One portrays the situation with construction of personal opinion and arguments, while the other illustrates the scenario based on experts’ research and project. This analysis will support the conclusion that sex education for todays’ young generation requires a reform and more coverage on content of handling pornography and sexual relationship and meaning.

The commentary piece “Sex ed in schools is still missing the point” is written by Sarah Gill, published on the website of Sydney Morning Herald in October this year. Explicitly stated in the headline, Gill tells her stance towards current sex education in this opinion piece. In light of the recent speech given by BBC presenter Dame Jenni Murray in the radio in which she suggested that pornography could be shown to the school children as part of the sex education, Gill highlights her perspective in the outset of the article: “…outside the classroom, for the most part, they’re already watching (pornography) it in droves”, indicating that kids exposing to pornography is not something new and we ought to do something about this.

She adds “In Britain – though – where even basic sex education remains woefully inadequate – the proposal went down like a lead balloon” in comparison to Denmark, where same suggestion had been brought up as well, in order to draw to the claim that she thinks thorough sex education is crucial on this matter. There is an informal fallacy in this argument where Gill comes to conclusion that the suggestion went unsuccessful in Britain due to the “woefully inadequate sex education”, while supplying no explanation on the example of Denmark and in what ways it can be put in comparison with the case in Britain.

In backing up her claim that “teens are already exposing to pornography on internet and it is not surprising”, she addresses the severity of teens’ exposure to sexual material with appeal to authoritative support, outlining that the average age of exposure to sexual material is around 12 years old. In addition to this point, she subsequently supplements that the free source of pornography on internet is what worth worrying, together with her own experience. Also, with the use of emotive language and description of pornography on internet: “if that’s not worrying enough”, “the stuff our children are most likely to source for free – is also the worst” and “smorgasbord of unsavory content is just a click away”, she intensifies the situation and puts readers into reflecting the internet as a contributing factor to the situation, and convincing them into agreeing her ideology.

What about the consequences if we don’t provide youngsters a robust sexual knowledge, especially in relation to pornographic material?

Gill demonstrates her interpretative claims on this in reinforcing the urgency of the issue.

 

 The more we refuse to engage, the more pervasive – and the more subversive – its influence may become.”

“…by the time Australian schools enlist our teens in any kind of dialogue about sexual attitudes and behaviour – and heaven knows, we wouldn’t want to do that before they’re ready – most of them will have been exposed to, or consuming, pornographic material for years.”

 

Why is it an urgent issue? Gill also draws out her claim, suggesting that “the norms of teenage sexual behavior, including attitudes to consent and sexual aggression – are fundamentally shifting”. This is backed up by a study which reveals that “one-quarter of young people now think it’s acceptable to pressure a woman into sex”. However, an uncertainty of the supporting source needs to be marked here – where does this research come from?

There is another informal fallacy and over-generalisation where she attributes the reason of public attitude on “sexist peer norms and cultures of group disrespect” to pornography.

 

If the prevailing attitudes on display – what researchers term “sexist peer norms and cultures of group disrespect” – are not all down to porn, there’s little doubt pornography consumption can supercharge the mindset. Seriously, how could it not – when almost 90 per cent of pornographic content includes depictions of verbal and physical aggression against women?”

 

It is telling that Gill attempts to further persuade readers with strong emotive-provoking language and a question and answer style that pornography shapes the mindsets of teenagers nowadays.

In addition to the fallacies of the article, there is a false analogy where she compares the case of Sweden to our Australian society, when two societies have different views on sexual issue. She quotes a line from the video which is part of the sex education teaching materials of Swedish schools, that implies obvious sexual message: “It’s as simple as tea. if they don’t want to drink it, don’t make them drink it. If they’re unconscious, don’t make them tea. Unconscious people don’t want tea, trust me on this.”. She underlines that: “Too obvious, you say? Actually, sadly, not.”, and operates this under an assumption that Australian society and our teenagers are in same circumstance as Swedish, while she does not demonstrate more detailed analysis and examination into these cases.

It is not until the end of the article has Gill revealed her central claim over the role of pornography in the sex education, which she proclaims that “porn already is the new sex ed” and suggests readers take this into consideration and open up conversation with children about this matter in order to teach them the critical analysis skills regarding the pornographical material and message that can be found elsewhere in today’s culture.

 

Let’s take a look of the second article “Sex education needs radical overhaul, say experts” written by Jill Stark and published on SMH’s website. Much different from comment piece, soft news doesn’t present explicit personal opinion on the matter, however, it positions and directs the readers into its point of view frequently with the use of factual claims, statistical support, authoritative and credible opinion on the issue.

The primary claim of the article is revealing in the headline and from the outset that current sex education is imperfect and needs to be redesigned. From the choice of words, Stark adopts a strong and insistent tone in illustrating the situation:

 

Australia’s outdated sex education system must be radically overhauled to include lessons on sexual assault, consent and ”sexting” in a bid to address rising rates of violence against women, leading experts have claimed.”

 

The term “must be” expresses a strong obligation to the course of the action making it sound necessary. It also operates under a circumstance that the readers almost certainly agree with the obligation.

With reference to experts’ viewpoints, the article clearly highlights what students need to be taught at school and in what aspects can the current education be improved in the beginning of the article: “anti-rape message” and “information on sexual pleasure, masturbation and pornography”. Following this claim, the article points out the flaws of the current sex education approach as “teaching only about preventing pregnancy and sexually transmitted disease” and “leaves young people ill-equipped to negotiate the complexities of sexual relationships” that only focuses on risk management, indicating that the current approach is insufficient in teaching teens about sex.

To support the article’s argument, it draws on to the example of Professor Lumby who has been working for an Australian Research Council project and is knowledgeable in gender issue, and includes substantial direct quotes from the professor. Professor Lumby stresses her concern over the confusion the children are having when dealing with sexual message and relationship in the quotes, which these quotations underpin the claim of this argument with credible source of information and opinion.

It reveals what the current sex education is lacking of through the quotes from a professional:

  

“’The young men we’ve talked to understand that no means no, but what about when a girl doesn’t say no.”

 “Our sex education needs to teach the ‘no means no’ message, but we also need to teach what does ‘yes mean yes’ look like?”

 

 Not only one source of professional opinion does the article employ, but a total of three, and each builds on each other.

The article sources a quote from Stef Tipping, an expert of sexual assault issue in secondary school, which this quote also plays a role in consolidating the claim as she agrees to better education is crucial since “entrenched double standards” that seen sexually active girls as “slut” and boys as “legend” often happen, which exacerbates the confusion to children when they come across sexual subject.

Another professional source that the article uses in supporting the claim and finishing the argument is the opinion from Lauren Rosewarne, who is an expert from the University of Melbourne specializing in the field of gender politics, in which she emphasizes sex education needs to be taught to children at an early age, considering that the average age children get exposure of pornography from internet is young. The author ends the article with a quote from expert to readdress the importance of the issue, without passing on her own explicit personal judgment, however, it is straightforward that the author’s view towards the issue is embedded throughout the construction of the article.

Sex education is a broad and sensitive issue implicating some other relating topics, such as government policy, school policy, education system, teenagers’ well-being, popular culture and internet influence. These two articles put focus on the problems the children are encountering in relation to sexual attitude and relationship, which then unveil the drawbacks of the current sex education system that is limited in teaching a thorough understanding of sex to the students and without taking into account of the social culture and the norms towards sex that are influenced by it. Although the two articles are written in different journalistic styles, one is an opinion article that argument is built upon author’s personal viewpoint with minimal reference to reliable source, while the other is a soft news style that addresses social issue and constructs its argument substantially with help of professional quotes and sources, they both present compelling angles and perspectives in reviewing and comprehending the foundation of this subject.

 

 

References

 

Article 1 (Sarah Gill, Sydney Morning Herald)
http://www.smh.com.au/comment/sex-ed-in-schools-is-still-missing-the-point-20161024-gs91ng.html

 

Article 2 (Jill Stark, Sydney Morning Herald)
http://www.smh.com.au/national/sex-education-needs-radical-overhaul-say-experts-20140322-35abm.html

 

Other reference sources:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/10/11/scrap-sex-education-and-make-school-children-watch-pornography-s/

 

http://news.bostes.nsw.edu.au/blog/2015/10/16/sexuality-and-sexual-health-education-in-schools

 

http://www.aic.gov.au/media_library/publications/tandi_pdf/tandi368.pdf

 

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1070813/

 

The politics of the toad king

Xinze Jiang z5055861 FinalAss4 Ping Fri12

The politics of the great toad king

Politics is a quite dangerous word in China, because political power means everything in China. Different to many other countries, in China political capital is the most powerful weapon. Politicians do not rely on rich men, but rich men must rely on politicians. In China, the Chinese government controls every corner, the Chinese communist party has the greatest power, meanwhile, the party is in extremely fear of losing its power. Therefore, talking about politics in China is a quite dangerous thing, especially when you do something against the government. From the first leader Mao Zedong to his successor Deng Xiaoping, and Deng’s successor Jiang Zemin, we can easily find that old, retired politicians will not give up their power easily. With this concern and pressure, the Chinese government has a very strict censorship on the political topic. In recent years, Toad worship occurred and has become more and more influential. In this term, Toad indicates Jiang Zemin, the former president of the People’ republic of China. The worshippers are often some young people under 25. They believe that Jiang looks like a toad, and they share his funny video and funny quotes on the internet. They call Jiang as HaHa (means toad in Chinese.), and describe themselves as Hasi, which means toad fan in Chinese. This is a popular network culture, unfortunately, the Chinese government regards this as a dangerous sign, and banned toad worship by censorship machine.

 

Toad worship attracted journalists around the whole world. In the next part of my article, I will discuss two articles about Toad worship. One is from BBC News The politics of toad kings and fairy tales in China, written by Scottish journalist Carrie Gracie. The second one is from Hong Kong Free Press, Defying web censors, Chinese ‘worship’ toads to mark a former state leader’s 90th birthday, written by Hong Kong journalist Oiwan Lam.

 

In Gracie’s view, the toad worship is a sign, shows that: “Old politicians never die in China. They may “retire” but in the godfather realm of China’s Communist Party elite, some never give up influence.” She believes that: “Chinese politics is anything but simple and naive. It is a subtle world rich in literary and historical allegory.”, and toad worship proved it.

 

This sentence is an interesting evaluation claim, she pointed out that the political world in China is rich in literary and historical allegory, which means that no one in China will talk about politics openly. Everyone knows that you cannot directly write something to criticize the government online, the only result is that your account will be banned, and if you are famous, you may be prisoned. One example is that Bi Fujian, a former compere of CCTV, he was very famous in China, but he lost his job, because he criticized Mao Zedong in a private party. Gracie also had her own pieces of evidence, Pu Zhiqiang and Wang Yu. They are both political journalists, were sent to prison because they wrote many articles to criticize the government. In America, many journalists and talk shows are famous for sneering at politicians or exposing political scandals. Gracie used these two people as pieces of evidence to show readers the result of doing so in China, and make them understand her primary claim, that talking about politics openly in China is very dangerous.

 

So, if people do not have freedom to criticize the government, what would they do? In her opinion, the answers are literary and historical allegory, the toad worship is such an allegory. Interestingly, this sentence will be more meaningful for Chinese. Chinese people are more sensitive about the allegory, because in Chinese history, those allegories were usually come with revolution and suppression. Many revolutionists would make up an allegory to attract followers, and the government would suppress them as soon as possible. Therefore, this sentence will make Chinese readers realized the dangerous political environment of China.

 

“By underlining that two decades ago China had a leader who was open, human and friendly to the west, the toad worshippers are making the point that in Xi Jinping they now have a leader who is not.”

 

This is her explanation about the motivation of toad fans. She pointed out that people were missing the free environment of Jiang’s time. However, what is the real implied meaning of toad worship? She listed four famous fairy tales: Sown White, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, The Frog Prince and 1984. This is a very wise skill, link the complicated Chinese political environment to simple and naïve fairy tales. Gracie described Xi Jingping, the current president of China as the jealous queen, prisoned Jiang as the White Snow, and arrested Jiang’s allies as killing the seven dwarfs. Meanwhile, she used this story to expose another group of people in China—toadies. Who were performing the mirror, offering flattery to Xi. She believed that Jiang was the Prince to those toad fans, because they are dreaming that Jiang is wise president.

 

Those four stories are very simple and naïve to most of the people, however, the politics in China just looks like those. The author used those four stories to remind readers that the politics people can read in Chinese newspaper are just such simple and naïve, but they can find the dangerous political struggle if they think more.

 

“This kissing a frog and turning him into a prince is surely a case of rose-tinted spectacles.”

 

In the end part of her article, Gracie told all toad fans that, Jiang was not their prince, they should be soberer.

 

“Let’s face it, Jiang Zemin was often vain and self -regarding in office, he oversaw a period of explosive corruption, and after his retirement from active politics, his placemen and cronies threw grit in the wheels of the next team’s attempts at reform.”

Gracie exposed Jiang’s crime with “Let’s face” it as the beginning, brought a special feeling to readers, that there would come a typhoon, but she would stay with them, suffer the typhoon with them. This can make readers be more close to her, and more willing to believe her.

 

Then, she started with “surely”, to claim that regarded Jiang as a frog prince was the absence of real political royalty. “Surely” is a strong word, made readers feel she was very convinced and determined.

 

“So if you’re a member of the Chinese Communist Party, look into your own mirror this weekend and ask yourself whether you are a toady or a “Toady”?

 

If you’re young and smart and imaginative for your country, ask yourself… even if only in the privacy of your own head… whether there should be space to be something else again?”

 

In the end of her article, she used two “if you are” to make readers introspect their identities, and their behaviours. From her end part, we can easily find out that her target readers are Chinese. Then we can have a better understanding of the article’s structure.

Gracie started with a clam that old politicians would never give up their power, and then she pointed out the Jiang Zemin and the toad worship proved it, make readers have a clear understanding about the toad worship and the political environment of China.

 

Then she soon pointed out that most of the toad fans were young people, who never experienced Jiang’s government. She implied that most of the toad fans might be ignorant and sequacious, but she did not point it out at the beginning part of her article. Because her target readers were Chinese, so that some of her readers may be toad fans. Then she started her explanation, and used some fairy tales to introduce the conflict between Jiang and Xi. She used 1964 6.4 event as an example, to remind readers the dangerous of this kind of worship. This is an excellent example for Chinese people. Many Chinese will never forget the event, because it was one of the most influential events in China.

 

Many students started a parade to ask for freedom and democracy in Tiananmen square, and the government command army to suppress. Then, in the last part of her article she pointed out that Jiang was not a good president, and young people in China should understand this point and know their duty. The wisest part of the article was the author did not tell readers her main point in the start of the article, but in the end part. So, that readers will not feel be taught at the beginning, but after they read the whole article.

 

The second article Defying web censors, Chinese ‘worship’ toads to mark a former state leader’s 90th birthday was like the first one, but focused more on web censors. The author Oiwan Lam believed that “Toad worship is a way of people to defy web censors, and people are expressing their nostalgia of a free environment through the toad worship.” She believed that toad worship was a subculture popular in young people groups, and the main reason they were doing so was trying to resist web censors, and enjoying the pleasure of challenging the authority. Her article started with the 90th birthday of Jiang. This article was written on 27th August, one week after Jiang’s birthday. So, starting with his birthday could catch many people’s attention. Then, she pointed out that toad worship shew that people were missing the old time, and Xi’s government regarded this as a threaten. Lam posted many funny birthday pictures to prove that toad worship was very popular in Internet. Then she shared a video, in the video Jiang criticized Hong Kong reporter Cheung Bo Wah for being “too young” and “too simple and naive.” She explained that this was the reason why many people became toad fans. They are missing a president who was not stubborn and obstinate, who was enlightened and funny. This affects the bottom line of Xi’s government. She used many examples show this point. First, a WeChat public account about toad worship only managed to survive for barely one year. It was banned soon. Second, the government authorities issued a warning against public celebrations of Jiang’s 90th. However, in her view, this is a good chance for toad fans to challenge the authority. She introduced that many people held the private birthday parties and made birthday cards for Jiang.

 

“Nostalgia” was the key word of this article. Chinese people will not feel unfamiliar to this word. China has a very long history, and many dynasties changed in this Country. Every time, when the new dynasty let its people down, nostalgia will show up. For example, in Qing dynasty, people hated the government, so many revolution groups were appealing about “rebelling Qing dynasty and rebuilding Ming dynasty” Toad worship shows people hate Xi’s government, Lam provided a strong evidence to prove this point.

She quoted a tweet from Murongxuecun. This is a very famous writer in China, many people in China are his fans. Using his tweet can be more persuasive than Lan explaining by herself. In his tweet, he said that “While the toad’s era was not free, it looked better than Bun’s [meaning Xi’s] era. In this sense, Chinese people worshiping the toad is similar to prisoners in confinement, missing their brief outdoor recess.” As a famous writer, Murongxuecun wrote a tweet rich in hint and sarcasm. Take this sentence as an example. He used “Bun” as a nick of Xi. Bun is a very well-known food in China, a little bit like Hamburger. In 2014, Xi went to a popular Bun shop named Qingfeng Bun shop and had a lunch there. The Chinese government publicized this event to show Xi was approachable, but many people believed this was only a show. He also used a metaphor, said toad fans was like prisoners. In some situations, they are all real prisoner, under the confinement of censorship.

 

Since Jiang announced Falun Gong was heresy, members of Falun Gong made up many fake news about Jiang’s death or arrest online. This is one of the reasons that online censor in China is so strict, and people are missing Jiang so much. However, in recent years, with the series of arrests of Jiang’s allies, people are terrified. No one loves political struggles. Both of two articles introduced toad worship. The first one mainly talked about the complicate and dangerous political struggles in China, and the ignorance of some young toad fans, while the second one was introducing the web censors and the resistance of toad fans. They have different emphasis, but they are all very persuasive. The best way to persuade someone is showing them facts, and both two articles used this strategy. The first article gave many examples of Xi was trying to make Jiang lose his force, and talking about politics openly may send you into prison. The second one posted many pictures, to prove that many toad fans tried to celebrate the birthday of Jiang and challenged Xi’s Government.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Links of News:

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-china-37127656

https://www.hongkongfp.com/2016/08/24/defying-web-censors-chinese-worship-toads-mark-former-state-leaders-90th-birthday/

Same-sex marriage and the case against homophobia

Historically, in a society based on Judeo-Christian values, homosexuals were denied the right to marriage. Today, with so many countries moving to legalise same-sex marriage, it is uncertain as to which country might just be next in line. The media landscape is manifold but there appears to be a slant towards journalistic support of same-sex marriage, particularly in mainstream media outlets, more specifically, new media. This slant is not explicit, but evident through angles and quotes which are put forward in most articles. A myriad counter-opinions arise as well, ranging from the world’s prominent thought leaders and politicians, to representatives of the church. It is worth unpacking these arguments to examine the motives behind them, and how audiences are positioned by authors.

In this analysis I’ll be looking at 3 articles. The first is I oppose same-sex marriage (and no, I’m not a bigot), written by Michael Jensen and published on 28 May 2015, on ABC’s The Drum. The second is Same-sex marriage ‘no’ is not unloving by Mark Brown, published on 25 August 2016 on Fairfax-owned news platform The Examiner. The third is Being against gay marriage doesn’t make you a homophobe by Brandon Ambrosino, published on 13 December 2013, for The Atlantic. Authors of the first two articles are against same-sex marriage, whereas the author of the third article, Brandon Ambrosino, is for gay marriage, himself being gay. However, all three writers aim to convince readers of the fact that those opposing same-sex marriage have been heavily misrepresented, each employing different persuasive strategies in their articles.

The first article written by Michael Jensen, a local rector, aptly titled I oppose same-sex marriage (and no, I’m not a bigot), unpacks the allegation that being against same-sex marriage renders one a ‘bigot’. In laying out plausible arguments regarding his beliefs that marriage should be between a man and a woman, Jensen aims to show audiences that he has been strongly misunderstood as an anti-revisionist. He treats it as a given that anti-revisionists are thought of as ‘bigots’, and throughout the article he works at convincing readers otherwise.

Jensen’s central claim is that traditional marriage laws should not be amended to include same-sex marriage. Through an appeal to customary practice, he demonstrates that traditional marriage has been around for centuries, but only in the past 15 years have people begun to seriously advocate for legalisation of same-sex marriage. For this claim to be plausible, a reader might be expected to believe that same-sex marriage households and heterosexual marriage households are fundamentally unequal. As such, changing the laws regarding marriage would cause a massive unprecedented stir in society, where the primary social unit has always been that of a heterosexual family.

Jensen appeals to ethical and social norms when he says that the primary purpose of marriage is to have children, because of the biological differences which distinguish men from women. This argument only holds if readers believe that procreation based on sexual specificity is central to marriage.

In this article, Jensen also weighs up the views of pro-revisionists and their arguments for demanding a change in the legal definition of marriage, claiming that they have not been reasonable in making their case. To justify this claim, he points out a common either-or fallacy which pro-revisionists voice out, whereby anyone not in support of same-sex marriage is automatically labelled a ‘bigot’. He treats this issue as a given, not going any further to provide evidence, assuming his audience is aware of the labelling. This argument works if the reader sees the harsh consequences of being labelled a bigot – nobody listens to bigots. Jensen wants his readers to see that his opinions might be dismissed because of ad hominem attacks against him.

Jensen also stresses that the language used by pro-revisionists in making their case is so emotive that a proper civil discussion cannot successfully take place. This argument appeals to social and ethical norms, and only holds if readers believe that reasoning in any debate should not be tainted by emotion. However this argument could also be a hasty generalization as some pro-revisionists do in fact argue on the basis of equality and autonomy in demanding a change in marriage laws.

Jensen also justifies his claim that pro-revisionists are unreasonable by arguing that they have not provided sufficient reasoning to back up their demand for same-sex marriage. Jensen doesn’t treat this as a given, instead he works to convince readers to agree with him. He claims it is not enough to settle for marriage based only on an individual’s sexual and emotional choice, given that it would render the concept of procreation in marriage as unimportant. For this evaluative argument to be plausible, readers must, akin to Jensen, believe that procreation is central to the purpose of marriage.

The second article, Same-sex marriage ‘no’ is not unloving, written by Mark Brown also works to unpack misconceptions surrounding those opposing gay marriage. From early on in his opening paragraphs, Brown asserts that those saying no to same-sex marriage are typically labelled ‘anti-gay’ by the media. He treats this as common knowledge, and doesn’t do much to convince his readers. Then he presents his central claim – that saying ‘no’ to same-sex marriage is a way of showing love and not rejection. From here onwards, he appears to assume his audience is not on his side, as such he works at convincing them of this claim, through three supporting justifications.

He first justifies this claim by stating that it’s loving to tell the truth about marriage, and makes the evaluative argument that heterosexual marriage is the truth. Brown states that heterosexual marriage is unique from homosexual marriage for reasons of biology, sociology and anthropology. For this argument to hold sway, readers would have to believe in the plausibility of the biological, sociological and anthropological reasons that back up heterosexual marriage, as touched on by Brown. Readers would also need to believe that there is some sort of incentive in believing the ‘truth’ about marriage, in order for Brown’s argument to work.

His next justification is that it’s loving to prioritize children’s rights. The rights she refers to here are rights to experience love and care from both a mother and a father. The warrant underlying this justification is that children need parents of both genders, to experience a healthy upbringing. Only if the audience shares this same underlying world view with Brown, will this justification hold sway. However, Brown does little to convince his readers of this either via factual evidence or appeal to authority. Here, Brown also appears to present a false analogy to his readers, by comparing same-sex parenting to a child growing up with only one parent. While in both cases children would only have parents of one gender, the two cases are still vastly different. The single-parent family and same-sex household would both undergo a different dynamic because of the different number of parents heading the household. As such it appears to be an invalid parallel for Brown to make, which subsequently fails to convince readers of his standpoint.

Brown also states that opposing the legalisation of gay marriage is loving, because redefining the marriage laws would paradoxically take freedom away from most of society. This justification is made by appeal to authority, with reference to atheist columnist Brendon O’Neill who says “everywhere gay marriage has been introduced it has battered freedom, not boosted it”. It is interesting that Brown opts to quote an atheist who is an acclaimed writer in his article, yet select the “atheist” part of his identity to be most prominent whilst quoting him. Perhaps he is trying to prove a point to his audience, that even reputably ‘rational’ atheists see the possible dire consequences following the legalisation of same-sex marriage. For this argument to hold, however, readers must believe that the rights held by all of society to freedom of conscience, speech and religion, are fundamentally more important than the freedom of a homosexual couple to get married.

Brown also makes another big claim towards the end of his article, that the Australian media is biased towards legalising same-sex marriage, as such the issue is blown up to be bigger than it actually is. He presents an appeal to factual evidence, discussing how lobby group Get-Up! found same-sex marriage to be the issue of lowest priority to Australians, following a survey. Here, Brown seems to be warning his audience of misrepresentations in the media, which perhaps influences his final statement – that whatever one’s opinions are, they can be presented in love. This appeals to emotions, and works to persuade the audience that he is not coming from a place of malice or hate. Overall I found Brown’s article less persuasive than Jensen’s, because of his lack of evidence and tendency to make evaluative presumptions, which left me sceptical regarding his justifications.

The third and final article is different from the previous two, in the sense that it was written by someone on the yes-camp of the same-sex marriage debate. Brandon Ambrosino, a prominent writer based in the US wrote Being against gay marriage doesn’t make you a homophobe for The Atlantic Magazine in December 2013, to ward off misrepresentations of people who do not support marriage equality. His central claim, similar to that of the prior two articles, and as mentioned in the title of his article, is that being against gay marriage does not mean that one is maliciously against gay people. Ambrosino appears to believe his audience does not agree with his worldview, as such, he works at convincing them of his opinions all throughout the piece.

Ambrosino presents a personal anecdote, with much appeal to emotion, when he says, “As a gay man, I found myself disappointed with this definition – that anyone with any sort of moral reservations about gay marriage is by definition anti-gay.” This works well to engage the reader, and persuade them to take on another point of view. Here the reader is not only invited to look at the issue of same-sex marriage as a debate, but rather, to also look at the individuals implicated as potential subjects of dissent, in this heated debate. Ambrosino succeeds in humanizing those in the yes-camp of same-sex marriage whilst also bringing the reader to carefully deliberate whether or not it is acceptable to label someone ‘anti-gay’ simply because they do not support same-sex marriage.

Ambrosino makes an argument by appeal to analogy when he asks “If the word ‘homophobic’ is exhausted on me or on polite dissenters, then what should we call someone who beats up gay people, or prefers not to hire them?” Here Ambrosino is claiming that disagreement is not the same thing as discrimination, and that it is important to distinguish the two. This argument holds sway only if his readers believe that it is alright to disagree on a topic and still be civil about it.

Ambrosino’s next justification in claiming that being against gay marriage is distinct from being against gay people, is based on his understanding about identity. He makes the recommendatory argument that gay people should not reduce themselves or their identity to merely their sexual orientation. This argument holds sway if Ambrosino’s audience believe that gayness is simply one aspect of one’s identity. This argument is based on an appeal to ethics, but Ambrosino also appeals to authority in using Pope Francis as an example to demonstrate that it is possible to love a gay person without endorsing same-sex marriage. Ambrosino also discusses how this point applies in reverse, to those on the no-camp of gay marriage. He argues by appeal to analogy that one’s religious or theological identity is separate from their human identity, bringing up the example of his friend Rob Schenck, a religious person who Ambrosino has found to be far from homophobic.

Finally Ambrosino argues that the people thinking through the issue of same-sex marriage, whether in the yes-camp or no-camp should be commended simply for their efforts in carefully deliberating their beliefs, and their thoughts on the issue. “To demonize as anti-gay the millions of Americans currently doing the difficult work of thinking through their convictions is, in my opinion, very troubling,” he writes. Here we see an appeal to ethics, as it is wrong to condemn a people who are facilitating civil discussion around such a contentious topic. It is by this world view that the reader would agree with Ambrosino’s points. Here we see those opposing same-sex marriage painted in a good light, a common theme in all three articles discussed.

Overall, I found Ambrosino’s piece to be highly convincing and plausible, because of the soundness of each of his arguments. Brown’s piece made several evaluative claims which lacked backing and would likely leave readers feeling sceptical, whilst Jensen’s piece provided sufficient justification for each claim made. The representation of those opposing same-sex marriage in views journalism is vastly different from their biased portrayal in news journalism, but with tolerance and civil discussion Australia would be able to escape the same-sex marriage debate gridlock for sure.

 

Has the Australian media turned on Donald Trump?

23/10/16

By Angela Stevens

Many journalists and commentators have stated that Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are the most disliked presidential candidates in modern history. But as the election draws closer, Clinton’s lead slowly widens while Trump seemingly prepares for a gracious and sporting loss – with claims the media is rigging the election.

Echoing his September statement to CBS News anchor Scott Pelley, “they [the media] write lies, they write false stories, they know they’re false,” Trump posted a series of tweets last week expressing his disdain at the media for “rigging” the election in Hillary’s favour:

screen-shot-2016-10-24-at-11-32-24-amscreen-shot-2016-10-24-at-11-30-07-am

He even condemned Saturday Night Live’s satirical re-enactment of the second presidential debate:

screen-shot-2016-10-24-at-11-31-57-am

Regardless of whether you believe Trump’s “rigged election” claims amount to serious accusations or merely conspiracies, CNN anchor Hala Gorani told Fairfax earlier this month that the US media had definitely turned on Trump in their portrayals of him.

Furthering this, Jeremy Au Yong from the Straits Times published an article on 2 October stating, “when USA Today, one of America’s most widely read newspapers, broke a 34-year-old tradition of staying neutral in elections, it did so because it found Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump “unfit for the presidency”… an increasing number of news outlets are starting to take a stand against the tycoon.”

But that begs the question, what of the Australian media? Can they too be accused of portraying Trump as an unfit candidate and positioning their audiences to view him in this regard?

Indeed, analysis of a range of articles from Australian newspapers confirms that the Australian media does characterise Donald Trump as an unfit candidate and a threat to Australia’s security. This analysis spans from looking at a range of current headlines to analysing in-depth a variety of news and views journalism articles.

If you search for ‘Donald Trump’ on Google news or a journalism database such as Factiva, you’ll be hard-pressed to find an Australian headline with anything positive to say about him. In fact, if you look at a range of headlines from Australian newspapers, it becomes evident that they generally all characterise Trump as an unfit candidate:

Donald Trump exposes vital flaw during disaster week 2.0 – 12 August 2016 (news.com.au)

Why we should be scared. Very scared – 24 September 2016 (SMH) 

US Presidential debate: Donald Trump lost and he knows it – but it may not matter – 28 September 2016 (ABC)

Donald Trump should quit presidential race – 11 October 2016 (SMH)

US election: Donald Trump says Hillary Clinton favoured by “rigging” – 17 October 2016 (The Australian)

Hillary Clinton beat Donald Trump at his own game – 21 October 2016 (Business Insider Australia)

Donald Trump is a vile misogynist – but he’s not the only one – 22 October 2016 (The Guardian AU)

With nothing left to lose, Trump lashes out at Michelle Obama – 22 October 2016 (The Guardian AU).

As shown in bold, these headlines clearly position their readers to view Donald Trump as the less suited candidate and even as a potential threat to Australia’s security. For example, by stating ‘Donald Trump says Hillary Clinton favoured by “rigging”’ and putting the word rigging in quotation marks, it reinforces that this is a direct quote from Trump rather than an actual fact, and encourages the reader to question its legitimacy. Further, the last headline starts off by saying that Trump has “nothing left to lose.” Therefore, before the reader has even read the article, they are positioned to view Trump as losing the election and therefore being an unfit candidate. Saying he “lashes out” at Michelle Obama, suggests he is dangerous and unpredictable.

To reinforce how the Australian media portrays Trump as a far more serious threat than Clinton, it is particularly interesting to compare the headlines written about Clinton to those written about Trump. For example, these headlines were written in the aftermath of the third Presidential debate:

Voters already knew all they need to know about dangerous Donald Trump – 20 October 2016 (SMH)

Donald Trump’s lies really matter. Here’s why – 20 October 2016 (SMH)

Vs.

Red, White and Blue make up Hillary’s Patriotic pantsuits for the Presidential debates – 21 October 2016 (news.com.au)

Drop everything: Hillary Clinton wore something other than a pantsuit – 21 October 2016 (The Huffington Post AU)

That’s right people, drop everything. We’ve got a “dangerous,” “lying” and “vile misogynist” running for president, but drop everything because Hillary Clinton just wore something other than a pantsuit.

Clearly, by focussing on Hillary’s clothing choices and Trump’s danger and lies, these newspaper headlines position their audiences to consider Trump as a far more serious danger to Australia’s future should he become President.

Whilst analysing these headlines is interesting, it is necessary to delve deeper in order to prove such a broad claim that the Australian media generally characterises Trump as a more unfit and dangerous candidate than Clinton. To establish this wider trend, it is necessary to conduct an in-depth analysis of a variety of news and views articles.

Let’s start with Kirrily Schwarz’s hard-news style article, ‘Trump claims new groping allegations are part of a plot against him’, published 15 October on news.com.au. Due to the nature of the hard-news style, Schwarz indirectly characterises Trump as not to be trusted and positions her audience to question Trump’s credibility in denying the sexual assault claims. This is clear right from the lead:

“Donald Trump says new reports of groping are part of a plot against him, as two more women claim he sexually assaulted them.”

Interestingly, Schwarz chooses to use Trump’s claim that the reports are “part of a plot against him”, as opposed to just saying Trump has denied the reports. Assuming the reader shares her worldview, she relies on the warrant that a “plot” sounds more like a far-fetched conspiracy theory than a factual claim, especially when said alone with no factual evidence as Trump has done. She then furthers this call to question Trump’s credibility by following Trump’s claim with, “as two more women claim he sexually assaulted them.” Immediately following Trump’s denial of the claim with a statement that “two more women” have come forward positions the reader to doubt Trump’s claims. In this she communicates a worldview where “two more” women coming forward is a contradiction of Trump’s denial, especially given that the list of women keeps growing. Should the reader share this perspective, it is likely they will accept the author’s negative characterisation of Trump.

Schwarz’s attribution of sources prompts further evaluation that Trump’s claims are lacking in credibility. She uses the statements of two of his alleged “victims”, and provides lengthy statements from both of them. She also uses statements from Michelle and Barak Obama, which also encourage the readers to view Trump negatively. This contrasts with the small section of the article she allocates for Trump’s denial of the claims. Even here, she choses a statement that appears to be vague, and therefore lacking in reliability:

“The Trump campaign issued a statement saying the candidate only “vaguely” remembered her.

“To be clear, I never met her at a hotel or greeted her inappropriately a decade ago,” he is quoted as saying.”

Another way Schwarz positions her readers to evaluate Trump’s trustworthiness and credibility is by bringing up the video that was recently released, where he bragged about grabbing women “by the pussy.”

“It’s been a tough two weeks for Mr Trump, whose campaign is struggling to recover from a video in which he brags about groping women in 2005.”

By inserting these facts about the video in an article that is meant to be about Trump denying sexual assault claims, it certainly encourages the readers to question the credibility of his denial.

Finally, it is worthwhile analysing Schwarz’ use of images in her article. She uses three images in total: Two of Trump speaking publicly and one of Summer Zervos, the former contestant of The Apprentice who claims Trump groped her in 2006. The two images of Trump are quite similar:

trump-1trump-2

They both reveal attempted carefree expressions on Trump’s face. In the first, he is throwing his arms up as if to say the accusations are ridiculous, and in the second, he is pointing at himself as if to say, “Me? That’s ridiculous. I couldn’t possibly have done that.” It is arguable that Schwarz purposely chose these images where Trump’s composure appears to be irrational and worked up, both characteristics which do not typically make for a reliable Presidential candidate.

It is interesting to compare these two images with the one used of Summer Zervos, where, contrastingly to Trump, she appears calm and collected:

woman-trump

 Hence, although she maintains an objective style, Schwarz’s wording, attribution of sources, choice of facts, and choice of images indirectly positions her reader to view Trump as an unfit presidential candidate, due to his lack of credibility.

Ben Hoyle’s article, “US election: Donald Trump says Hillary Clinton favoured by ‘rigging’”, published 17 October in The Australian, similarly uses the objective voice of a hard-news style to characterise Trump as an unfit candidate. In doing this, he positions his readers to evaluate the ridiculousness of Trump’s claims and    question his credibility.

This is evident from the start:
“Donald Trump has attacked the legitimacy of America’s presidential election as he approaches the final three weeks of the campaign facing a yawning gap in the polls, a bleak electoral map and a stark financial disadvantage.

The accusation came after ten days in which voters heard the billionaire bragging on video about grabbing women “by the pussy” and nine women came forward to say that he had forcibly kissed or groped them.”

Firstly, Hoyle’s description stating Trump has “attacked” the legitimacy of the election has connotations of aggression and hostility, both qualities that would constitute an unfit candidate. Secondly, it is interesting how Hoyle immediately follows this statement with the fact that Trump had been caught just days before bragging about grabbing women “by the pussy”, and nine women had come forward with sexual assault claims. In doing this, Hoyle indirectly points out the irony of Trump’s attack on the legitimacy of America’s presidential election. He communicates a worldview where it is ridiculous for a man accused of 9 cases of sexual assault to be questioning the legitimacy of America’s election system. Should the reader share this perspective, it is likely they will evaluate Trump in a negative light.

Hoyle follows this opening with an update on Clinton’s lead in the polls, as a way of informing readers that Hillary is currently seen as the better candidate. He then lists some of Trump’s recent claims: that he is “the victim of a conspiracy” and that Clinton was “meeting in secret with international banks to plot the destruction of US sovereignty” and enrich “global financial powers, her special-interest friends and donors”. He also states how Mr Trump called for a drug test before the final debate after suggesting that Clinton was taking stimulants. Interestingly, Hoyle does not follow these statements with a quote from Clinton in her defence. Instead, he reiterates, “Clinton leads her rival by 5.5 per cent in the Real Clear Politics average of polls.” In doing this, he positions his readers to share his evaluation that Trump’s claims are so ridiculous they do not warrant a response from Clinton, or anyone else in her defence. Instead, the only response that is needed is a reiteration of her lead in the polls. Thus, Hoyle achieves the total effect of positioning the reader to dismiss Trump’s claims, and then evaluate Clinton as the more suitable candidate.

Finally, Hoyle concludes his article with the attribution of Ari Fleischer, who was George W Bush’s press secretary, who “said that if Mr Trump refused to accept defeat with grace his supporters would question the legitimacy of the government. ‘That’s destructive and corrosive.’” Using engagement, Hoyle indirectly positions himself with what Fleischer has said in order to position his readers’ evaluations of Trump. Hoyle then inserts factual events that have taken place, such as a Trump Rally on November 8 where many Trump supporters spoke of violently revolting if Trump doesn’t win. He attributes the following quote from one supporter:

“We’re going to have a revolution and take them out of office if that’s what it takes…There’s going to be a lot of bloodshed … I would do whatever I can for my country.”

Although his voice remains objective, Hoyle positions his readers to make a connection between the “ridiculousness” of Trump’s rigged election claims and the violence beginning to show from his supporters. He therefore portrays Trump as not only lacking in credibility, but also as a dangerous influence.

Both of these news articles hence maintain an objective voice and convey the same persuasive evaluations about Trump via the words of quoted sources and choice of facts. However, it is interesting to observe how views journalism articles are able to provide the same perspective on Trump in a more explicit way with the use of the subjective voice. This is especially so in Jonathan Bradley’s article, ‘Voters already knew all they need to know about dangerous Donald Trump’, published 20 October in the Sydney Morning Herald. While Hoyle and Schwarz rely on facts and attributed sources to make their claims, Bradley’s piece is mostly opinionated. His principal claim is that Trump’s unsuitable behavior at the final Presidential Debate was to be expected by voters. This principal claim is explicitly stated in the headline. Bradley then opens his article painting Trump in a negative light:

“He resisted Hillary Clinton’s attempts to needle him — well, at least some of them. He responded to moderator Chris Wallace’s questions with studied facts and focused arguments — on a couple of occasions. He even managed to maintain a calm presence on camera, without weird sniffles, rude interruptions, or furious facial expressions.

For the first half-hour.”

In this Bradley is likely to persuade his readers by appealing to customary practice – he lists the way Trump should have been behaving according to the customary practice of political debates, before correcting himself and listing how Trump actually behaved. This method of listing the customary practice, then correcting himself with what Trump actually did, is persuasive as it encourages the reader to compare the proper conduct of a Presidential candidate to Trump’s behaviour, and conclude that Trump did not behave in a suitable way. Whether this is effective would depend on whether the reader shares the same worldview as Bradley. That is, that a good presidential candidate is one that sticks to customary political debate protocols and mannerisms. He continues to describe Trump’s performance in the debate with an evaluative claim: “Trump barrelled back into his all-too-familiar train-wreck debate style.” This leads him to his evaluative justificatory claim of why the final debate did nothing to change Trump’s image:

“Even if a practised, proficient, and perfectly behaved Trump had shown up to the debate, his behaviour over the past year and a half, and especially over the past week and a half, would still disqualify him as a candidate worthy of serious consideration for the presidency.

Conversely, anyone who has not already given up on Trump was unlikely to be dissuaded by any new depravities he might display.”

Bradley furthers his claim that voters should already have been aware of how dangerous Trump was, stating:

 ‘The Republican nominee has been revealed in a secret recording to have bragged about using his celebrity status to sexually assault women.  Subsequently, 16 women came forward to affirm, yes, they had been sexually assaulted by Donald Trump.”

 In this claim Bradley is appealing to ethics, relying on the assumption that his readers will share his worldview that a person who brags about sexually assaulting women will not make a suitable Presidential Candidate. He furthers this appeal to ethics later on in the article, stating, “He has already shown that he is morally unsuitable for the job, as a man who wilfully disrespects women’s autonomy and the US democratic system’s integrity.”

Bradley concludes his article with an evaluative claim, appealing to popular opinion:

“Americans knew every single one of these things before either candidate uttered a word at this last debate… the debate told them only what every serious-minded person already knew… Donald Trump is so dangerously unsuited to the American presidency that he is a danger to America itself.”

With this statement, Bradley appeals to popular opinion by persuading his readers that all “serious-minded” Americans feel the same way about Trump and that this view is universally accepted. He is also appealing to consequences, by stating the danger that will result if Trump becomes president. Bradley is likely to persuade readers who share his worldview that an irrational and unpredictable person who is accused of sexual assault and threatens to “lock up” his opponent is dangerous and unsuitable for the presidency.

Similar to Bradley’s article, Mark Beeson’s article ‘Trump or Clinton: Who will be the best for our Asia-Pacific region’, published 6 October on ABC, argues a primary claim that Trump becoming President will have catastrophic consequences for Australia. Unlike Bradley however, this principle claim is not made clear from the headline or the lead. Instead, Beeson reveals it after the lead, with an evaluative claim and appeal to consequences:

“The consensus is that no matter who becomes the next president, it will be bad.

If it’s Donald Trump, though, it could be apocalyptic.”

Beeson furthers these evaluative claims with appeals to authority, by stating, “most serious analysts hope she [Clinton] wins.” He then follows this statement up with an appeal to consequences: “The alternative [Trump] is too awful, unpredictable and frankly alarming to even contemplate.” Although this is an opinionated statement, it is enhanced by his previous appeal to authority.

The rest of Beeson’s article is primarily opinionated in this way, however he does make one factual claim. He does this when claiming that many Americans are “remarkably ill-informed” about foreign policy, which provides justification for why Trump’s “neo-isolationist” policies have been so favourable. He says, “the average American thinks something like one-quarter of its $US trillion national budget is spent on foreign aid. In reality it’s less than a miserly 1 per cent. Trump may share this misapprehension for all we know.” By making this factual claim he is pointing out how many of Trump’s supporters, and even Trump himself, are uneducated about foreign policy and therefore unjustified in their beliefs that America is too involved in “seemingly intractable conflicts in places they neither know nor care about.” Suggesting that Trump is uneducated links back to his primary claim that he is an unsuitable candidate who’s Presidency would be catastrophic for Australia.

Finally, another way that Beeson persuades his readers to view Trump as a threat to Australia’s future is by appealing to comparison and comparing him to Clinton:

 “Clinton is clearly the establishment candidate and consummate insider who can be relied upon to do the right thing as far as Australia and the world is concerned… she is one of the architects of the so-called “pivot”, or shift in American strategic priorities to the Asia-Pacific region and response to China’s seemingly inexorable rise.”

Providing the reader shares a worldview that prioritises the Asia-Pacific region, Beeson is likely to persuade his reader that Clinton is a more suitable candidate than Trump through this appeal to comparison.

It is clear from this analysis that the Australian media generally portrays Trump as a dangerous and unfit Presidential candidate. Interestingly, views and news articles are able to convey this same perspective even though they argue in different ways. Whilst news articles position their readers to view Trump in a negative light through facts and attribution of sources, views articles subjectively convey the authors opinions in persuasive ways.

Words: 2422

References

http://www.smh.com.au/business/media-and-marketing/why-the-us-media-turned-on-donald-trump-according-to-cnn-anchor-hala-gorani-20161020-gs7f9i.html

 

http://www.straitstimes.com/world/united-states/us-media-turning-against-trump

 

http://www.news.com.au/world/north-america/trump-claims-new-groping-allegations-are-part-of-a-plot-against-him/news-story/ad096ea3c2d850a397d899acb6f47c2c

 

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/world/the-times/us-election-donald-trump-says-hillary-clinton-favoured-by-rigging/news-story/f1fc19b4c95a364f093b186ca6f41239

 

http://www.smh.com.au/comment/voters-already-knew-all-they-need-to-know-about-dangerous-donald-trump-20161020-gs6vc3.html

 

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-10-06/trump-or-clinton-who-will-be-the-best-for-asia-pacific-region/7905612?section=analysis

 

Who are you, Mr. Trump, when you are alone?

FinalAss4-PingFri10.30

Elouise Paabo z5059584

 

Two words. Donald Trump. Two words that we are probably all so sick of hearing, yet will continue to hear for a few more weeks. And if he wins the current 2016 American Presidential race, a few more years at least. The 2016 Republication Presidential candidate has a long history of being represented in various ways in the media. Yet as of this current election, his media coverage has gone through the roof. With newspaper articles, videos, internet sensationalism and even memes of him flooding Facebook newsfeeds, it is a phenomenal task to try to analyse how he is being represented in the media. Yet in the mainstream Australian media, it is safe to say that he is being depicted as an extreme, brash and often offensive contender for the US Presidential Race.

 

Donald Trump has always had a personality that the media love to represent due to his extravagant personality. His rise in media coverage is no new feat, as in 2004 the reality television show, “The Apprentice” captured public and media attention as Trump created the catchphrase, “You’re Fired!” The Emmy-nominated reality show made sixteen businessmen compete for a position in Donald Trump’s empire. The buzz of the show overflowed into other networks such as print media and what is known as the “metaphorical watercooler”, people were talking about him. The cultural phenomenon saw audiences enjoy the blend of routine and drama, of unpredictability and familiarity as well as the constant battle between appealing and appalling personalities. Twelve years later and people are still talking about him, and media outlets still cannot get enough of him. The media in terms of entertainment, news and their hybrids represent reality in a way that promotes certain meanings and interpretations of how the world works and why. These specific representations are selected and constructed in ways that consistently promote the status quo- the current beliefs, structures and inequalities of the time including the racial and financial hierarchy that Donald Trump is currently trying to dominate.

 

The three differing articles portray differing ways in which Donald Trump is represented in the media. The first piece of discussion is a news journalism article written by Peter McGeough for the Sydney Morning Herald, “US Election 2016: Donald Trump should be a dead man walking”. The article thus tries not to use emotive, descriptive language to describe Donald Trump but rather uses the facts from the election to represent Trump. It is interesting to note that this author uses the least extreme language to describe Trump and is written from and Australian contextual background.

 

The second article of discussion is written for Atlantic magazine, an American magazine. Instantly, undertones of certain representative ideas can already be seen from the feature article titled, “The Mind of Donald Trump”, written by Dan P. McAdams due to the fact that it is written by an American publication and is in the style of a feature story. The feature story format allows for discussion of the representative ideas depicted within the use of photographs.

 

The third article of discussion is a views journalism article written for Vanity Fair by Micheal Kinsley, an American political journalist and commentator. Kinsley writes mostly a purely opinionative piece as he gives his own answer as to how to take down Donald Trump and thus is laden with representative language. Kinsley’s article is also laden with political cartoons that hold many symbolic and visual representations of Donald Trump.

 

  1. Sydney Morning Herald:

http://www.smh.com.au/world/us-election/us-election-2016-donald-trump-should-be-a-dead-man-walking-20160407-go0wn8.html

 

  1. Atlantic Magazine: http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2016/06/the-mind-of-donald-trump/480771/

 

  1. Vanity Fair:

http://www.vanityfair.com/news/2015/10/the-serious-problem-with-treating-donald-trump-seriously

 

Peter McGeough’s  article, “US Election 2016: Donald Trump should be a dead man walking” is written for the Sydney Morning Herald, a reputable Australian newspaper that typically depicts left-wing views on politics. From the very title of the article, “…Donald Trump should be a dead man walking”, it is evident that McGeough is making a hasty generalisation. The title also clarifies the contention of the author as we can see from the outset that he will be taking an anti-Trump approach.  The words “should be a dead man” further enhance McGeough’s passionate tone of voice rather than an informed tone.

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In regards to where McGeough is positioning the reader, McGeough is making an Ad Hominem argument as he is attacking Donald Trump and believes the reader should also have views that are against Donald Trump. This assumption is concurrent within nearly all media articles that are written about Trump. The author so often writes in such a passionate way that he is positioning and almost forcing the reader or viewer to agree with the notion that Donald Trump is wrong and should be ridiculed.

 

The media is currently flooded with this underlying current of emotion rather than factual and informed opinions. Although the arguments may well be informed, the argument is often realised later than the emotion is portrayed.

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McGeough is one journalist who belongs in the category of assuming their readers agree with their views through using emotive language. McGeough establishes an evaluative tone to the piece early on through the quote:

 

“For all his boofhead behaviour on the hustings, there’s a surgically precise aspect to his shtick that is lethal. Cockily careless, he shot himself in the foot

 

McGeough is also using the device of positioning his respective readers in a position that is in fact above Donald Trump. The author uses such extreme language that he makes the reader feel comfortable through knowing that he (the reader) would never do something as “cockily careless”. McGeough also represents Donald Trump as a joke as he “shot himself in the foot”.

 

McGeough also represents the actions of Donald Trump as something “other” as he states his past ideas have been examples of “lethal voodoo psychology”. Such extreme, emotive language clarifies the Ad Populum argument that McGeough makes through assuming the view is widely held by everyone in general.

 

Dan McAdams, has written a feature story on the psychology of Donald Trump for the Atlantic.com. The article named, “The Real Donald Trump” was written in June 2016.  Next to an enlarged close up photograph of Donald Trump looking concerned and slightly angry, is the text in larger bold white font saying, “Narcissism, disagreeableness, grandiosity- a psychologist investigates how Trump’s extraordinary personality might shape his possible presidency.” This first, close-up photograph is large in scale and uses a low camera angle to make Trump seem larger than reality. This photograph could further indicate that he is represented as “looming” over America and the world. The fact that the photo is so close-up indicates that we can so clearly see all of Donald Trump’s flaws and we are quick to analyse such flaws.

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Dan McAdams is the first author to use descriptive language in a way that is not entirely negatively charged. He describes Trump as “the golden-haired guest sitting across the table”. The mystery embedded into this tone of voice depicts Trump as a youthful, polite man. Perhaps McAdams has used irony in this sentiment.

 

McAdams from the outset of his article depicts Donald Trump metaphorically with that of an actor, “It was Donald Trump playing Donald Trump… There was something unreal about it.” This comparative imagery runs continuously throughout the piece. The representation is based at the idea that Trump moves through life like a man who knows he is always being observed by others.

 

McAdams also, unlike many other media writers, does not use emotive language at the heart of his article about Donald Trump. Instead of evaluative language and hasty generalisations, McAdams deems to represent Trump from a psychological viewpoint.

“Across his lifetime, Donald Trump has exhibited a trait profile that you would not expect of a U.G. president: sky-high extroversion combined with off-the-chart low agreeableness.”

Next to this particular psychological analysis is yet another photographic representation of Trump. Yet this time he is mid-yelling depicting the full capacity of the anger within his personality. This photo is even more close up than the last, we can even see where he has had a filling in his teeth. The large red border of the photograph depicts emotions of frustration and anger further creating this “angry” image of Donald Trump.

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McAdams representation of Trump is specifically interesting as he outlines Trump’s qualities that are usually not depicted in the media. This article then gives us an insight of the Donald Trump that is rarely seen in the media.

 

“But nobody else seems to embrace the campaign with the gusto of Trump. And no other candidate seems to have so much fun.”

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The use of the word fun is not a word that we are used to seeing in the same sentence as the word Trump. Thus there is evidence of that the media can represent Donald Trump in a way that is not extremely biased from a left-wing nor a right-wing perspective but rather a psychological perspective that is informed and unbiased.

 

“Trump loves his family, for sure. He is reported to be a generous and fair-minded boss. There is even a famous story about his meeting with a boy who was dying of cancer. A fan of The Apprentice, the young boy simply wanted Trump to tell him, ‘You’re fired!’”

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However McAdams does not only discuss the positive aspects of Trump that mainstream society are not aware of, but also the small parts of his personality that are the less extreme versions of what we see in the mainstream media. For example, McAdams discusses how Donald Trump spoke merely about himself at his father’s funeral, saying it was the “the hardest day of his life” and “what a successful and rich son he had bought up”.

 

Micheal Kinsley’s The Serious Problem with treating Donald Trump Seriously written for Vanity Fair outlines the traditional views of Donald Trump that are conventionally seen in the media.  Again, we can see from the emotive language and evaluative tone from the headline that Kinsley takes a negative stance on Donald Trump. The headline of the article also depicts potential for an appeal to negative consequences argument.

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At the forefront of the article is a demeaning cartoon titled “Losers”. The cartoon is of Donald Trump amongst an array of animals in the form of Disney Cartoon characters. This cartoon in turn is making an analogy between Donald Trump and a bunch of animals that would in reality belong in a zoo. Trump’s head in the cartoon is also much larger than his own body and anyone else’s head within the cartoon, indicating the idea that Trump is big-headed. The caption of the cartoon reads, “Why are Trump’s opponents so reluctant to call him a goofball?” This caption further indicates the fear that Trump is perpetuating within the political sphere and the real world.

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Kinsley takes the straight-up approach that we are often used to seeing in the media in relation to Trump by using emotive and harsh words to describe him. Again the animalistic analogy is used by Kinsley to further enhance his point that Trump does not deserve to be treated like a human but rather an animal.

 

“The trouble with Trump is that he is, by temperament, by experience, and by character, utterly unqualified to be president of the United States. He is a buffoon.”

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The second cartoon used to represent Trump is again making fun of Trump as a person and as a political candidate. The cartoon depicts Donald Trump walking along a corridor of pictures of all the historical American presidents. However all of the presidents look in complete disgust and worry they shake their head and hold their head in despair as Trump walks past. Abraham Lincoln is even shown vomiting in disgust. The symbolism depicted in their faces is that America should not be proud of where it has come in comparison with its great leaders of the past. The illustration by Barry Blitt is captioned, “That we’re even talking about his “positions” is a victory for Trump.” Further indicating the shock that the media is establishing at just how far Trump has actually come in this political campaign.

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The media is often understood to be thoroughly hostile towards Trump and especially in the rise of internet articles as journalist’s have evidently broken new ground in what they are allowed to say in ostensibly “objective” news articles and broadcasts. The rise of internet “journalism” also allows for a blurred line between what is opinionative and what is journalistic within an article. Despite such hostility in the media, Donald Trump seems to only grow stronger.

 

Evidently Donald Trump is a case that is so represented in the media it can be difficult to narrow down his exact representation. However it is clear that presidents work within institutional frameworks that transcend the idiosyncratic relationships between specific people and society as a whole. Perhaps Donald Trump’s emotional disconnection from the hostility of the media is a factor that is accelerating his drive as the most effective leaders are considered able to maintain some measure of distance from the social and emotional fray of everyday politics. Nevertheless, for U.S. presidents the political is not merely personal as it has to be much more as they keep the big picture in mind and try not to invest too heavily in any particular relationship, including with that of the media.

 

Written by Elouise Paabo

z5059584

 

 

 

 

 

 

Is it unfair to not have PEDs in sport?

De Nigris, Adamo – Final Assignment- PeterThur10:30                        

Option 2

Issue chosen – Performance enhancing drug (PED) use in sport

The issue I have chosen for my comparative analysis is the use performance enhancing drugs (PEDs) in sport. I have complied a range of articles which depict the two sides of the argument. One side can be characterised by supporters of the implementation of PEDs in sport, such as Journalist’s David Van Mill and Julian Savulescu and the other side which opposes their legality, including Catherine Hanrahan and Brian Mazique.

Article 1: http://theconversation.com/why-are-we-so-opposed-to-performance-enhancing-drugs-in-sport-46528 by David Van Mill

Journalist David Van Mill illustrates an evaluative, pro-PED argument in his article titled, ‘Why are we so opposed to performance-enhancing drugs in sport?’ In this article Van Mill forces the reader to question the logic of labelling PED use as unfair, when there are many legal aspects of competition that he claims are also unfair. A primary claim in his article is that monetary funding is just as unfair as PED use. He strengthens this claim when he states that athletes, “try to enhance their performance in many ways: coaches, psychologists, dietitians, massage therapists. All of these are used to gain an advantage, which is often unfair because, like drugs, they are available to some – wealthy athletes rather than cheats.” Here, the justificatory support used can be clearly identified as an appeal to precedent, as Van Mill is challenging the fairness of traditional sporting methods by highlighting that many of them require money, which makes it out of reach for some athletes. Although it is not explicitly stated in his claim, a reader can assume that Van Mill is making the claim that the unfairness derives between athletes from countries with large sports funding and the countries without it. This could be viewed as an over generalisation, as he is assuming that money correlates with sporting success, however this claim is true in certain cases, such as the Olympics. When analysing the Games, success can be attributed with high funding. Great Britain, Russia, Australia and America can always be found near the top of the medal tally, due to large monetary support from their respective governments. Van Mill supports this argument in his article when he states, “Performance is also unfairly enhanced when governments fund athletes. Australia spent more than A$300 million to prepare athletes for the last Olympics”. Ultimately, Van Mill states that monetary support of sport is as unfair as P.E.D. use and those drugs should be legal.

Furthermore, Van Mill argues that lifting the prohibition on PEDs would in fact increase the fairness of sport competition. Van Mill depicts the unfair nature of sporting competition in the claim, “Those who use drugs prosper at the expense of those who play fair”. Here, he makes an appeal to consequence by illustrating the unfair nature of sporting competition, as a result of some athletes using PEDs. Therefore, in order to create a fair playing environment Van Mill makes a recommendation that, “Given that drugs are significantly cheaper than psychologists, permitting their use might actually level out the playing field for poorer athletes”. This claim can be viewed as an evaluative presumption as Van Mill is assuming that poorer athletes will be able to obtain PEDs because they are cheap. However, he has no proof that this is true, especially in poorer countries as he has not supplied evidence of the costs of PEDs across various countries. Also, this argument doesn’t take into consideration the ability of a poorer athletes to access these drugs, which may be harder to obtain in poorer countries. Although illegal drug use creates an unfair playing environment amongst competitors, simply allowing its use can create serious health problems due its various health consequences. Van Mill’s inability to address this issue can be viewed as a main flaw in his argument. Conversely, he raises interesting arguments in relation to the other unfair components of sport competition, namely sport funding, making this article a useful tool when analysing the topic of PED legality.

Article 2: http://bjsm.bmj.com/content/38/6/666.full#ref-13 by Julian Savulescu

Moreover, Julian Savulescu from the British Journal of Sports Medicine depicts a pro-PED argument which is consistent of evaluative arguments, with some factual support titled, ‘Why we should allow performance enhancing drugs in sport’. Like Van Mill in the previous article, a primary clam of this article is that PED use will make sporting competition fair. However, Savulescu claims that this will be due to the prevention of sport becoming a ‘genetic lottery’. Savulescu expands on this term by claiming that, “People do well at sport as a result of the genetic lottery that happened to deal them a winning hand. If you have one version of the ACE gene, you will be better at long distance events”. Here, it can be seen that the author is making an appeal to facts by using the example of the ACE gene to strengthen his primary claim. Furthermore, he states that, “by allowing everyone to take performance enhancing drugs, we level the playing field”. Understanding the informal fallacies of this argument are important when analysing this topic. Firstly, although Savulescu uses factual evidence, his argument can be viewed as an over generalisation as he is assuming that sporting success is solely determined by genetics. This ignores factors such as an athlete’s dedication to their training or diet, which separates them from their competitors. Similarly, external factors such as weather, wind or condition of a track can effect a sporting outcome. Furthermore, claiming that PEDs should be legal because they will even out athletes with different genetics can be viewed as a non sequitur fallacy, as there is no proof that PEDs will result in an even playing environment.

Savulescu also claims that PEDs should be legalised as it will result in a more complete athlete. The author claims that training aims to enhance an athlete’s natural potential, however he states that “drugs improve our natural potential”. This can be seen as the author making an appeal to consequence by claiming that PED use is good because it can increase the potential of athlete, which a reader can assume will lead to better performance. Moreover, Savulescu states that athletes using PEDs are partaking in a controlled practice, as they, “chose what kind of competitor they want to be, not just through training, but through biological manipulation … classical musicians commonly use B blockers to control their stage fright”. Here, the author is making an appeal to facts, however it can be argued that he is using a false analogy by using an example of a musician rather than an athlete. Although, Savulescu utilises this example to portray the positive ways drugs can be manipulated for individual use. When analysing this article a conclusion can be drawn that the author assumes his reader doesn’t have an in depth knowledge of sport. Despite the article using facts, they are used in a manner which assumes that the reader will believe what they are being told because it is scientific evidence from a reputable source, The British Journal of Sports Medicine. However, the claims made in relation to genetics and fairness in sport can be viewed as over generalised.

Article 3: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-08-11/rio-2016-olympics-drugs-guide/7651832 by Catherine Hanrahan

When analysing the issue of PED use in sport it is important to understand the various reasons why athletes takes these drugs, as well the health problems which can result from it. Catherine Hanrahan from The ABC provides this insight with her factual article titled, ‘Rio 2016: Performance-enhancing and banned drugs explained’. It can be seen by the use of the word ‘explained’ in the title that Hanrahan is attempting to connect to an audience that has little to no knowledge on the topic of PEDs. One of the primary claims made by Hanrahan is that PED use can have serious health consequences, including death. She supports this claim when she sates, “steroids can have serious side effects on liver and heart function and fertility … blood doping can cause heart attacks and stroke and many athletes have died after using EPO”. Here, Hanrahan utilises an appeal to facts, as well as an appeal to consequence for her justificatory support, by detailing the negative consequences of PED use. Hanrahan is providing a concise summation of the health risks of PED use, as well as detailing the diverse range of PEDs available by listing them in categories in her article labelled, ‘steroids, blood doping, masking drugs, uppers and downers”. Here, Hanrahan is depicting the array of PEDs available to athletes, which is beneficial for a reader as many might have only heard of steroids, which is the most common form. By listing the variety of PEDs and their various health consequences, Hanrahan’s article provides a factual insight into the issue of PED use in sport.

Conversely, the article also provides a factual insight into the reasons why athletes take PEDs, by detailing the elements of performance they improve. Hanrahan states that although PEDs can improve performance, they have permanent ramifications on the human body. She details the reasons for athletes using steroids in, “Steroids build muscle size and strength and let athletes recover more quickly from intensive training”. Moreover, Hanrahan depicts the PEDs available to endurance athletes by explaining the practice of blood doping as a way to, “increase red blood cell numbers … which means the muscles get more oxygen”. This can be viewed as an appeal to facts, as the performance benefits of PEDs are detailed. This could be misinterpreted as a positive appeal to consequence, as the author is detailing the benefits of PED use. However, she denounces these benefits in the statement, “Putting something foreign in your body irreversibly alters body chemistry and is fraught with risk”. This can be seen as a clear appeal to consequence as she is highlighted the negative ramifications of PED use. When analysing the usefulness of this article it is undeniable that it provides an interesting insight into the topic by detailing an athlete’s reasons for taking the drugs. Moreover, reading this article provides a factual overview of PEDs, allowing a reader to compare the positive and negative ramifications of PED use and then formulate their own opinion on the topic of PED use in sport.

Article 4: http://www.forbes.com/sites/brianmazique/2016/07/18/ped-use-in-combat-sports-should-be-a-criminal-offense/#1de92d7a6b78 by Brian Mazique

Alternatively, the final article by Brian Mazique from Forbes titled, ‘PED use in combat sport should be a criminal offence’, differs sightly from the previous articles, as it focuses solely on the use of PEDs in combat sports. The analysis before this has mostly centred on individual Olympic sports such as running or swimming, whereas this evaluative article focuses on the dangers of using PEDs in combat sports, not on the individual taking the drug but for their opponent. Mazique’s central argument is having fighters use PEDs can increase the risk of serious injury or death to their opponent. He depicts the ability of PEDs to cause death in combat sports in the statement, “We’ve seen deaths and grave injuries inflicted by fighters who didn’t test positive for steroids … common sense suggests the use of PEDs could worsen the situation”. Here, Mazique uses an appeal to consequence to highlight the health risks associated with combat sport, in a PED free environment. Therefore, by adding PEDs into the sport the author is illustrating the violent consequences that could arise. Mazique further depicts the health risks of PEDs in combat sports by stating that, “Using PEDs that allow you to hit a baseball a little further … are examples of fraud. However, in these situations, another player’s health isn’t compromised”. The author uses this appeal to comparison as justificatory support in order to highlight the dangers of PED use in combat sport, in comparison to other sports. This is as a result of the risk of injury or death to an enhanced fighter’s opponent. Moreover, the author ends the article by making a recommendation, “The decision to make Olympic style drug testing mandatory, and PEDs in combat sports a criminal offences, has to come from the Supreme Court”. Mazique makes this recommendation to exemplify the magnitude of this issue in combat sports. Ultimately, this article highlights how the issue of PED use differs across different sports and how PEDs can have various consequences for the individual and their opponent in the case of combat sports.

In summation, the chosen articles provide a diverse insight into the topic of PED use in sport. The first two articles question the fairness of sporting competition, in relation to differences amongst athletes in funding and genetics. Both Van Mill and Savulescu claim that legalising PEDs will create a level playing field for athletes. Conversely, Catherine Hanrahan provides a factual analyse of the benefits and consequences of PED for an athlete. She depicts the reasons why athletes take PEDs, as well as detailing the range of PEDs available for different athletic requirements. However, she ultimately denounces PED use by depicting their health consequences. Moreover, the final article by Brian Mazique provides an evaluative insight into the increased risk of death in combat sports, when athletes take PEDs. The articles provides a diverse depiction of the issue and also demonstrates the different ways the topic is portrayed in the media.

Elizabeth Dimopoulos – Final assessment 4 – F10A

pic-2

January 2014 marks the date lockout laws took effect in Australia. Introduced by the Barry O’Farrell government these laws came about as a way of controlling alcohol related disorder in Australia. These laws include a 1:30am entry lockout from pubs and clubs as well as a 3:00am final drinks call across the New South Wales state (however these laws differ between states). These laws came into play in response to a number of violent alcohol related outbreaks, many of which took the lives of young party goers including that of Thomas Kelly in 2012.

 

Eighteen year old Thomas Kelly was on a night out in Sydney’s Kings Cross. The young teen was walking down Victoria St with his girlfriend when he was king hit unprovoked by a random passerby. Kelly suffered serious head injuries and remained in a critical condition over night before his family made the heavy hearted decision to turn off his life support machine.

 

Kieran Loveridge was later charged in November 2013 to a minimum of five years and two months in prison. But with much community uproar the Director of Public Prosecutions launched an appeal based on the leniency of the sentence.

 

Today, Loveridge is serving a minimum of ten years and two months in prison. NSW Attorney-General Brad Hazzard released a statement in response to the new laws stating, “The NSW Government has since mandated minimum jail sentences for these kinds of deadly, alcohol fuelled assaults and has put in place lockouts to change the culture of drunken, dangerous behaviour in central Sydney.”

 

Turning the table’s the other way – Sydney’s lockout laws while proving effective with reducing rates of drug and alcohol related violence on the streets, have some what backfired creating underlying issues. Take a walk down Bayswater Rd and Oxford St and you’ll see the impact these laws have had on Sydney’s nightlife. Where once stood the most popular nightclubs Soho, Hugos lounge and Flinders bar all have since folded under the laws. “The soul of the city has been destroyed,” one publication states.

 

In this essay I will take a particularly strong focus and draw my conclusions from four issue relative articles published by a range of media houses from not only New South Wales, but across the country. The articles I will be analysing include: ‘Queensland lockout laws: LNP member fears suburban unrest’ written by Trenton Akers, ‘Opinion: Lock out laws a false hope to stop violence’ written by Peter Chapman, ‘The silent majority backs Sydney’s lockout laws’ written by Rob McEwen and finally, ‘Would the last person in Sydney please turn the lights out?’ written by Matt Barrie. These news articles are but four standouts amongst a plethora of published news and views journalism articles.
Through close analysis of these four articles, I have recognised that while each article mutually comments on the negative implications of the implemented lockout laws, each author distinctively provides readers with a unique view point. Through the use of characterization and evaluation, analysts can recognise the techniques of influence, slant and bias employed by each of the authors as a way of ultimately relaying their ideas and values upon their audience in order to influence and sway their stance on the issue.

 

Taking a closer look at the first article that I will be analysing, ‘Queensland lockout laws: LNP member fears suburban unrest’ written by Trenton Akers and published online at News.com – February 18 2016. In this article, Akers displays a negative point of view reflecting on an interview with Liberal National Party state member Trevor Watts. In the piece Mr. Watts states, “through his 25 years’ experience working in and around pubs, he believed the laws would force young partygoers to host wild suburban parties… They’re going to be partying next door to your house, they’re going to be making noise, they’re going to be having sex in the garden.” It is through the technique of informal fallacy that from an analytical perspective one can assume that the interviewee speaks with a negative voice on the issue, a view of which is mutually shared by the author. The informal fallacy displayed here is false analogy. By directly associating the younger drinking generation to ‘wild suburban parties’ and explicit acts such as ‘having sex in the garden’ analysts assume there to be dishonest and flawed facts within the source. Mr. Watts is speaking from a heavily exaggerated context as a way of conveying the extremities of the situation ultimately as a way of convincing his audience.

 

Mr. Watts goes on to justify his arguments with a series of thought provoking points, “anyone who believed young people would simply go home to bed after lockout was living in la la land… lets get education in place, because you’re not going to change the culture by closing the door.” In this particular article Akers does not directly engage with his audience through his own voice, we are shown a concentrated version of the authors personal thoughts through the voice of an alternative personality. In this way, Akers is able to successfully influence and share his beliefs on the issue with his intended audience, he does this by directly quoting the words of his interview source. Through analysis of this article, I can understand that the author adopts the voice of another personality as a way of adding support, validity and credibility to his own thoughts and values. As well as this, this is also used as a distancing technique intended to separate the author from becoming too involved with the issue. The author therefore removes himself from the equation and adopts the stance of another figure of whom shares a mutual view.

 

The second article that I will be analysing, ‘Opinion: Lock out laws a false hope to stop violence’ written by Peter Chapman and published in The Queensland Times – February 12 2016. Chapman’s article is heavily opinion based, while addressing his audience in a different style Chapman also takes the presumably popular negative voice alike to that of Akers piece mentioned above. After reading this article, an analyst can quickly recognise the authors lack of authoritative credibility and can understand that the author is quite simply relying on the audience’s mutual values to support his justifications. This can be seen in Chapman’s piece in the sentence, “This fact was backed up in a recent survey at the Gold Coast which revealed…”. Here we can see the author blind sighting his readers providing false recognition to a set of statistics, the issue that arises here is the authors inability and failure to provide the exact title of the survey that he is making reference to.

 

Through further analysis of Chapman’s article, I have noted that the author has used an improper and at times inappropriate choice of vernacular of which sets the mood for the entirety of his piece. This distinct choice of vernacular including, ‘young punk’, ‘violent macho brigade’ and ‘idiots’, although engaging a distinct readership does not appeal to all readers. The author has chosen this jargon as a way of negatively portraying particular bodies and the consequences these bodies have imposed on particular others. This technique has been utilised as a way of persuading the readership with a pre-defined perspective on the issue of which ultimately influences the reader to agree with the author. This particular vernacular while adding a sense of humour to the piece has seen to weaken the intended professionalism and sincerity of the rest of the piece. As a result, we can understand that Chapman is acting on the premise that his readers share a mutual view. The author however does not take a for or against stance on the lockout laws implementation and whether they prove effective in decreasing the alcohol fuelled disorder in Australia, but rather states that, “I now believe they do have merit in their stance.”

 

The third article that I will be analysing, ‘The silent majority backs Sydney’s lockout laws’ written by Rob McEwen and published in Sydney Morning Herald – February 16 2016. McEwen’s piece alike to that of Chapman’s is heavily opinion based, however this author takes an alternative view seeing his piece argue both sides of the issue. This is presented clearly in the opening sentence, “I like a drink. I would like to see a vibrant city but also a safe and attractive one. If this means slightly shorter trading hours for pubs and clubs, so be it.” McEwen’s article dismisses the idea of an assumed readership and thus appeals to the majority of Sydney siders sitting on the fence undecided on the lockout laws issue. The author goes into great depths of analysis justifying the lockout laws and their implementation.

 

This argumentative nature of the article can be seen in the piece where McEwen is seen to argue between the decreased violence statistics and the undecided oppositional perspectives of the laws. McEwen uses an appeal to authority as a way of justifying his first argument – the lockout laws have proven affective in reducing the rates of alcohol fuelled violent acts in Australia. This can be seen in the piece when the author makes reference to a study conducted by the New South Wales Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research website, “Since then there has been a dramatic drop in assaults in Kings Cross and the city… it is undeniable that there are less assaults and there has not been an increase in the surrounding precincts.” This appeal to an authoritative source exposes readers to the cold hard facts and effectively the opportunity to form their own understanding and values on the controversial topic matter.

 

In the same piece we can see McEwen arguing the contrasting perspective blatantly conveying the negative side of the implemented lockout laws. The author is seen to attempt to utilise an appeal to popular opinion in the article when he states, “There has always been opposition to the laws – there are powerful vested interests that would like to see greater access to alcohol.” By making reference to this particular body of people of which share mutual grounds with this negative stance on the topic, the author is engaging this group of readers and challenging them to change their values. This challenge can be seen in the piece when McEwen states, “Lockout laws on their own may or may not reduce the number of assaults. But when combined with earlier closing hours there is no doubt that the number of assaults falls… For every hour trading hours are reduced there is about a 20 per cent decrease in assaults.” Here McEwen is seen to refer to factual statistics from an authoritative source of which provides credibility and depth to his argument. The study provided in the piece displays to the papers audience the drastic decrease in alcohol fuelled violent acts in Australia.

 

Through further analysis, analysts can recognise the authors ability to cross reference his facts as a way of further strengthening the credibility of his argument. McEwen refers to a study conducted in Amsterdam of which proves to his readers that by their government extending their nightlife trading hours by one hour, it has lead to a 34 per cent increase in ambulance callouts in honour of alcohol related injuries. This cross reference while not culturally relevant or relatable, provides for readers a black and white real life example of the negative consequences of in the event that the tables were turned the other way. It is in this way that McEwen distinguishes himself amongst the other published news articles and successfully provides readers with the relevant information required in order to build their own values and ideas on the controversial subject matter.

 

The fourth and final article that I will be analysing, ‘Would the last person in Sydney please turn the lights out,’ written by Matt Barrie and published online on News.com.au – February 4 2016. Barrie takes a different angle to that of the three above mentioned pieces. In this particular piece Barrie reflects on the key neglected points that alternative news articles fail to communicate with their audiences. Lockout laws although having proven effective in decreasing the amount of alcohol fuelled disorder in Australia has also ignited a series of negative implications.

 

“The soul of the city has been destroyed,” Barrie speaks of the effects of the lockout laws. We’ve all heard the uproar regarding the newly implemented lock out laws in Sydney. But what the media has failed to convey is the voice of the people – the club owners and local restaurant owners that have been effected as a result of these laws. Barrie uses his piece as a way of giving voice back to these effected people, this can be seen through the reference to statistical facts. Statistics such as, “From 2012 to 2015… Kings Cross foot traffic was down 84 per cent as 42 bars, clubs and small businesses closed as takings fell by 40 per cent or more.” This reference to statistics allows readers the chance to remove themselves from the victimised position take a step back from the issue and effectively think about the bigger picture of whom else has been effected during the implementation of lockout laws.

 

Through further analysis, I have recognised Barrie’s underlying stance on the subject matter. The implementation of lockout laws while proving effective in reducing the rates of alcohol fuelled violence in Australia has coincidently arisen negative implications on club owners and local restaurant owners of whom depended on the party goers for their businesses livelihood.

 

This stance can be seen throughout the piece through the technique of satirical and sarcastic vernacular, similar to that of Chapman. This distinct choice of vernacular can be seen in the text, “And oh, how ridiculous these rules have become in Sydney. A special little person has decided that there is a certain time at night when we are all allowed to go out… a certain time that we are all supposed to be tucked into bed.” The author goes onto make reference to a series of sarcastic implications the lockout laws have posed on young party goers, finishing his argument with the phrase ‘because someone might die.’ This distinct choice of jargon ultimately engages the papers readership by creatively making a joke out of the little things that are effected along with the implementation of the lockout laws. This exaggeration technique employed by the author is utilised as a way of turning the conversation on its head and removing partygoers from the victimised stance and ultimately conveying to readers the bigger picture of whom has been effected far greater by the lockout laws than the average party goer. This in turn distinguishes Barrie from the endless array of news articles analysed above, as such Barrie gives his audience the chance to reflect and change their perception of the subject matter.

 

Through close analysis of these four articles, I have come to the conclusion that while each article mutually comments on the negative implications of the implemented lockout laws, each author distinctively provides readers with an alternative view point. Through the use of characterisation and evaluation, analysts can recognise the techniques of influence, slant and bias employed by each of the authors as a way of ultimately relaying their ideas and values upon their audience in order to influence and sway their stance on the issue.

 

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Word count: 2188

 

REFERENCE LIST:

McEwen. R, ‘The silent majority backs Sydney’s lockout laws’, Sydney Morning Herald. Available online at: http://www.smh.com.au/comment/the-silent-majority-backs-sydneys-lockout-laws-20160216-gmvd9k.html Date accessed: 25/10/16

Chapman. P, ‘OPINION: Lock out laws a false hope to stop violence’, The Queensland Times. Available online at: http://www.qt.com.au/news/lock-out-laws-a-false-hope-to-stop-violence/2929059/ Date accessed: 25/10/16

Akers. T, ‘Queensland lockout laws: LN member fears suburban unrest’, News.com.au. Available online at: http://www.news.com.au/lifestyle/food/queensland-lockout-laws-lnp-member-fears-suburban-unrest/news-story/d556f7a60862c856bcd761e0dc0984ca Date accessed: 25/10/16

Barrie. M, ‘Would the last person in Sydney please turn the lights out?’, News.com.au. Available online at: http://www.news.com.au/finance/business/other-industries/would-the-last-person-in-sydney-please-turn-the-lights-out/news-story/3ac474b2b168b029c5080f29d2e5510a Date accessed: 26/10/16

Wells. J, ‘Thomas Kelly case: Kieran Loveridge gets more jail time over one-punch death’, ABC news. Available online at: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-07-04/loveridge-gets-more-jail-time-over-one-punch-death/5571222 Date accessed: 26/10/16

Weatherburn. D, ‘Media Release: Lockout Law evaluation’, Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research. Available online at: http://www.bocsar.nsw.gov.au/Pages/bocsar_media_releases/2015/mr_cjb183.aspx Date accessed: 26/10/16

Assignment Task 4 proposal

For my final written assignment, I am going to be discussing the representation of males in the media who are charged for assault/murder, like the Brock Turner case, and recent local cases in Australia. I am focusing on the images selected for these articles as well as some hard news reporting to analyse the attitude and ideologies represented. I want to compared the factual reporting of these hard news pieces and the language used (looking at transitivity) to the visual analysis of the same images in the articles and other articles that focus on images.

 

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3837469/Queensland-father-charged-20-counts-rape-against-daughter-12-year-period-mother-died.html

http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/worst-of-the-worst-fathers-years-of-abuse-against-athlete-daughter-revealed-20160729-gqh28x.html

http://www.qt.com.au/news/man-accused-of-raping-daughter/3100294/

Why We Can’t Call Brock Turner a ‘Rapist’

http://www.news.com.au/lifestyle/real-life/true-stories/brock-turner-case-rapists-shocking-statement-paints-himself-as-the-victim/news-story/194f9047ff4ac28e87c4d4069d720599

http://edition.cnn.com/2016/06/06/us/sexual-assault-brock-turner-stanford/

Alissa Shin z5087997