Rhetlinks is a page devoted to keen rhetorical criticism (i.e., interesting analyses of language, communication, representation, etc.) done around the web.
November 8, 2018: Sahil Chinoy, Nicholas Kristof and Jessia Ma illustrate How the N.R.A. Builds Loyalty and Fanaticism (Contributed by Tom Huckin)
November 4, 2018: Chris Hedges explains The Cult of Trump: “The language of the cult leader is designed exclusively to appeal to the emotional needs of those in the cult.” (Contributed by Tom Huckin)
November 3, 2018: The Neuroscience of Hatespeech by psychiatrist Richard Friedman.
November 3, 2018: Daniel Byman of the Brookings Institute on “When to Call a Terrorist a Terrorist.” “As a result of the country’s skewed perception of terrorism, its legal framework offers little guidance for how to handle terrorist acts not committed by jihadis. For one, many of the elements that characterize domestic extremist groups—such as conspiratorial anti-Semitism—are protected as free speech.”
October 25, 2018: Susan Glasser of the New Yorker describes the dynamics of a Trump rally. She observes, “Political leaders are called onstage to praise the President in terms that would make a feudal courtier blush, and they’re not empty words. These are the kinds of tributes I have heard in places like Uzbekistan, but never before in America.”
October 22, 2018: Jamal Khashoggi’s final column for the Washington Post is a heartbreaking plea: “What the Arab World Needs Most is Free Expression.” Kashoggi states, “Through the creation of an independent international forum, isolated from the influence of nationalist governments spreading hate through propaganda, ordinary people in the Arab world would be able to address the structural problems their societies face.”
October 22, 2018: Philip Bump of the Washington Post offers these “Rhetorical Guidelines for Comparisons to Trump’s Celebration of the Assault of a Reporter.” (Contributed by Don Lazere)
October 14, 2018: Jonathan Rauch discusses current attacks on our unwritten “constitution of knowledge” wherein a “hypothesis can join reality only insofar as it persuades people after withstanding vigorous questioning and criticism.” (Contributed by Don Lazere)
October 5, 2018: Trevor Noah explains how “Trump Weaponizes Victimhood to Defend Kavanaugh: “He knows how to offer victimhood to people who have the least claim to it”
September 30: Mike Fleiss, pioneer of Reality TV, explains the secrets of the game and the viewers’ stakes that keep them hooked: “This is the future of the world and the safety of mankind and the health of the planet….I should’ve thought of that one.” Analysis by Amy Chozick
September 29, 2018: This graphic from Vox says it all about who is ready to share truths and who tries to turn our eyes away: Every time Ford and Kavanaugh dodged a question, in one chart
September 29, 2018: “For Christine Blasey Ford to Be Believable, She Had to Be ‘Likable: The professor’s moving testimony has been… a reminder of a pernicious stipulation given to women.” by Megan Garber
September 28, 2018: William Saletan in today’s Slate on yesterday’s monstrous display of dishonesty
September 28, 2018: Author Wagatwe Wanjuki explains how “Kavanaugh’s opening remarks are a master class in a common sexual abuser defence tactic” The tactics are known by the acronym DARVO, explained and documented here by Dr. Jennifer J. Freyd.
September 28, 2018: Two women boldly tell Senator Jeff Flake exactly what they think about his pledged support for Kavanaugh (Video Courtesy of CNN)
September 28, 2018: The American Bar Association recommends that the FBI further investigate before Senate Vote on Kavanaugh. Here is the letter from the ABA.
September 26, 2018: “The Ten Most Astonishing Moments in Trump’s Press Conference” as reported by Madeleine Carlisle and Olivia Paschal, aptly characterized as “Bizzare.” Laugh or Cry, Your Pick.
September 23, 2018: In his podcast FrameLab, Cognitive Linguist George Lakoff continues to explain how “strict father morality” framing underpins US conservative politics. If you are unfamiliar with Lakoff’s work, the easy-to-read Don’t Think of an Elephant is a great place to start.