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Why is Trump Covering Up Jamal Khashoggi’s Murder?

Jamal Khashoggi is dead. The journalist was murdered on October 2 at the Saudi consulate in Turkey. The available evidence suggests with increasing certainty that it was plotted and carried out by members of Saudi crown prince Mohammad bin Salman’s coterie of advisors and confidantes. The scandal over Khashoggi’s murder has only grown over the past two weeks, with new … Read more

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Handling Deceit with Rhetorical Analysis

Does not an outright intention to deceive thwart the whole enterprise of rhetorical dialectic–that is, the search for truth? Rhetoricians analyze a type of deception that can be said to occur in any instance of persuasive behavior. We call it “stance” or “point of view,” or the “enthymeme”–a speech act performs a “trope” or a turning away from pure objectivity. Read more

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Appeals to Nuance and Platforming The Accused of Sexual Assault

One of the attractions of demagoguery—the political appeals to popular prejudices—is that it offers simple explanations to complex issues. Nuance can be lost in dangerous ways when demagoguery reigns supreme. It is often a pride of intellectuals to be champions of nuance in the fight against demagoguery. However, sometimes nuance can be a rhetorical tactic. This is apparent in the … Read more