[KB] Questions for discussion at my panel

HERBERT W. Simons hsimons at temple.edu
Mon Jun 5 09:48:30 EDT 2017

KB CONFERENCE Session on TRUMP Herb Simons

1.    What does discourse about Trump in the media tell us about who “we”
are? Who “they” are? i.e. our beliefs and values;

2.    What roles are played by money and power: e.g., in the GOP on issues
like climate control?

3.    Assess U,S. news media re Trump, including SMS, Cable, social media,
radio. How did GOP achieve control? Was Edelman right on media?: a passing
parade of symbols? Ritual elements? Theater? Dramatic in outline; empty of

4.    Investigative journalism: liberal? Unbalanced? Immature? Praiseworthy

5.    Is there a deep state in the U.S.? A media elite? Intel CIA,
academies??  FBI,infotainment? Role of old money?Do we amuse ourselves to
death? (Postman)

6.    RE explaining Trump what’s Rhet theory/crit’s distinctive

a.    Mercieca on threats, appeals to pity? Ad hominem? Ad populum? Trish
Roberts on demagoguery. Trump as cult leader

b.    Appel & others on burlesque, truthful hyperbole, ridicule, satire,
role of political cartoons?

c.     Fishman on Trump’s boasts—e.g. I’m rich; I own them; they owe me.

7.    What can (or does) Burkean theory/criticism contribute? E.g.,
Dramatism,Perspetive by incongruity, 4 master tropes? Hitler’s “battle”,
paradox, dialectic?

8.    What’s admirable about Trump? What’s the secret of his allure? His
power to persuade? His distinctive contribution? His successes with the
white working class? With evangelicals? His tweets?

9.    The investigations of Trump & CO’s alleged wrongdoing?

10.                      Impeachment debates; the obstruction of justice
issue? Trump & Putin& other Russians; Trump & Flint.

11.                      Hacking issue

12.                      Subverting the Presidential election

13.                      How will it all turn out?

Herbert W. Simons, Ph.D.
Emeritus Professor of Communication
Dep't of  Strategic Communication, Weiss Hall 215
Temple University, Philadelphia 19122
Home phone: 215 844 5969
Academic Fellow, Center for Transformative Strategic Initiatives (CTSI)
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