Culture in Crisis and Crisis in Culture final ppt

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An examination of the rhetoric of the Bush administration 2005 after Hurricane Katrina.

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Culture in Crisis and Crisis in Culture: Apologia in the wake of Hurricane Katrina :

Culture in Crisis and Crisis in Culture : Apologia in the wake of Hurricane Katrina

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2005

Apologia: Too Little Too Late:

Apologia: Too Little Too Late NEW ORLEANS, Louisiana (CNN) – President Bush delivered a prime time address to the nation Thursday from Jackson Square in the French Quarter of New Orleans 17 days after Hurricane Katrina churned the city and displaced… a million people.

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The Deadliest Natural Disaster in U.S. History

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Poor, Minority Neighborhoods Were affected the WORST

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Families were displaced.

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HOUSES THAT CONTAINED BODIES OF DROWNING VICTIMS WERE MARKED WITH AN X AND THE NUMBER OF CORPSES FOUND INSIDE… MANY BODIES SIMPLY FLOATED IN THE FLOOD WATERS… FOR DAYS…

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In the wake of the storm, the world looked on in horror at the sight of thousands of mostly poor, African-American people crammed into the New Orleans Superdome and the city’s Convention Center, stranded on rooftops, or isolated on patches of high dry land without food, water, or shelter. Grotesque images of bloated corpses floating in the putrid waters that flooded through the streets of New Orleans came to dominate post-hurricane news coverage. The inability of federal, state, and local authorities to respond rapidly and effectively to Hurricane Katrina quickly became a major scandal in the United States.

A “Perfect Storm” of Criticism Ensued…:

A “Perfect Storm” of Criticism Ensued… “George Bush doesn’t care about Black People.” Kanye West

But it wasn’t always like this for the George W. Bush Administration…:

But it wasn’t always like this for the George W. Bush Administration…

President Bush was on the scene of 911 - soon after the disaster; and addressed the nation quickly.:

President Bush was on the scene of 911 - soon after the disaster; and addressed the nation quickly.

After the 911 Terror Attacks - George Bush Seemed like a strong, Caring Leader; and a Good Man… Embodying the very image of Aristotle’s “Ethos”. Even many who didn’t vote for him – still supported him after the tragedy because he seemed to be a strong, genuine and caring leader. (Pathos):

After the 911 Terror Attacks - George Bush Seemed like a strong, Caring Leader; and a Good Man … Embodying the very image of Aristotle’s “Ethos”. Even many who didn’t vote for him – still supported him after the tragedy because he seemed to be a strong, genuine and caring leader. ( Pathos )

Apologia – Isn’t exactly an apology… more of a rhetorical strategy… :

Apologia – Isn’t exactly an apology… more of a rhetorical strategy… Benoit’s Postures (Benoit, 1995) 1. Denial: Simple denial or shifting the blame 2. Evasion of responsibility: Provocation, accident, and good intention 3. Reduction of offensiveness: Bolstering, minimization, differentiation, transcendence, attack accuser, and compensation 4. Corrective action: Offering to repair damages caused by self-action and taking steps to prevent the event from reoccurring 5. Mortification: Admitting wrongful behavior, asking for forgiveness, and apologizing

These elements were in Bush’s speech after Hurricane Katrina but – they did NOT come across as real TRUTH- (What Aristotle believed Rhetoric’s high purpose was). The ACTIONS didn’t match the WORDS – So few believed in his- ETHOS PATHOS & LOGOS :

These elements were in Bush’s speech after Hurricane Katrina but – they did NOT come across as real TRUTH- (What Aristotle believed Rhetoric’s high purpose was). The ACTIONS didn’t match the WORDS – So few believed in his- ETHOS PATHOS & LOGOS

When the storm hit… :

When the storm hit… President Bush was on vacation at his ranch… and he STAYED on vacation!

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Bitzer argues that rhetorical discourse is produced in response to exigence , that a situation requires a “fitting” response , and that the situation ultimately controls the response. Rhetoric occurs when a speaker responds to an exigent.

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So how were the rest of the top Bush staff members responding to this “Crisis” or exigent- right after it hit?

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Vice – President Cheney left for vacation - flying to his home in Jackson Hole, Wyoming… And Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice? Left for a 3 day shopping trip in New York City!

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Actions speak louder Than words! And even the words Came TOO late! 17 Days to be precise

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Bush did not even go to the scene of Katrina… but flew over the scene of the disaster in Air Force One… Days later. What a difference from the strong pictures, actions and rhetoric of 911.

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The Reputation of the Bush Administration- NEVER RECOVERED

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SHOULD HAVE LISTENED TO…

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Thank you for watching! Grace L. Barba

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