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Currently, mass media has discovered numerous ways to draw an audience’s attention. Documentaries on TV, scientific broadcasts on radio, or academic papers lost their popularity among people. Instead of tiresome and monotonous articles, up-to-date blogs, breaking news and sensational items came into view. Readers enjoy these writings, as far as they are fresh, exciting and thought-provoking. Thus, newspapers, magazines and the Internet editions use all possible means to attract and increase their potential audience. To realize their implicit intentions, they often print confrontational information, insulting or secret details of one’s private life, exaggerated facts and gossips. Most often, such printings evoke one’s interest for they are entitled with flashy outlines and contain provocative materials. It is clear from these observations that the language of mass media is surely motivated.
Among the great variety of the linguistic means applied by tabloids, one often discovers offensive, rude or deceptive expressions. They usually address famous people, show business celebrities, actors, politicians, and many other public personalities. The recent scandal touched upon Kira Kazantsev, newly-crowned Miss America 2015. On September 14, 2014, a 23-year-old Miss New York was handed the long-wished tiara. For the talent show, Kira performed the song “Happy” by Pharrell Williams, which was skillfully accompanied with a red cup clapping. A young lady dedicated the question-answer section to the issue of domestic violence. She found this subject particularly important, because of violent relationship in college. Thus, according to the total sum of scores, Kira Kazantsev finally succeeded (Corriston).
The next day the Internet blushed with shocking headings such as “Newly-Crowned Miss America Kira Kazantsev Worked at Planned Parenthood Abortion Biz” (Ertelt), “Where Newly-Crowned Miss America Used to Work Makes me Ashamed. She Represents our Country” (Rufful), “Planned Paenthood congratulates Miss America Kira Kazantsev, Former Intern” (Twitchy Staff), etc. The breaking news made a sensation out of the winner’s background. The texts are full of hominem arguments. For example, Life News discusses Kira’s involvement in “abortion business” of the company Planned Parenthood (Ertelt). The author of the article concludes that such a position is inappropriate for the nation’s face (Ertelt). However, Kazantsev’s Linkedn profile shows that she just made an investigation on Planned Parenthood Education and communicated information to children. It is an obvious sentimental appeal to morality, which questions some of the girl’s character qualities.
In addition, the writer provides several misleading statements about the medical organization itself. First and foremost, it is frequently called “the nation’s biggest abortion company” (Ertelt). Conversely, the reliable sources constitute that the primary services of Planned Parenthood are sex education and birth control, while abortions occupy only 3% of the whole range of activities (Planned Parenthood). The abundance of facts traced by Life News reporter is not supported by the evidence. Thus, this announcement can be distinguished as the burden of proof (Lunsford at al. 53).
One more fallacy aims to find consistency between evil actions of the clinic and Kira’s personal believes. At first, the author mentions that a famous intern worked at Planned Parenthood for three month. Then, he describes the abortion incident that occurred in New York health departments one month later. Furthermore, he illustrates numerous instances of the company’s faults (Ertelt). In such a way, the writer tried to shift the responsibility for killed lives to Miss America 2015. It is a faulty causality, as far as the depicted events happened after Kira’s internship.
The accusations presented by Young Conservatives are far more emotional. Even the title of the artiicle “Where Newly-Crowned Miss America Used to Work Makes me Ashamed. She Represents our Country” sounds like a sentimental appeal. He exaggerates the real state of affairs in order to attract more potential readers. Another prominent fallacy in the text is an appeal to national identity. The journalist believes that a person who worked for “company that kills the unborn” cannot stand for the country (Rufful). Probably, he strives to evoke the patriotic feelings of the audience. In several ad hominem arguments, the author expresses a subjective conviction about the situation. Thus, he considers Kazantsev’s internship at Planned Parenthood and her extraordinary talent show with a red cup to be complete fails. Of course, the reporter does not provide any trustworthy data for audience to believe.
The third paper published by Live Action follows the same bandwagon appeal as many other publishers. They are continuously repeating that Planed Parenthood is a criminal association suspected of corruption, unlawful abortions and sex trafficking (Fiano). The wrong view on the health-care company has widely spread among pro-life activists, who vigorously persuade the rest of the US population. Nevertheless, the guilt of the organization was not proved in any court. The brightest ad hominem fallacy in the article is proclaiming Kira Kazantsev “an abortion supporter” (Fiano). It is simultaneously a faulty causality, because one cannot judge about someone’s moral principles just taking into account a working place.
In conclusion, one must admit that the analyzed materials contain various types of fallacious arguments: ad hominem, faulty causality, bandwagon and sentimental appeals as well as an appeal to national identity. The facts exemplified in the writings are doubtful and not supported with clear data. The authors’ generalizations about Kira Kazantsev and Planned Parenthood are hasty and subjective. Therefore, before making serious suppositions, one should study the possible motives of the text.
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