Intertextuality and the 24-Hour News Cycle cover
Intertextuality and the 24-Hour News Cycle
A Day in the Rhetorical Life of Colin Powell's U.N. Address
On a cold Wednesday morning in February 2003 Colin Powell argued before the United Nations Security Council that Iraq harbored weapons of mass destruction. Before the speech, nearly 90 percent of Americans reported that Powell’s speech would help them determine their view about invading Iraq. In the days after the speech, a strong majority of Americans reported that they found Powell’s evidence convincing enough to justify war. But most American adults did not watch Powell’s speech. Instead, they learned about it from journalists—and to a large extent formed their opinions about war with Iraq based on news coverage of his address. In Intertextuality and the 24-Hour News Cycle John Oddo investigates the “rhetorical life” of Colin Powell’s address as it was extended across several media reports. Focusing on one day of pre- and postspeech news coverage, Oddo examines how journalists influenced Powell’s presentation— precontextualizing and recontextualizing his speech, and prepositioning and repositioning audiences to respond to it. The book surveys a variety of news media (television, newspaper, and Internet) and systematically integrates several methodological approaches (critical, rhetorical, discourse-analytic, and multimodal). This revealing text shows the decisive role that journalists played in shaping American attitudes about Powell, his presentation, and the desirability of war in Iraq.
Publication Date: August 1st, 2014
350 pages| 6 in x 9 in
John Oddo is Assistant Professor in the Rhetoric program at Carnegie Mellon University, where he teaches courses in the history of rhetoric, rhetorical style, and intertexuality.

Early Praise

“This outstanding book looks at one of the most important speeches of our time—Colin Powell’s duplicitous argument at the U.N. for invading Iraq—and shows how the American media served as a megaphone for the administration’s propaganda, actually transforming and enhancing it. Using an eclectic blend of rhetorical analysis and multimodal critical discourse analysis, Oddo’s study is both unique and exemplary in its fine-grained, methodical dissection of the twenty-four hours of television coverage surrounding this historic event. Indeed, it should serve as a model for any researcher interested in analyzing mediated public discourse.”
Thomas Huckin, Professor of English and Linguistics, University of Utah
“The greatest strength of this work is the granularity of the analysis. This is a careful, thorough, and microscopic reading of the media texts called into being by Powell’s speech. Oddo is careful to include samples of both verbal and visual messages, to emphasize minute but important matters of chronology, and to provide ample documentation. The results are clear, accessible, and nuanced.”
David H. Zarefsky, Professor Emeritus, Department of Communication Studies, Northwestern University

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