Cold War Rhetoric: Strategy, Metaphor, and Ideology

By Robert L. Ivie; Philip Wander et al. | Go to book overview

6
Diffusing Cold War Demagoguery: Murrow versus McCarthy on "See It Now"

Robert L. Ivie

Edward R. Murrow's celebrated confrontation with Senator Joseph R. McCarthy on "See It Now" introduced network television to the ancient rhetorical genre of accusation and defense. Murrow's half-hour "report" on March 9, 1954, condemning McCarthy's indiscriminate campaign against so-called "Fifth-Amendment Communists," was the first instance of national television being used to attack an individual.1 McCarthy defended himself a month later, on the April 6th edition of "See It Now," by accusing Murrow of being "the leader of the jackal pack which is always found at the throat of anyone who dares to expose Communists and traitors."2 Their exchange set off a wave of viewer response, favoring Murrow as much as fifteen to one after the initial broadcast and continuing in his favor at the ratio of two to one even after McCarthy's well- publicized reply.3 McCarthy's iron grip on public opinion had been broken. His fall from political power, hastened that spring by a miserable account of himself in the televised Army-McCarthy hearings, was complete in December when the Senate voted to censure their wayward colleague for "contemptuous, contumacious, denunciatory, unworthy, inexcusable and reprehensible" conduct.4

The rhetorical dynamics of Murrow's encounter with McCarthy were a function of each program's relationship to the other, for, as Halford Ross Ryan has argued, kategoria and apologia are interconnected genres best examined together in "speech sets."5 Consistent with Ryan's model of speech sets, Murrow's accusation sought to affirm the image of McCarthy as a dangerous demagogue while McCarthy's apologia attempted to purify his public persona as a courageous crusader against Communist subversives. Thus, Murrow's condemnation of McCarthy's "unscrupulous," "bully-boy" tactics served as the controlling exigence of the senator's counterblast.6 Furthermore, both broadcasts intertwined issues of character with a concern over questions of policy -- how best to cope with the domestic threat to freedom -- and each of the four stases of

-81-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Cold War Rhetoric: Strategy, Metaphor, and Ideology
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this book
  • Bookmarks
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
/ 238

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.