Sex Sells: a Rhetorical Analysis

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Sex Sells: A Rhetorical Analysis of Barack Obama's “Sex on TV 4” Speech

To say that American culture today is influenced, primarily, by the mass media that we consume on a daily basis would be an understatement. Considering the media's enormous power to influence it's audience, one would expect there to be responsibilities and obligations to be upheld by those in charge of these media entities. In a speech held in Washington D.C. On November 9, 2005, then Senator Barack Obama of Illinois addressed a group of top executives from major broadcasting and media corporations in response to a study done by the Kaiser Family Foundation call “SexonTV4 Report”. This study focused on the amount of sexual content being aired on television. Senator Obama's speech, however, focused not on quantity, but on the effect that this content has on our children and the overall effect on our culture, His primary claims are that the exponential growth of mass media and other media in our culture is making it difficult for parents to instill positive values in their children and that the actual messages being communicated to children are responsible for an overall coarsening of our culture. This speech was given as a keynote address to persuade those broadcasting and media executives in attendance to acknowledge at he growing concern over their media's content and to take responsibility in making the changes necessary to improve the troubling situation. Although Obama's primary audience is the media, his words also speak to parents as he encourages them to take a more active role in monitoring their kid's media consumption. Through his use of personal testimony and vivid comparisons and contrasts, Senator Barack Obama makes a strong call to action for our countries mass media organizations and parents. Senator Barack Obama begins his keynote address by establishing his position as a father above that of a politician. He says, “This is a subject many of us come to, not as politicians...
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