The Women’s March: Media Analysis of the Event
People constantly argue that the media is biased; the research confirms it, but it goes deeper than just biases. Media outlets use different techniques, like fallacies, to spin their own belief in a way that could potentially convince the reader that their argument is right. It is about manipulation of content, along with the use of pathos, ethos, and/or logos to pull at your mind and heart. Ethos is known as a way to convince the reader of the credibility or character of the persuader. Pathos is about creating an emotional response that pulls at your heart strings. Logos is a way to persuade by reasoning and logic. These techniques are used to strengthen an author’s argument without people really noticing they are being persuaded.
Upon analyzing a Red State article by Jay Caruso called, “The Women’s March On Washington Is Nothing But Feel-Good Grandstanding,” his argument used mostly logos to express his opinion. One of the biggest points he made throughout the article was the fact that the march was one day after President Trump was inaugurated. Caruso argued that he did not understand why people were fighting against Trump’s policies- abortion rights, LGBTQ+ rights, women’s voting rights, etc- when they still had all the same rights they had before Trump’s inauguration. Essentially, the argument was that the march was pointless, given that they had not had any rights change or be taken away within the past 24 hours. He really focused on the women’s rights protests, saying that women expect the government to make new laws solely based off of their discomfort or disagreement with the existing policies on the topic of what rights women currently have. An argument to make against this is possibly his bias against women’s rights, or even women in general. One could argue that his gender bias against women would have fueled his opinion based attack against the march. Caruso used logos to persuade people to see his point of view that the march was pointless. Logically, his argument is valid. No rights were changed within those 24 hours, that is a fact. He portrayed his argument in a way that did not technically use facts, but still makes sense to anyone. The reader could interpret his argument to say that since no rights were changed within those 24 hours, then they should not be protesting their beliefs. Essentially, it shows his bias against what the men and women that day were protesting without actually claiming he was against them.
Another article in The Wall Street Journal by Ben Kesling, Felicia Schwartz, and Byron Tau entitled, “Hundreds of Thousands of Demonstrators Attend Women’s March on Washington,” uses pathos to get their point across. They did not portray the march as a peaceful protest, but rather a vicious attack against President Trump and his policies. They also brought up the violent outbreaks the day of President Trump’s inauguration, where people threw bricks into the window of a Starbucks in Washington, DC where over 200 people were arrested for destruction of property. All of this to emphasize that this march was not peaceful, but hate-filled. The writers used emotion-filled words to catch the reader’s attention and persuade them to feel the same way they do. They use words like ‘violence’ and ‘vandalized’ that really called the reader’s attention to what they were talking about. Using emotion-filled words can persuade people to feel more with their hearts, and ignore logical analysis. Pathos is about making people feel angry, sad, happy, any emotion, passionately enough to sway their opinion on the matter.
Each article presented different ways to persuade their audience, one through logos, the other though pathos. Both articles took their opinion and analyzed the march differently. One leaned toward violence, the other toward unjustified protest. While one can see they are both clearly biased, the intentions behind each are not as clear. Upon analysis one will discover how different an argument can be by simply changing from pathos to logos and in what way the reader is persuaded.