Final Essay

Brittany –


Excellent paper. Your analysis of the rhetoric was spot on. Good use of secrecy. Sources were the minimal number, but solid. Excellent use of cited evidence to back up your arguments.

Great job!


The tragic news that thousands of detained migrant children have been sexually assaulted as far back as 2015 was just released. It was made public by representative Ted Deutch before a congressional hearing on the Trump administration’s policy of separating migrant families (Zero-tolerance policy). This information was kept secret by the Trump administration for as long as possible. In characterizing the sexual assault of children, ethos, logos and pathos were all used as modes of rhetoric by opponents of the policy of separation. 

Image result for migrant children at border

On February 26th, 2019, a House Judiciary Committee was held to foresee the Trump Administration’s Family Separation Policy. During the hearing democratic congressman Ted Deutch released official documents from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services exposing the extent of sexual assault cases of children in their custody. There has been almost 5,000 sexual abuse and harassment complaints coming from migrant children that have been held at U.S. custody over the past three years. The extremity of the reports ranges from staff members having relationships with the children, showing them porn, to forcible touching. On this day, Trump announced his zero-tolerance policy which orders prosecution of all individuals who illegally enter the united states. The announcement of this policy was what drove the documents to being released and had caused controversy between parties. During the hearing Commander White refuted Deutch’s claim by saying “those are not HHS staff in any of those allegations” (Congressmsan TedDeutch, 2:34). Deutch’s then claimed that were thousands of papers stacked amongst each other of sexual abuse allegations if not by HHS staff then by the people that HHA staff oversees. (Congressman TedDeutch, 2:59).

The main source, Ted Deutch, released three official documents: HHS document with tables of the number of sexual abuse allegations reported to Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) and the Department of Justice (DOJ) from February 2015 to February 2018, HHS document detailing sexual abuse allegations referred to DOJ, and ORR’S policy on responding to allegations of sexual abuse. All three of these documents came from official sources which can be trusted more than the words of Commander White who wanted to keep the situation in secrecy. The press release documents as well as the video of the hearing were two strong uses of logos for, they are reliable references and proof of the sexual abuse allegations over the past three years. Logos goes hand in hand with ethos in this case. “Ethos must supplement ethical standards” (Arran). It is ethically expected for these abuse cases to be heard of and fixed. Deutch created a strong foundation between himself and the public which establishes trustworthiness and provides credibility. As for the Trump administration, it was unethical to try and keep these allegations a secret from the public. Doing so diminishes the trust that was ever there between the public and Trump administration and leaves them with less credibility and trustworthiness.

Image result for deutch court hearing

Shortly after the hearing, many news outlets began to release their stories on the actions that were being done at the border. The rhetoric that was used to grab the public’s attention was pathos. There is no denying that the sexual allegations of these children arouse the emotions. The news was shocking as well as provoking and began to spread quickly. In a report done by Lyndon Haviland and published by USA Today, she had said that “these children may have entered the country illegally, but it doesn’t mean they forfeit their rights to being treated with dignity and respect. And it certainly doesn’t entitle those entrusted with their protection the right to commit unspeakable crimes against helpless minors under their care and supervision” (Haviland). Her use of pathos was able to catch the attention of readers and not only make them aware of the present standing of the situation but how it will affect the children in the long run as well. She titled one of her sections as “Abuse has lifelong mental, physical effects” which not only appeals to pathos but logos because it does in fact have a huge impact on victims. The impact of separating children from their families has a severe effect on the children’s future and how they go about life. “The practice of forcibly separating children from their parents at the border may cause additional trauma for families seeking asylum who are already fleeing traumatic circumstances in their countries of origin, and transitional foster care programs are struggling to adapt their model to meet the needs of the youngest of these children” (Roth et al. 44-45). Through the usage of pathos, the news was spread to a bigger audience and formed a deeper and emotional connection.  

The situation as a whole of the released information of sexual allegations appealed to pathos specifically when it came to various news outlets unleashing the emotional story. The evidence that supports the allegations which are the three press release documents released by Ted Deutch as well as the court hearing are forms of logos for, they provide factual and reliable evidence that can prove the situation as factual. Deutch’s also had a strong usage of ethos when it came to him revealing the news because it was ethical of him to release these documents no matter how bad it would make the government look. This formed a stronger desire to trust the information that he was releasing rather than Trump’s administration who stayed quiet about the allegations up until the judiciary hearing. 

Arran Caza, et al. “Ethics and Ethos: The Buffering and Amplifying Effects of Ethical Behavior and Virtuousness.” Journal of Business Ethics, vol. 52, no. 2, 2004, p. 169. EBSCOhost,

Database: JSTOR Journals

CongressmanTedDeutch. YouTube, YouTube, 26 Feb. 2019,

“Deutch Releases Data Showing Sexual Assault of Unaccompanied Minors in HHS Custody.” US Congressman Ted Deutch, 26 Feb. 2019, 

Haviland, Lyndon. “Nielsen Resignation Doesn’t Change Fact Child Sexual Abuse at Border Is Real Emergency.” USA Today, Gannett Satellite Information Network, 9 Apr. 2019,

Roth, Benjamin J. .., et al. “Detached and Afraid: U.S. Immigration Policy and the Practice of Forcibly Separating Parents and Young Children at the Border.” Child Welfare, vol. 96, no. 5, Sept. 2018, pp. 29–49. EBSCOhost,

Database: Education Source


Florida International University is opening up a nightclub on campus to prevent further damage of drunk driving

Team 1: Brilliant idea. The picture is a clever, subversive counterpoint to the text. Excellent research adds to the verisimilitude of the article. Interestingly, years ago FIU had a Rathskeller/Pub located where MMC’s Subway is located.

Good job!


College students hold tons of responsibilities from hitting the books to working 10 hour shifts during the week in order to let loose on the weekends. University officials have been searching for an efficient way to keep students that live on campus safe and surveil. The question that has been up in the air is how can they efficiently keep their students night life safe while also spike their interest?

Every day, 29 people in the United States die in motor vehicle crashes that involve an alcohol-impaired driver. This is one death every 50 minutes. (1) The annual cost of alcohol-related crashes totals more than $44 billion. (2) Thankfully, there are effective measures that can help prevent injuries and deaths from alcohol-impaired driving. University officials have decided that they are going to open up a night club called “Panther Pub” on campus starting April 20th 2020 in order to prevent students from drunk driving but also keep the party going while under responsible supervision.

Studies have reported high rates of heavy drinking and alcohol-related problems, including drinking and driving, among college students. Excessive alcohol consumption and binge drinking among college students continues to be one of the most serious public health problems occurring at college campuses and the surrounding community. According to, 1,825 college students between the ages of 18 and 24 die from alcohol-related unintentional injuries, including motor vehicle crashes every year, 599,000 students between the ages of 18 and 24 are unintentionally injured under the influence of alcohol, 3,360,000 students between the ages of 18 and 24 drive under the influence of alcohol, one-third of students admitted driving while under the influence of alcohol or other drugs within the past year, and about one-half of all fatal traffic crashes among 18- to 24-year-olds involve alcohol, and many of those killed are college students.

FIU has made the wise decision to open a nightclub on campus to prevent all of these tragedies from causing further damage. Being able to monitor students nightlife will make the college campus more appealing to not only students but the parents as well. With precautions and rules set in place, FIU will be able to limit the amount of liquor bought, prevent most harmful activities and will lower fatal traffic crash rates for students that live on campus. This new addition to college campuses will make going out, drinking and partying a safer ordeal as well as limit accidents, contain crowds, and drugs use. We have high hopes and expectations for Panther Pub and hope that other universities will follow after their success.

  1. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Traffic Safety Facts 2016 data: alcohol-impaired driving. U.S. Department of Transportation, Washington, DC; 2017 Available at: Accessed 2 April 2019.

2. Blincoe LJ, Miller TR, Zaloshnja E, Lawrence BA. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The economic and societal impact of motor vehicle crashes, 2010. (Revised). U.S. Department of Transportation, Washington, DC; 2015. Available at: Accessed 2 April 2019.

Sebastian Saavedra: information provider

Anthony Orezzoli: information provider

Taylor Wells: Information provider/ editing

Marielle Cohen: Information provider

Hazael: Information provider

Brittany Adams: Information Provider/ Editor

Team assignment: The Insider

  1. Your essay should focus on how the principles and values of concealment and revelation apply to the tobacco case or the case at CBS News. 500 words.

The assignment requires an analysis of the “pressures and obstacles to getting at the truth” faced by one of the principle characters. Assuming you chose Wigand, there is little examination of the role of secrecy, lies, confidentiality, and revelation. The answer is mostly a summary of events in the film. Watch your tenses.

The Wigand affair was one of the most complicated cases the media ever faced due to being a story about Brown and Williamson’s tobacco health concerns that were wrapped under confidential agreement from the public. This was only until Lowell Bergman convinced Dr. Jeffrey Wigand to go on his show 60 minutes to reveal the truth behind the company Brown and Williamson’s product. Wasn’t it still complicated after that?

In the movie the CEOs swore in court that the cigarettes were not addictive, Wigand’s attempt at slander not the right word here to discredit the tobacco company’s reliability and trustworthiness would backfire at Wigand. The Brown and Williamson’s started to dig in any information that Dr. Wigand withheld from CBS to be used against him, in retaliation making a smear campaign out of the situation. During the affair, he would be left with death threats that would traumatize and ruin his relationship with his wife and eventually lead to them a divorce. Lowell Bergman eventually went out of his way asking for publishers to release Dr. Wigand statements on the health issues caused by cigarettes from Brown and Williamson’s.

CBS also had a big part on in the tobacco case as they would not release the full interview Dr. Wigand did on the show 60 minutes, instead CBS wanted to reveal an alternate that did not include Dr. Wigand revealing any information on Brown and Williamson‘s.The reason why the company was against the full video an even look for alternatives was due to a purchase that would merge CBS and Westinghouse for $81, General counsel of CBS News Ms. Helen Caperelli would receive 3.9 million dollars and Mr. Eric Kluster, president of CBS News, would receive 1.4 million dollars if the share deal was approved. The risk of the company Brown and Williamson’s filing to sue against CBS due to breaking confidentiality agreements through third party. This could cause an impact between the relation between CBS and Westinghouse, but also ruined the chance of merging between the companies. 

At the end Lowell Bergman discloses full information and the video interview of Dr. Wigand to New York Times to ensure that even though CBS released an alternate, the uncensored version would still be revealed to the public. Assuring that Dr. Wigand’s sacrifice and pain did not go in vain and it help exposed what cigarettes can do as a health problem. Eventually CBS release the uncensored interview due to the New York Times newspaper exposing Brown and Williamson chemical interference with the cigarette production process.

2. How does Jeffrey Wigand’s non-disclosure agreement (NDA) affect the flow of information in The Insider? What legitimate argument, if any, could Brown and Williamson (B&W) make in support of the agreement? What NDAs have recently been used in the public sector? Using the critical perspective, what are the implications of NDAs for government employees? 300 words.

Good analysis.

Jeff Wigand’s non-disclosure agreement affects the flow of information by limiting his ability to expose Brown and Williamson’s immoral business activities of not just lying about the addictive nature of nicotine to their customers, but also exploiting these addictive properties in cigarettes to make them more addictive by adding chemicals in order to improve their profits. There’s also the issue of perjury by the company’s management on US Congress, and their blackmail and threats today against Wingard’s family if he whistle-blows (Mann, 1999). The NDA is also affecting the flow of information in the film because CBS Corporation is refusing to air the 60 minutes interview due to the potential lawsuit from Brown and Williamson. Good.

Brown and Williamson can cite protection of their intellectual property rights and their vast research and innovations work in the justification for their non-disclosure agreements. Good. Some of the non-disclosure agreements recently used in the public sector include those signed by White House employees working in the Trump administration and support staff for different members of Congress (McCullough, 2019). Some of the gravest implications of NDAs for government employees include tying their hands when it comes to reporting corrupt political activities, and this may even lead to these employees being misused by politicians. NDAs for government employees, however, also prevents malicious leakage of important intelligence that is not meant for public consumption.

3.  John Scanlon and Terry Lenzner were hired by B&W to attack Wigand’s reputation. Jack Palladino and his team of investigators were hired by Richard Scruggs to counter their allegations. Using McLuhan as a lens, analyze the forms of media used by both Scanlon/Lenzner and Palladino. If this war over Wigand’s reputation had occurred in 2018, would today’s media have made things different? If so, how? 300 words.

Good analysis.

John Scanlon and Terry Lezner were hired to investigate Wigmand’s history and find every mistake that he has made in his lifetime. From running a red light to not paying child support, they found everything they could that could be used against him and potentially catch him in a lie. Berman continuously told him that it didn’t matter if his testimony was truthful, if they had found anything about him that was a lie then his reputation would be ruined, and his testimony would not be trusted. The people of B&W were out to get him for tip-toeing around the confidentiality agreement and he now held the reputation of “whistleblower”. The news that they had dug up was published by the wall street journalists Wall Street Journal and the public became aware of his micro mistakes. This movie was based in the 90’s when the electronic revolution was starting to occur. McLuhan had mentioned in his interview that this revolution was moving fast and could generate a huge shift in how information is perceived and decrease the reliability of the news that was being distributed to the public. If the war over Wigmand’s reputation had occurred in 2018, there would be hundreds of more sources and people chiming in on the issue. Yes. In the movie the investigators had to dig up information first-handedly firsthand through interviews with past acquittances acquaintances in secrecy. Nowadays we can find somebody’s history just by the search of their name on Google. When one person makes a mistake, every news reporter is on it to publish an article on snapchat, Facebook, twitter, and Instagram as soon as possible. Social media has extended the amount of information distributed to the public and reaches a more extensive audience, anybody and everybody would be able to dig up his history within minutes and distribute it to the mass media.  Good.

4. In the film, Bergman, Wallace, and Hewitt attend a meeting with CBS Corporate.  CBS general counsel Helen Caperelli informs them of “tortious interference” and its implications for the 60 Minutes Wigand piece. Provide a detailed analysis of the rhetoric used by the participants in the meeting. For each speaker, who is their intended audience, and how do they use the modes of rhetoric? 300 words.

A good summary, but you needed to focus on what was ethos, pathos, and logos.

Helen Caperelli tells the men at the table that if the interview comes to light through CBS, there would be serious, legal consequences for the company because of this tortious interference. Helen’s intended audience is the company of CBS itself. She wants to protect the company because she knows that if the interview is released, then CBS can face a huge lawsuit and their company could end up being owned by Brown and Williamson. One of the rhetoric’s that she uses is “the greater the truth, the greater the damage”. Is this pathos, logos, or ethos? Since Jeffrey Wigand knows everything about Brown & Williamson, he represents a huge threat to the tobacco company. The truer information that is disclosed in the interview, the greater the legal penalty because of Jeffery Wigand’s confidentiality agreement. Not only will Jeffery be in huge legal trouble, but the company of CBS as well. Lowell Bergman, Mike Wallace, and Don Hewitt do want the interview to be aired so that the truth surrounding the addictive effects of nicotine come to light in the public eye. Lowell Bergman uses the rhetoric in his defense that he works for a news organization and that people are always telling him things that they shouldn’t because that is what his job requires him to do, get the truth and make sure they are factual and have relevance. Mike Wallace then adds confidently to Lowell Bergman’s statement that they have never lost a lawsuit to persuade Helen Caperelli to air the 60-minute episode. Bergman, Wallace, and Hewitt’s intended audience are the people in society that buy the products that are offered by these big tobacco companies. They want to make public aware that tobacco is indeed an addictive drug that is extremely dangerous and that it can harm your lungs and nervous system and cause many lifelong diseases. 


Question 1- Sebastian Saavedra and Anthony Orezzoli

Question 2- Marielle Cohen

Question 3 & editing- Brittany Adams 

Question 4- Taylor Wells & Joey Hernandez

48-Hour Blackout

Brittany –

Excellent piece. Good integration of Deresiewicz into your analysis. Well written and compelling.


Social media and technology have created a false sense of connection between people without actually having to physically be there with someone. There is always an audience watching us, judging us, and feeding off of us, as well as vice versa. The feeling of solitude has become extinct now that smartphones have given us direct access to everyone and everything. Good introduction.

 Within William Deresiewiez’s article, “The End of Solitude”, he had said that technology is taking away our privacy, concentration, and also the ability to be alone. I often find myself taking hours to complete an assignment that should only take 30 minutes because Kim Kardashian is at the tips of my fingers telling me what she’s eating for lunch. I have become obsessed with the false relationship between me and every influencer on Instagram which has made an unhealthy lifestyle for me.

The 48-hour blackout was a time for me to test how bad this obsession has actually become. Deresiewicz mentioned in his article that the contemporary self wants to be recognized and connected. Sadly, I don’t ever picture myself being out of the social media loop. This generation has become obsessed with sharing every piece of information with the world from what we ate for lunch to what our outfit of the day is. This past Thursday was Valentine’s day and It it was just my friend and I at dinner and my anxiety had reached its full potential. What are other people doing for vValentines day? What could we possibly talk about at the dinner table? Almost every time the table got silent, I had an urge to pick up my phone and scroll through Instagram. I started to observe those around me and how there was always one person who was on their phone. I felt out of the loop and alone… I felt sad. I wish social media and technology didn’t have as big of an impact as it does, I wish being alone didn’t feel as dreadful as it did. 

Thursday night I fell asleep early. My phone usually keeps me up for hours editing pictures to post, sending tweets to friends, however, I was able to fall asleep early (solemnly because I had nothing else to do). On the second day I felt mentally prepared. I didn’t have class so I thought it would be a good idea to create a schedule, so I didn’t get caught up in moments of boredom and loneliness. Deresiewiez had said that loneliness is not the absence of company, but it is grief over that absence which is exactly what I had felt the entire day. I cleaned the dorm, made myself lunch, and got my homework done so that the rest of my weekend would be clear. It was a nice feeling of being tidy and put together however, there was a still a void of loneliness left to fill. 

My overall experience was disappointing. I always have an urge to delete social media and disconnect myself from technology and I never acted upon it until I had to for this assignment. The feeling of loneliness and urge of being in the loop was not ideal and quite dreadful. News is most definitely an intrusion of our solitude however, it has been imbedded embedded in everyday life and is now impossible to cut out. As much as news and technology benefits everyday life, there are also many harmful side effects that come along with it. 

Assignment 2: McLuhan

Brittany- Overall, very good. McLuhan is a difficult read, but I think you have a good grasp of the medium is the message. Your writing continues to impress. Remember that media is plural, and medium is singular.

Marshal McLuhan uses critical perspective within the Playboy interview to present his idea that the medium is the message.  Good.

            McLuhan was ahead of his time and had an extremely bright mind and grasp on present time. He believed that all media is are an extension of human abilities and that the medium is one of the biggest influences on the way that we communicate. From the envelope to the direct messages, he knew that the way we sent content out into the world was going to evolve and change the human environment. He stressed how the content meant little to nothing, however the medium is the message.

            What McLuhan had often questioned was whether or not technology was going to help or hurt the community. He believed that the electronic revolution was moving fast and could be vastly beneficial if people took control and understood the nature of new technology, however the upheaval could also generate a huge shift in society and break us down rather than bring us together. He expanded the bounds of debate by leaving the outcome to the people of future generations: If we understand the technological advances, we will have the ability to take control; but if we continue in this technological trance then it will take control and result in alienation of society and dehumanization. Good observations.

           As for the betterment of society, McLuhan had predominately left it in the hands of man. He had optimism for the future generations but profoundly emphasized that it solemnly depended on how the they adapt and grasps the movement of technology. By understanding the media and adapting properly, it could bring many benefits to man… It can also result in people relying on technology advances and less on themselves. Do you have evidence to back this up? He provided much insight on (what was were ) the current issues such as the television generation and how the generational clash with the education system. was not propitious. The TV generation was more exposed to the real world at a young age compared to any other generation... There would need to be a drastic shift in the education system in order to be compatible with the tech-savvy children (not sure how tech savvy we were!). We first have to recognize what is being done wrong in order to start doing things right. He expected to see the coming decades transform in harmony but also let them know that without control, future generations would be stuck in a trance, so it is up to future generations on how they perceive oncoming technological advances.  

Why Our Memory Fails Us

Brittany – Very good first essay. Arguments are logical and backed up with examples. Watch your tenses. Don’t be afraid of short, impactful sentences.

Thesis statement: In the New York Times article “Why Our Memory Fails Us”, the authors Christopher F. Chabris and Daniel J. Simons use ethos and pathos when bringing up old indelible events, as well as logos when explaining the studies done on memory, all to support their argument. Good.

Thesis statement: In the New York Times article “Why Our Memory Fails Us”, the authors Christopher F. Chabris and Daniel J. Simons use ethos and pathos when bringing up old indelible events, as well as logos when explaining the studies done on memory, all to support their argument. Good.

Chabris and Simons are the authors of this article and are also both psychology professors which makes the audience more confident in believing what they have to say about the brain and the correlation between memory and overconfidence. This formed a relationship of trust between the readers and the authors which is valuable when continuing the rest of the article. Good, but watch your tenses.

Chabris and Simons had an immense use of frequently used (active voice is usually better) pathos within their argument. An example that can be seen is when they had brought up the tragedy of 9/11. Neil Tyson had spoken to his audience saying that “President Bush was prejudiced against Islam” and blamed them for the tragedy of the plane crash however, “In his post-9/11 speech, Mr. Bush actually said, “The enemy of America is not our many Muslim friends”. (2 sentences would be better here) This brings the reader back to a tragic part of the past where Tyson misinterpreted racial standings by the president as well as the catastrophic plane crash on 9/11. Dr. Tyson incorrectly remembered both the president’s words and the events of 9/11.

Chabris and Simons also repeatedly used a profound amount of logos and a strong example is brought up within the study on the telephone game; something that almost everyone recognizes. (2 sentences) “Over repeated telling’s, the story becomes distorted, with some elements remaining, others vanishing, and entirely new details appearing”. (not needed) It is assumed that a majority of the audience is familiar with the game telephone which makes it easy to understand that the game does distort the words that are passed along. ` Making a connection between this childhood game and challenges of our memory makes the reader more confident in believing the argument because it is (assumed) to be a universal correlation that provides logic. 

In conclusion, Chabris and Simons used all three of the rhetorical appeals with an equivalent amount of the usage of statistics and emotional play with the audience. Both of these authors displayed an informal and credible tone. 

The first comment by Neil Tyson used a direct method of ethos. He kept his opening statement short and to the point and then gave other viewers an option to read more into his point of view by providing links. By doing so he created a sense of credibility and character. 

Keith Dow’s comment was comprised of multiple quotations by President Bush of many historic and doleful events. The quotations were a method of logos but the emotional connection the quotes had shows pathos. 

The last commenter was Jacob Sommer who used a great deal of logos to defend the standpoint of the article. His claim was that it’s common for people to clash memories, its human nature! He claimed that people have memories that clash, It’s human nature!

I believe Times did a worthy job at ranking the comments… All three took a different stance and were able to defend it robustly using one of the three rhetorical devices.