Team Assignment 2 Team 24 Zachary Roberts, Fiona Campbell, Jamilka Gibson, Jordan Liberus, Manuel Munoz, Lorelli Vargas

Team 24:

Your essay is well-argued, thorough, detailed, cohesive, and persuasive. Good work!

 

 

1.) When it comes to the principles and values of concealment and revelation that were discussed in class, a person in the film that displayed these during the events of the movie was 60 Minutes producer Lowell Bergman. He played a role in both the tobacco case and how CBS handled the story, though it was more of an indirect role with the situation at CBS because of how he was just an information provider.

 An example of his role in the tobacco case and his use of the values of concealment and revelation is shown when Bergman and Wigand are talking in the hotel room and Bergman says that “when I talk to people in confidence it stays that way” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OdUI_0mIkec 24:35 to 24:40). This means that anything that is said in the room will remain between them. This is an example of confidentiality because one of its principles is that it displays loyalty to peers; and in the scene Bergman is doing so by saying that he does not sell out his sources. This is further emphasized later in the film when Bergman visits Wigand when he is about to drop his children off at school, after Wigand called him the previous day believing Bergman sold him out to Brown & Williamson (B&W) and has Bergman telling him that it is not the case (37:37 to 38:48). This trust and loyalty that was built between the two eventually led Wigand to testify against B&W in his deposition in Mississippi, putting his personal life on the line.

An example of his role in how CBS handled the story is shown in the scene with Don Hewitt, Mike Wallace and President of CBS News, Eric Kluster, where Kluster wanted to have an alternate cut of the segment filmed and Bergman brought to light the secret sale of CBS Corporation to Westinghouse Corporation and how a multi-billion dollar lawsuit from B&W could kill the sale hurting those who would profit from it, namely Kluster and general counsel, Helen Caperelli (1:44:27 to 1:48:20). Another example would be when Bergman leaked to the New York Times the information about what was going on during the Wigand saga and how CBS had incorrectly handled telling his story, which involved bowing down to corporate pressure. These two examples show his indirect role in getting the full interview on the air because he merely provided everyone involved with the necessary information, allowing for them to take it all in and formulate their own opinion on the whole issue. This ultimately led to CBS airing the whole segment in order to restore their public image as a reputable news source that does not bow down to corporate pressure.

2.) Jeffrey Wigand’s non-disclosure agreement affects the flow of information in The Insider by making information much harder to obtain. In the film, Wigand signs a non-disclosure agreement that prevents him from not only disclosing confidential information about the secrets of the company, but from even mentioning the company’s name as a whole. Wigand discloses information with Bergman and later films an interview with CBS for the show 60 Minutes. In the interview Wigand explains how the seven CEO’s of the biggest tobacco companies in the United States that testified in court before Congress all lied under oath. This is because they were aware that nicotine is an addictive drug. Brown and Williamson used a process called ammonia chemistry that allows for nicotine to absorb more rapidly in the lungs thus affecting the brain and central nervous system. The original interview of Wigand’s statement never aired until later because CBS was afraid that they would be faced with a multi-billion dollar lawsuit for interfering in the NDA between Jeffrey Wigand and Brown and Williamson. Only after similar information was released by The Wall Street Journal did CBS eventually air the original interview. Brown and Williamson would have had no legitimate argument to support their agreement because the information that was being withheld jeopardized the health and well-being of the public.

Recently, President Donald Trump, has been requiring that all interns at the White House sign non-disclosure agreements. He advised that if the agreement be were broken, that legal action will would take place (Burke, Michael. “White House Interns Forced to Sign Non-Disclosure Agreements: Report.” TheHill, The Hill, 21 Feb. 2019, thehill.com/homenews/administration/430922-white-house-interns-being-forced-to-sign-ndas-report.). For government employees, specifically people in the United States Department of Homeland Security, a non-disclosure agreement must be signed which ensures the concealment of secured information. Information like Security briefings cannot be discussed with the general public because they are on a need-to-know basis. Government employees are taught that what happens behind closed doors must stay behind closed doors. Any information that needs public attention will be disclosed when they authorities feel the time is right.

3.) Throughout the film, many forms of media were used in the attack of on Wigand’s reputation. From the lens of McLuhan, some forms of media that are used in The Insider are print media and broadcast media. Beginning in December, when John Scanlon and Terry Lenzner were hired by B&W to attack Wigand and his reputation, print media was used as they both created hints and threats towards Wigand. A bullet was even left in the mailbox at Wigand’s home. They knew that he would check his mailbox, so they decided to use this to their advantage and threaten him without saying a word. After the threats were made, Hewitt and Mike Wallace discovered the ties that Scanlon had with B&W. This new information allowed The Wall Street Journal to run an article on Wigand which included the leaked testimony from the Mississippi deposition. The Wall Street Journal used print media in newspapers and broadcasts media through the radio to spread news around the world. They reported on a document issued by B&W that highlighted many alleged misdeeds committed by Wigand. Their report caused a war to arise between against Wigand. and His attackers to retaliated by burglarizing the office of Wigand and his lawyers leaving another threat. This time they placed a pile of burned matches at his door.

If the war over Wigand’s reputation had occurred in 2018 with how today’s media is, things would be totally different, making it even worse for Wigand than it already was. Today in our society, media outlets are used by more than half the planet. Most people even rely on media outlets to receive their information. Therefore, it would have been much harder for him to defend himself against all of the allegations because more people would have been aware of the situation and would have already painted a picture of him. He would have been portrayed as a thief and hurtful individual who turned on his employer.

4.) Caperelli begins the meeting by first explaining to the men a legal notion called “tortious interference”. This is when two parties have a confidentiality agreement and one of them breaches it because they are influenced to do so by a third party. That third party can then be sued. Hewitt turns the word “interference” against Caperelli, implying that she is using it synonymously with the respectable profession of truth seeking and reporting. Bergman explains to Caperelli that people often tell the organization what they “shouldn’t”. He explains that if it’s accurate and in the public’s interest they show it. Here he uses logos because it is logical for a news station to do so. Wallace adds that their support of the truth is why they’ve never lost a lawsuit and have a respectable show. Caperelli agrees with their belief in running a credible show, and therefore warns them they need to be right on this story. Therefore, she hired counsel to check on the credibility of Wigand for “a segment… that’s already rife with problems.”

She brings up the fact that “unusual promises were made to Wigand” and that there is skepticism about his truthfulness. This again, appeals to logos because if they claim to run a credible show, then it’s in their best interest to avoid a sticky situation. Bergman fires back saying that Wigand’s truthfulness was good enough for his deposition in Mississippi, appealing to ethos by giving Wigand some credibility. Caperelli rebuttals saying that CBS has to set the standard of credibility, ensuring every story they produce has no room for skepticism. Here she’s using ethos to make CBS sound like the best of the best. Then, Caperelli says that the more truthful Wigand is, the more damage that can be done. Meaning, the more classified information Wigand discloses, the more CBS can get sued. But, if he lied about the information, then the damages would be less. Here she appeals to logos, implying that it’s in CBS’s best interest not to believe Wigand’s claims. She makes an even bigger statement by saying that if they did air the segment, CBS could be owned by the tobacco company because of it. This point uses pathos to convince them not to air it because it would put the men at fault for the buy-out of the company. Bergman is quick to ask if CBS corporate is attempting to filter breaking news for their own benefit. Caperelli reassures him that they’re all playing for the same side. This is also an appeal to pathos because she is trying to reassure him that corporate has their best interests at heart.

Contributions:

Zachary Roberts: All of #1 and editing of all four questions

Jamilka Gibson: All of #2

Jordan Liberus: All of #3

Fiona Campbell: All of #4

Manuel Munoz: Was not able to contribute

Lorelli Vargas: Was not able to contribute

 

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Ids 3309 Rhetorical Analysis Team 24

Thesis:

In the article “Why our memory fails us” by Christopher F. Chabris and Daniel J. Simons and the Article “Comment Is King” by Virginia Heffernan, both authors effectively provide information on subjects of matter using various rhetorical devices like logos, pathos, and ethos. Christopher F. Chabris and Daniel J. Simons argue that our memory is not perfect, but our memory failures do not necessarily mean we are dishonest or incompetent. We should apologize when we make a mistake and be more understanding of others’ memory failures.

 

Here is the essence of the Chabris and Simons article. Your paragraph, which follows, needs some organization and clarity.

Chabris and Simons build their case with logos, relying on scientific studies of  memory. They establish the authority (ethos) of Tyson, an astrophysicist. They establish their own authority as psychologists (ethos). They refer to studies by Roediger and DeSoto, as well as Bartlett and the National Academy of Sciences. All of this scientific background  (logos) points to the fact that we are overconfident about our memory, but we can be very wrong. Our memory is not perfect. When we make memory errors, we should apologize, as Tyson does (this shows pathos, feeling). We should also show forgiveness toward others (pathos). 

In the reader comments, Tyson uses ethos (his reputation) and logos (his reasoning) to defend himself. He also uses some pathos (he is annoyed to have to explain himself). The second person, Dow, uses pathos (ridicule, irony) to make fun of George Bush, who frequently said stupid things while president. This reader comment is not so mcuh on target, although amusing. Finally, Jacob Sommer uses logos to defend Tyson (reasonable analogies) and he also uses emotion to ask us to be forgiving of one another’s memory failures. 

 

There is an abundance of stories or articles that have the ability to direct the readers appeal to the opinion of the author. In the article “Why our memory fails us” by Christopher F. Chabris and Daniel J. Simons and the Article “Comment Is King” by Virginia Heffernan, both authors do this. The Authors both use many Rhetorical devices to get their point across. Beginning in the title of Chabris and Simons article “Why our memory fails us” the title poses a deliberating question towards the reader. The authors use Logos to in this act, to question the memory of the audience. Chabris and Simons’ article is very prevalent in the use of logos and Ethos in their writing also. Providing trustworthy evidence from research that was done by astrophysicist and host of the Tv series “Cosmos” Neil Degrease Tyson and many others. As the authors add the profession of the Tyson, a form of credibility is established within the readers. It shows that Tyson’s background can back the information that he has cited. The Authors use ethos to appeal to the readers. Ethos is used in personal and relatable experiences spoken of throughout the distortion of memory. Personal appeal is a great way to catch the reader’s attention and possibly affect the opinion on a subject, which is what Chabris and Simons have done so great as it is shown throughout the readers pick in the comments section. “We all do this; it is a human frailty” stated by a concerned citizen. The use of “we” informs the reader there is sympathy show for Tyson. The commenters are effectively influenced by the use of Ethos and even Pathos. The commenter does not put Tyson at fault but instead give him grace.

 

+egins the article by giving the credibility of Anne Applebaum by incorporating her recognition. For example, being rewarded “the Worlds Most Sophisticated Thinkers” by Foreign policy magazine. The use of this provides a great source of intelligence and credibility just Chabris and Simons add in their article. While doing this, Virginia Heffernan also uses Pathos in the article by speaking on subjects that are very controversial like pro-immigration, pro-free trade and anti-torture. As Anne Applebaum’s ideologies on the topics are presented, the readers may easily be shifted either negatively or positively by the subject of matter. The audience may corolate as a woman who is fighting for equal rights with men. “Like no male columnist at The Post, Applebaum is regularly called “sweetie” and “dear” by commenters who disagree with her” is a quote from the Article and evidently shows how the author has some form of aggression towards the words that are said towards a woman. Heffernan, to end her article persuades the audience through using an emotional appeal through the use of pathos to show that the commenters are at fault as they compose lengthy comments on posts of journalists and readers like Heffernan.