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Meredith Craig

Jeri Burnett, Instructor

COMM 2200- 032

21 October, 2018

President Trump Op Ed Piece is the President Himself

Specific Purpose: To persuade my audience that President Trump himself wrote the New York

Times Op Ed piece condemning his leadership.

Thesis Statement: At the end of my speech the audience will understand how President Trump

used this letter to advance his party in the midterm elections and control the media as a tool.

Visual Aids: ​BROCCOLI, GRAPH OF PRESIDENT TRUMP APPROVAL RATING

I. INTRODUCTION

A. President Trump. (Pause and hold up ​BROCCOLI​.) When you hear that name,

just like when you see ​BROCCOLI​, you probably either love it or hate it.

1. Regardless of whether that name makes you feel proud to be an American,

or ashamed to be an American, it definitely makes you feel something.

B. Sitting in class a few weeks ago, I got an alert that President Trump had just been

threatened in a New York Times Op Ed piece…by one of his senior officials…


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anonymously. Being the politically driven person that I am, my heart started to

race in anticipate.

C. So who was it?

D. CITE​ The anonymous writer in the New York Times called themselves “part of

the resistance.” ​CITE

1. The writer goes on to talk about what they see as ineffective in Trump’s

leadership and even hints at the idea of invoking the 25th amendment-

impeaching him.

2. Many people have their own theories about who it could have been. ​CITE

Chris Cillizza of CNN writes Trump’s campaign manager Kellyanne

Conway, Vice President Mike Pence, or even First Lady Melania Trump

could be the culprit. ​CITE

E. But, I do not think this “vocal resistance” in the White House exists.

F. When reviewing Trump’s use of the media and his ability to get people to pick

sides, it becomes increasingly clear. ​A​ senior official in the White House was not

responsible for this. ​The​ senior official is. Donald Trump himself.

G. While this claim may seem absurd at first, I will elaborate and explain why

President Trump was responsible for this letter.

II. BODY

A. Whether you like Donald Trump or you hate him, we must admit: he knows how

to use the media.


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1. CITE​ “How Trump Drove Media Coverage to the Nomination”

emphasizes that the media has been an integral tool in Trump’s presidency

since even before he was nominated. ​CITE

a) His use of the media captivates people, gets people talking, and

polarizes people- in his favor.

2. The power in the rhetoric that President Trump uses is that he knows

exactly what phrasing to use to ignite people who disagree with him into

rage all while completely delighting people who already agree with him.

a) Conservatives who read this Op Ed piece from the New York

Times felt defensive towards the writer; immediately they felt

attacked because this attacked the president.

b) This letter was not written, or designed, to change people’s

opinions but rather to affirm long standing ones.

3. CITE​ Political activist Michael Moore calls him the “King of the

Misdirect”, believing President Trump did write this letter as a source of

distraction. ​CITE

a) More than a source of distraction, this letter was a brilliant attempt

to direct the looming midterm elections.

4. This was not his only attempt to gain ground during the rapidly

approaching midterms, though.

B. Trump’s ability to polarize, while difficult to handle in the Congress, is a huge

strength in getting people to the polls.


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1. In the last election, many Democrats thought Trump was just ridiculous

enough that they didn’t even have to vote. He didn’t have a chance.

Meanwhile, most Republicans looked at Trump as someone who was

genuinely good for this country, and ran to the polls to cast their vote for

someone they believed in.

a) That is the brilliance in President Trump’s strategy: he knows how

to mobilize people through the media.

2. But, how does this relate to the Op Ed piece? (Pause).

3. President Trump has created an “us” against “them” fight with his use of

rhetoric all along.

a) CITE​ NPR correspondent Robert Overby highlighted President

Trump’s use of “Drain the Swamp” as an example. ​CITE

b) The proverbial “swamp” is made up of the people who do not

agree with the political agenda president Trump is pushing. They

are the long time, Washington politicians who Trump believes are

trying to hinder progress.

4. Trump published this article in the New York Times to show that the

Swamp is not yet drained. There are still people within his own cabinet

who do not support his agenda: Washington is still Washington.

a) His supporters do not like the Washington of old money and

bureaucrats.
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b) CITE​ Along with the “Swamp”, ​CITE​ in tweets, President

Trump, in a tweet, calls the news the “Fake News Media.” ​CITE

c) Trump wrote this Op Ed to show his supporters that the media was

still after him and there are still people, even within his own

cabinet, who are out to get him.

d) This Op Ed showed Trump supporters they need to vote

Republican again in the midterm elections to ensure president

Trump’s agenda is fulfilled.

e) (​Show ​GRAPH OF PRESIDENT TRUMP APPROVAL

RATING). ​This graph shows the ground President Trump has lost

as he has been in office. He will need to reinvigorate this

momentum to have another Republican majority Congress.

III. CONCLUSION

A. In conclusion, ​this would have been a brilliant political move for the president to

pull, which just might help the Republican party’s chances is the midterm

election.

B. Like ​BROCCOLI​, you may love president Trump or hate him, but either way

this Op Ed would have served as a brilliant, risky political move.

C. After reviewing President Trump’s strategy of polarizing the public and using the

media as his aid, it is more and more clear President Trump could have been

responsible for The NY Times Op Ed. In conclusion,


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1. While he is not the only suspect, it is definitely probable that he wrote this

as a brilliant move for political gain.

D. So- who do you think wrote the Op Ed piece?


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Works Cited

Chris Wells, Dhavan​ V. Shah, Jon C. Pevehouse, JungHwan Yang, Ayellet Pelled, Frederick

Boehm, Josephine Lukito, Shreenita Ghosh & Jessica L. Schmidt. How Trump

Drove Coverage to the Nomination: Hybrid Media Campaigning, Political

Communication, 33:4, 669-676, DOI: 10.1080/10584609.2016.1224416​, 2016.

Cillizza, Chris. “13 People Who Might Be the Author of The New York Times Op-Ed.” ​CNN​.

Cable News Network, 6 Sept. 2018,

www.cnn.com/2018/09/05/politics/donald-trump-mystery-op-ed/index.html.

Hutzler, Alexandra. “Michael Moore Says He Thinks Donald Trump Wrote the Anonymous

NYT Op-Ed Himself.” ​Newsweek​, Newsweek, 17 Sept. 2018,

www.newsweek.com/michael-moore-thinks-donald-trump-wrote-anonymous-op-ed-112

713.

“I Am Part of the Resistance Inside the Trump Administration.” ​The New York Times​, The New

York Times, 5 Sept. 2018,

www.nytimes.com/2018/09/05/opinion/trump-white-house-anonymous-resistance.html.

Overby, Peter. “Trump's Efforts To 'Drain The Swamp' Lagging Behind His Campaign

Rhetoric.”

NPR,​ NPR, 26 Apr. 2017,

www.npr.org/2017/04/26/525551816/trumps-efforts-to-drain-the-swamp-lagging-behind

his-campaign-rhetoric.

@realDonaldTrump. “When President Obama said that he has been to “57 States,” very little

mention in Fake News Media. Can you imagine if I said that...story of the year!
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@IngrahamAngle” ​Twitter,​ 14 Sept. 2018, 8:08 p.m.,

https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/1040799409670377472
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Toulmin Claim Document

Claim of Value: President Trump was responsible for the anonymous New York Times op ed

letter.

Warrants

1. As it is midterm election season, being politically informed is important in deciding who

to vote for or what party to vote with.

2. Citizens need to understand how the media is being used politically as we are in a new

age of technology.

3. The president affects every American as the Chief Executive.

4. Donald Trump will most likely be a candidate in the 2018 presidential election.

5. Media was said to be a major factor in the 2016 presidential election.

Grounds/ Backing/ Rebuttals/ Qualifiers:

1. CITE​ NPR correspondent Robert Overby highlighted President Trump’s use of “Drain

the Swamp” as an example. ​CITE

2. CITE​ Political activist Michael Moore calls him the “King of the Misdirect”, believing

President Trump did write this letter as a source of distraction. ​CITE

3. CITE​ “How Trump Drove Media Coverage to the Nomination” emphasizes that the

media has been an integral tool in Trump’s presidency since even before he was

nominated. ​CITE
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4. CITE​ The anonymous writer in the New York Times called themselves “part of the

resistance.” ​CITE

5. ​CITE​ Chris Cillizza of CNN writes Trump’s campaign manager Kellyanne Conway,

Vice President Mike Pence, or even First Lady Melania Trump could be the culprit.

CITE

6. President Trump had ground to gain for the Republican party in the 2018 midterm

elections with a possible flip of party control.

7. CITE​ Along with the “Swamp”, President Trump, in a tweet, calls the news the “Fake

News Media.” ​CITE

8. President Trump is not the only possible suspect writer of the Op Ed piece.

9. Not every American thinks President Trump uses the media in a smart or positive way.

10. Linguistics and many other political scientists argue that Ivanka Trump wrote the letter

because of the way the Op Ed was written and the perceived controversy Ivanka and her

father have faced over women’s rights.

11. While he is not the only suspect, it is definitely probable that he wrote this as a brilliant

move for political gain.