Bayam.2007.MTVs Coverage of the 2004 Presidential Election

It endorses his claim to what bakhtin 1981 p 342 has

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Unformatted text preview: cy of figures such as Edward R. Murrow and Walter Cronkite (Baym, 2000). Indeed, that connection to an authoritative past is drawn overtly in Work It , which remarkably intercuts a number of Yago’s segments with those featuring Cronkite himself. Introducing Cronkite to the young audience, Yago explains that he is ‘‘the dean of TV journalism.’’ Cronkite then acknowledges the unlikely discursive blend. ‘‘I know, I know,’’ he says, ‘‘I’m the last person you’d expect to see on MTV.’’ Cronkite may be the epitome of the patriarchal anchor who has become anathema to young people, but his appearance in Work It functions to authorize Yago. It endorses his claim to what Bakhtin (1981, p. 342) has called authoritative discourse * a mode of speech akin to ‘‘the word of a father, of adults and of teachers.’’ Authoritative discourse exists in a ‘‘distanced zone, organically connected with a past that is felt to be hierarchically higher’’ and as such claims the unchallengeable right to speak of what is . As the show cuts directly from Yago to Cronkite (the dean ) and back again, Yago is positioned as heir to Cronkite’s authoritative legacy. In keeping, Yago’s reportorial mode is dispassionate observation and objective inquiry. He conducts impartial interviews with advocates on both sides of the issues and offers equal airtime to representatives from both campaigns. Quoting statistics and marshaling verbal and visual evidence to support his claims about what is, he offers a discourse of fact and epistemological certainty. Like Cronkite, he is expert, not author * his vantage point universal not local. Even as he positions himself as professional expert, however, Yago complicates his identity, equally situating himself as representative of young America. ‘‘This is it,’’ he says at the start of his program on John Kerry, ‘‘our chance to get to know the man who would be president.’’ Here he shifts from the institutional we to the ‘...
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