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Unformatted text preview: ‘representative we’’ (Baym,
2000), explicitly affiliating with his audience. In contrast to authority derived from
institutional privilege, Yago here invokes what Bakhtin (1981) calls an ‘‘internally
persuasive’’ mode of discourse. Presenting himself as an ordinary young person, he seeks
a credibility grounded in personal familiarity . For example, he tells his audience that he
got to ‘‘tag along’’ with the Kerry campaign, a point illustrated by video of him walking on
to the press plane. Wearing a leather jacket, sunglasses, and a backpack slung over his
shoulder, he looks at the camera and flashes the ‘‘rock on’’ hand sign. Here covering the
campaign more resembles a college road trip than a professional journalistic assignment.
Yago constructs his identity as youth representative both in image and in language.
Rarely wearing a jacket or tie, he instead appears slightly unshaven, in shirts untucked and
open-necked. He wears jewelry and has tattoos on both forearms. He also speaks in a
‘‘youth’’ vernacular. In the John Kerry program, he tells the audience that ‘‘when we come
back, I get to hang with the candidate’s daughter.’’ In On the Trail , he notes the president
always travels with a ‘‘gi-normous security apparatus’’ and the Bush campaign ‘‘dropped
bank’’ on a ‘‘humungo’’ banner. Then, as Kerry’s campaign plane lands, he exclaims: ‘‘Look
at that thing! Pimp my ride, indeed.’’
The last phrase is a reference to MTV’s program Pimp My Ride . Yago draws linkages
to a target audience he presumes will appreciate the reference. He assumes his audience Downloaded By: [Ohio State University Libraries] At: 01:44 26 September 2007 JOURNALISTIC AUTHORITY ON MTV will recognize the use of ‘‘pimp’’ as a verb, but more importantly, he uses popular culture
as a reference point to help his audience make sense of the political sphere. This blurring
of popular culture and public affairs in evident elsewhere. In On the Trai...
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This note was uploaded on 01/20/2014 for the course ARTEDUC 2367.03 taught by Professor Tiffanylewis during the Spring '14 term at Ohio State.
- Spring '14
- The Land