Critical Rhetoric| Critical Rhetoric in the Age of the (First) Reality TV President: A Critique of Freedom and Domination

Jennifer C. Dunn


The purpose of this article is to examine Donald Trump’s tweets from a critical rhetorical orientation. This article suggests that the identity constructed in Trump’s tweets extends the persona he developed on the reality television series The Apprentice to construct a vision of a reality TV president. Therefore, the logics of reality television serve as criteria to evaluate how his tweets construct his “rhetorical authenticity” or strategically constructed “real-ness” as a reality TV president. Drawing from McKerrow’s essay on critical rhetoric, the critique of freedom in the essay shows how his tweets reflect the logics of reality television to transform the possibilities of presidential communication, and the critique of domination suggests how these tweets function to exert power over others.


critical rhetoric, reality television, Twitter, Trump, presidential rhetoric

Full Text: