Award Date

2009

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Communication Studies

Department

Communication

Advisor 1

Donovan Conley, Committee Chair

First Committee Member

Thomas R. Burkholder

Second Committee Member

Jacob Thompson

Graduate Faculty Representative

Lynn Comella

Number of Pages

105

Abstract

This project examines the apologetic discourse surrounding James Edward "Jim" McGreevey's August 12, 2004 resignation as governor of New Jersey. A cursory reading of the allegations McGreevey faced reveals a curious incongruity between the initial accusations of corruption and his apologizing for being homosexual. In short, McGreevey stood accused of corruption for a number of terrible cabinet appointments. Yet, he apologized for being gay and having a "consensual" affair with his former director of Homeland Security, Golan Cipel. Through a close reading of the texts, I decipher how McGreevey's apology modified the public's understanding of the events that lead to his resignation. It is my contention that McGreevey's strategic use of tropes built an enthymeme that masqueraded as atonement and advanced the image of him as a martyr for gay rights.

Keywords

Apologia; Governors; Homosexuality; James E. McGreevey; Kategoria; New Jersey; Politicians; Sex scandals

Disciplines

Communication | Political Science | Rhetoric

Language

English


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