Title page for ETD etd-05072007-172507

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Aljabri, Nadia Michele
Author's Email Address naljabri@vt.edu, Nadia.Aljabri@gmail.com
URN etd-05072007-172507
Title A Comparative Pentadic Analysis of Mediated Presidential Discourse During 9/11 and Hurricane Katrina
Degree Master of Arts
Department Communication Studies
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Denton, Robert E. Jr. Committee Chair
Holloway, Rachel L. Committee Member
Kuypers, James A. Committee Member
  • Kenneth Burke
  • presidential crisis rhetoric
  • Pentad
  • President George W. Bush
  • September 11 terrorist attacks
  • Hurricane Katrina
  • television news media
  • broadcast news media
  • primetime network news
  • rhetorical presidency
Date of Defense 2007-04-27
Availability unrestricted
In his first term as president, George W. Bush was confronted with one of the worst national attacks in United States history: the September 11 terrorist attacks of 2001. Through the devastation, however, President Bush triumphed in unifying and guiding this nation during what would become the height of his rhetorical leadership. Following his reelection in 2004, President Bush faced one of the worst natural disasters in the nation‘s history: Category 4 Hurricane Katrina. In its aftermath, Katrina became known as "one of the worst mishandled disasters ever." Utilizing Kenneth Burke‘s pentad, this study analyzes the president‘s rhetorical response and the primetime network news coverage following each crisis in an attempt to determine how President Bush could fare so well in one instance, consoling and leading the American people, while falling short in his second major crisis during his term as president.
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