Anglo-American Speechwriting


Logos (logic) and pathos (emotion) are self-explanatory, but ethos is more elusive. Essentially, ethos means building a bond with the audience, so that the audience will trust the speaker and be receptive to the speaker’s message.

To illustrate, I gave two particularly appropriate examples, about 60 years apart, of how two very different British prime ministers used ethos when they addressed a joint session of the U.S. Congress.”


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“Exit Tsar”


March 15 marks the 100th anniversary of the abdication of Tsar Nicholas II of Russia.The milestone has attracted little notice. It is the opinion of most historians that Nicholas was a failure: feckless, dimwitted, reactionary—and henpecked to boot. But as Robert Massie makes clear in his admirable biography, Nicholas and Alexandra, the real Nicholas was more complex, more human and more interesting than the caricature.

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Oscars Disaster – What Exactly Went Wrong?


It’s harder to imagine a higher profile bungle than the Oscars Best Picture Award debacle that happened a few hours ago. The winner was announced as La La Land and that movie’s top team were busy accepting their award on the stage itself when they were told that Moonlight had won. So much #fakenews these days. It’s hard to keep up.

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Challenging the FBI


Only the foolish or fearless challenge the Federal Bureau of Investigation, a hard lesson learned by a diverse roster that ranges from Al Capone to Hillary Clinton. If there is a deep state in America, the FBI is near its core. Whether the White House is oblivious to this history or trying to notch its belt by challenging the Bureau is worth pondering. This is an agency that defied recent White House attempts to get with the program of minimizing the import of contacts between the Trump campaign and the Russians as well as arguably sabotaging last year’s Clinton campaign.

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Meryl the Martyr?


Ms. Streep began her Golden Globes speech by announcing that she had lost her mind. Speaking at the Human Rights Campaign fundraising gala, she revealed that she has still not got it back.

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