Thanks to Donald Trump, fake news has become a buzzword that allows for the dismissal of facts which are incon-venient to a person’s worldview. When used to characterize media sources, this rhetorical maneuver becomes an essentially irrefutable argumentative technique – a “trump” card that ends a discussion because the opposition’s premise is depicted as false. Since deploying the concept of fake news reinforces ideology and systems of power, this paper explores the phenomenon from the perspective of Gramscian hegemony. More specifically, Gramsci’s notion of common sense helps us understand the fallacious appeal of fake news. As a result, the paper discusses the implica-tions of fake news in the context of hegemony and provides suggestions for potential ways to articulate good sense as a means to challenge the common sense of fake news.
Joseph P. Zompetti is Professor of Communication at Illinois State University, where he teaches courses in communication and social issues, classical rhetoric, and political communication. He is internationally known for his research and teaching of argument, critical thinking, and political rhetoric (especially using Gramscian theory), as he has taught these and similar subjects in nearly 30 countries, including three Fulbright grants. Dr. Zompetti’s research interests include the rhetoric of critical cultural studies and the rhetoric of civic engagement. His work has appeared in Theory and Critique, Cultural Studies, the eJournal of Public Affairs, the Journal of Contemporary Rhetoric (JCR), and Argumentation: An International Journal of Reasoning. He is the author of Divisive Discourse: The Extreme Rhetoric of Contemporary American Politics, Essential Readings on Rhetoric.
Posts by Joseph Zompetti:
The Fallacy of Fake News: Exploring the Commonsensical Argument Appeals of Fake News Rhetoric through a Gramscian LensPosted at IGS Archive: 19 Jan 2020
Originally published in Journal of Contemporary Rhetoric | 2019