Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Committee Chair

June Hobbs


This thesis explores the connection between genre and the normalization of then-presidential candidate Donald Trump’s varied racist, sexist, and xenophobic comments during the height of the 2016 General Election. Examining the genre of cable news and the network CNN specifically, this thesis analyzes both the broad genre-specific elements and specific instances during CNN’s panel discussions where that normalization occurred. Combining Carolyn Miller’s framework for deconstructing genre, Classical rhetorical devices like stasis theory, Judith Butler’s interpretation of performativity, and pertinent political and historical context, this thesis highlights and examines the impact the “cult of objectivity” had on CNN’s normalization of Donald Trump, with implications for the overall genre.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.