The Right Word, The Right Way, at the Right TimePosted: December 4, 2014
There are three things, apart from demonstrative proofs, which inspire belief–namely, sagacity, high character, and good will. . .If a person is thought to command them all, he will be deserving of credit in the eyes of his audience.
– Aristotle, ‘Rhetoric’
Like apples of gold in settings of silver Is a word spoken in right circumstances.
– Proverbs 25:11
A couple of weeks ago I was listening to the Hugh Hewitt radio show and Hewitt had on as his guest NBC’s political reporter and anchor of ‘Meet The Press’, Chuck Todd.
Hewitt asked Todd about why the Main Stream Media (MSM) wasn’t adequately covering the story of numerous videos that had come to surface that showed the main architect of ObamaCare, Jonathan Gruber, calling the American people stupid and how he/they used deception and rhetorical sleight of hand to jam ObamaCare down the throats of the American people.
That same morning, I saw a tweet from ‘The Federalist’ journalist Mollie Hemingway, (you really need to check her stuff out) referencing a piece written by National Review’s Jonah Goldberg that nicely encapsulated the problem of why big stories don’t get covered by the MSM:
The reason Gruber has been so outrageously under-covered by the mainstream media is obvious: The whole story is an indictment of the entire ecosystem of establishment liberalism, from the supposedly “explanatory journalists” who picked sides from the beginning, to the academic elites who serve as willing mercenaries for the Democratic party (while pretending to be unimpeachably objective followers of the facts) to the press corps that carries water for the whole enterprise. Grüberdammerung runs against the narrative that only lovers of limited government are driven by self-interest and greed. It gives the average person a glimpse into how the sausage is made and embarrasses the sausage makers.
Goldberg’s quote was *perfect* for what Hewitt was questioning Todd on, so I tweeted the quote to Hewitt and five minutes later Hewitt was using the quote I tweeted to him on the air wrapped in a question to Todd.
Good fun, that.
Unlike Jonathan Gruber, et. al., an ethical purveyor of persuasion doesn’t rely on trickery and deception, but on what I call Aristotle’s ‘Four Pillars of Persuasion’: demonstrative proofs, sagacity (good mental discernment and sound judgment), high character, and good will.
There are many ‘how to’ references on effective communication, and I just ran into this list from communications expert Frank Luntz called ‘The Ten Rules of Effective Language’ last night as I was surfing the internet, so I thought I’d pass it along.
Coupling Aristotle’s ‘Four Pillars of Persuasion’ with Proverbs 25:11’s “Like apples of gold in settings of silver Is a word spoken in right circumstances” represents a winning formula of saying the right thing in the right way at the right time.