Monday, May 1, 2017
American public figures will always have the pressure of the press and maintaining a good image. They are under the magnifying glass of the American public. It is important to understand that when you run for president of the United States of America this pressure is inevitable. In the most recent election, both candidates, Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, were aware that not only could their current actions be used against them but that their past would also be discussed by their opponent in order to gain and/or appeal to American voters. We saw this to be the case when a video was released to the public of Donald Trump boasting about how he felt he could get away with sexual assault. This video changed the momentum of the election, and it certainly raised a lot of questions. Is Donald Trump fit to be the leader of the free world? Who was behind the release of this video? Was Hillary’s campaign behind this? What will this do to the election? In a matter of seconds this video became the center of attention in our country. Trump was caught red-handed. This forced him to release an apology video to the American people in order to not only protect his image, but to save his campaign. The purpose of this paper is to study this apologia video and determine whether or not Trump was able to do this successfully. Several models of apologia have been created by scholars through studying infamous speeches given by well-known people. William Benoit is one of the most well-known scholars in studying this genre. In rhetoric communication studies, the purpose of apologia is to defend, justify or apologize for an action in the form of a speech. In this case, the person who is being accused becomes the ‘apologist’ and attempts to defend or in some instances excuse him or herself.