Post‐assassination Newspaper Editorial Eulogies: Analysis and Assessment
Format of Original
Taylor & Francis
Western Journal of Communication
This essay contends that the modern post‐assassination newspaper editorial eulogy constitutes a significant genre in an age dominated by electronic communication. The newspaper editorial eulogy fuses epideictic and deliberative rhetorical functions in providing systematic therapeutic guidance for engaged readers during the post‐assassination crisis period. The importance of the form is demonstrated in an analysis of newspaper editorials eulogizing John F. Kennedy, Martin Luther King, Jr. and Robert F. Kennedy. In providing a space for symbolic catharsis, celebrating individual virtues and mythic constructions of those virtues, attempting to reknit communal bonds, and proposing policy initiatives, the narratives also pursue a rhetoric of legitimation that serves the status quo and governmental authority.