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Fearing Fear Itself Analysis

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Since 9-11, terrorism has more power than ever. Society is easily manipulated by a simple word that can start a war, divide a nation, and instill fear in an instant. Ann Coulter’s article, “Bush 7 Terrorists 0,” and Paul Krugman’s article, “Fearing Fear Itself,” both use use the loaded word, terrorism, in opposite ways: one to promote war by instilling fear and one to avoid war by downplaying the fear terrorism evokes.
Ann Coulter, a conservative columnist, uses fear and dangers of terrorism to gain support for Bush’s involvement in the Iraq War in order to protect America from future attacks. Coulter initially instills fear of terrorism when continually using phrases like, “threat of Islamic terrorism” (Coulter) and “another terrorist attack” …show more content…

Throughout his article, Krugman continually supports that “the goal of terrorists is to inspire terror, because that 's all they’re capable of” (Krugman). Krugman manages to downplay the fear terrorism instills by using “more amorphous and elastic” (Nunberg) word, terror; consequently, he is able to manipulate the audience into thinking an event was just an act of terror, rather than using the loaded word, “terrorism.” In addition to choosing intentional diction, Krugman also uses the propaganda technique, cardstacking, to underemphasize and omit the possible outcomes of terrorism by explaining, “terrorism is just one of many dangers in the world” (Krugman), allowing him to avoid the real issue at hand, terrorist attacks. (*****). Additionally, Krugman rewords the phrase “organized attempt to destroy Western civilization”(Krugman) and replaces it with “organized attempt to sow panic” (Krugman), allowing him to effectively make his statement more convincing and appealing (Luntz) by replacing “destroy,” a powerfully connotated word with “panic” which has much less emphasis. Subsequently, throughout Krugman’s entire article about the war on terrorism, he replaces specific words and common propaganda techniques in order to demonstrate his disdain for the fighting against terrorists.
Whether they are conservatives supporting war against terrorism or liberals downplaying the dangers of terror, both Coulter and Krugman use propaganda techniques and intentional diction in order to deceive their audience through a single word. A single word that can be manipulated to divide, fight, or unite. A single word that carries overwhelming authority. A single word called

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