Trumpism as Brand Commodification

The so-called Trump Bump is a gift that keeps on giving. Traditional news outlets and their social media competitors for advertising dollars, liberals and conservatives, and even Trump and Putin all benefit from the commodification of public interest in the Trump White House.

Shame on You: Public Humiliation as Punishment

By Martijn Icks Social media have made public shaming all too easy. With great frequency, cries of moral indignation resound on the Internet, aimed at persons who have allegedly misbehaved or uttered disgraceful statements. These people suddenly find themselves beleaguered by digital torch-and-pitchfork mobs, ready to slaughter their good name. They are lambasted in furious... Continue Reading →

On Authenticity and Character Assassination

By Jennifer Keohane While the heat and humidity have made those in DC lethargic and prone to staying inside and binging on Netflix, on Twitter, it’s always a perfect 75 degrees with conditions ripe for character assassination. My case today comes from the recent wave of primary elections ahead of November’s midterms. In New York’s... Continue Reading →

Sharia for the Netherlands

By Martijn Icks Last month, Eric Shiraev and I participated in the 2nd International Conference in Scandalogy at the University of Bamberg, Germany. It was a very engaging event, bringing together researchers from many disciplines who focus on the study of scandal and scandal cultures. Obviously, these terms are closely related to character assassination. After... Continue Reading →

Take Aways from Reputation Management Challenges: What Every New Professional Should Know

By Katya Beisel Yesterday morning, seasoned public relations practitioners, communication educators and university students from across the nation's capitol area gathered at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. for a unique three-panel event focused on a variety of issues and current events within reputation management. Organized in partnership with American University's School of Communication,... Continue Reading →

How is Character Communicated?

By Jennifer Keohane In this post, I introduce a rhetorical approach to character. This understanding may not square with other academic disciplines that may be interested in other aspects, but I hope this explanation will help explain my approach to studying character assassination. I start from the assumption that character assassination occurs in communication. That... Continue Reading →

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