ERIC Number: ED159754
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1978-Nov-5
Reference Count: 0
Senator Proxmire Versus the Speech Communication Association: Appropriate Standards for Responsible Governmental Communication?
Johannesen, Richard L.
When Democratic Senator William Proxmire attacked the Bicentennial Youth Debates, jointly sponsored by the Speech Communication Association (SCA) and the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), for fiscal wastefulness, SCA president Lloyd Bitzer offered a public rebuttal to the charge. The three major standards of ethicality and responsibility used to condemn Proxmire's charges were factual accuracy, thoroughness, and fairness. Through a parallel structure that cited a Proxmire charge followed by a refutation, the rebuttal pointed out four fundamental inaccuracies in Proxmire's stand. Thoroughness, as a standard of responsible governmental communication, was applied to generalizations, incomplete statements of fact, and unsupported evidence. The criterion of fairness was used to assess the honesty of Proxmire's method, in that he obtained information under false pretenses. These standards are appropriate criteria for assessing the degree of responsibility in Proxmire's action because they represent the avowed standards for responsible communication as stated in the SCA Credo, and because these same standards have been included by several philosophers and scholars in their individual discussions of ethically responsible communication. (MAI)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: National Endowment for the Humanities; Proxmire (William); Speech Communication Association
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Speech Communication Association (64th, Minneapolis, Minnesota, November 2-5, 1978)