ERIC Number: ED246501
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981-Apr-24
Reference Count: 0
The Camp David Ceremony and the Genre of the Presidential Parasocial Broadcast Announcement.
Houser, William Evan
In 1978, the historic Camp David Peace Accords between Egypt and Israel were signed in a ceremony broadcast from the White House. The ceremony may be seen as a member of a rhetorical genre informally called the Presidential Parasocial Broadcast Announcement, but with a new twist. The genre has its roots in the Fireside Chats of Franklin D. Roosevelt, and has continued and developed with the television addresses of Presidents Eisenhower, Johnson, Nixon, and Carter. The Camp David ceremony fits two major, self-evident conventions of the parasocial broadcast announcement in that it was an announcement of events, and it had the president, Jimmy Carter, as its focus. The remaining elements of the genre are drama, image building, and the parasocial relationship created by the broadcast media. The parasocial relationship involves people in what seems to be a face-to-face meeting even when they are not in direct contact, an illusion that stems from the speaking distance created via radio and television. The ceremony certainly had a dramatic element, as it was seen at the time as being the decisive point in the negotiations between Israel and Egypt to end their conflict. With regard to image building, Carter's key role in the agreements served to bolster significantly his tenuous image as an effective leader. The new twist in the genre is the participation of three people, and the appearance of someone other than the President, specifically Menachem Begin, as the best communicator. (HTH)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Begin (Menachem); Camp David Peace Accords; Carter (Jimmy); Presidential Messages; Sadat (Anwar)
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Eastern Communication Association (72nd, Pittsburgh, PA, April 23-26, 1981).