AbstractsPolitical Science

Heroes and Villains: Political Rhetoric in Post-9/11 PopularMedia

by Hannah Leah Maulden

Institution: Bowling Green State University
Year: 2015
Keywords: American Studies; Cultural Anthropology; Film Studies; Mass Media; Middle Eastern Studies; Modern History; Motion Pictures; Political Science; Rhetoric; politics; political rhetoric; 24; Alias; How to Lose a Guy in Ten Days; Maid in Manhattan; Halo; Freedom Fighters; Call of Duty; George W Bush; television; romantic comedy; superhero; video games; presidential speeches
Posted: 02/05/2017
Record ID: 2066884
Full text PDF: http://rave.ohiolink.edu/etdc/view?acc_num=bgsu1431964700


President George W. Bush experienced a drastic rise in popularity after the terrorist attacks of September 11th, 2001, and this popularity continued through his first term and enabled him to be reelected for a second. In this thesis, I seek to explain some of President Bush’s popularity by examining American popular entertainment media produced between 2001 and 2004. I look at ways that this media reinforced White House rhetoric and encouraged Bush’s continued popularity with the American people. I analyze television shows (24 and Alias), romantic comedy and superhero movies (Two Weeks Notice, How to Lose a Guy in Ten Days, Maid in Manhattan, Spider-Man, and Spider-Man 2), and war-themed video games (Halo: Combat Evolved, Halo 2, Call of Duty, and Freedom Fighters) to examine how they contributed to the establishment of an “Us vs. Them” mentality and the construction of the wealthy white man (i.e. Bush himself) as the American savior, as well as created an environment in which any questioning of the Bush Administration or the War on Terror could be interpreted as traitorous. Advisors/Committee Members: Marilyn, Motz (Committee Chair).