David Oliver Relin And John Krakauer's Three Cups Of Deceit: Literary Analysis

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The question of whether journalists or private philanthropists have a greater responsibility to rhetorical ethics requires an examination…? David Oliver Relin and Greg Mortenson’s Three Cups of Tea demonstrates the power of a private philanthropist in using emotional appeals and embellishments of truth to convince the public into giving money to a charity—in this case, the Central Asia Institute (CAI). On the other hand, an analysis of John Krakauer’s rhetoric in Three Cups of Deceit proves that investigative journalists, unlike private philanthropists, have a responsibility to truthfully represent events within their writing. The principles of journalism mandate ethical journalists to write based on factual information because there exists a potential for abuse of power if they decide to use their writing for unscrupulous means. Such an overarching principle does not exist for private philanthropists and thus, they have leeway in using tools such as emotion and exaggeration to pursue contributions from the public. Therefore, investigative journalists have a greater responsibility to be truthful than private philanthropists as journalists are in a higher position of trust in society, which creates an implicit faith in their reporting.
Krakauer’s work demonstrates that a credible investigative journalist has a responsibility to base his arguments on truth
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His most blatant fallacies are appeals to emotion and hasty generalizations based on insufficient evidence. Through attacks on Mortenson that characterize him as an “unmasked . . . self-aggrandizing fabulist . . . [with a] virulent strain of megalomania” and a “charlatan,” Krakauer personally attacks Mortenson rather than his claims, committing argumentum ad hominem and adding nothing to his own argument (Krakauer XIII, 107,

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