Прецедент и его роль в медиарепрезентации личности президента США Д. Трампа (на материале статей об импичменте)
The article investigates the role of precedent in mass media representation of the personality of Donald Trump. Analysis is based on the study of two articles issued in November, 2019, just after the hearings which started the process of impeachment initiated by the Democratic Party against the US President. While covering the breaking news event – impeachment of Donald Trump – media texts appeal to the Watergate precedent that forced Richard Nixon to resign the presidency in 1974.
... 1974. Nevertheless, the articles differ in placing emphasis: the first article focuses on denouncing D. Trump, and the second one runs down his accuser G. Sondland. The first article uses irrelevant, insignificant features as a basis for comparison of the Watergate precedent and Trump impeachment, which makes the association unreliable. The second article singles out the essential, differential features of the precedent and actually proves that Trump impeachment has nothing to do with the Watergate scandal, for these events and their characteristics are absolutely different. The articles demonstrate the realization of opposite media discourse strategies: one of them is explicitly aimed at a clearly negative, pejorative evaluation of the President's personality, whereas the other is suggestive of an implicitly positive, ameliorative attitude to him. It means that the reference to the same negatively connoted precedent does not necessarily lead to an equally negative mass media representation of the President's personality. The study shows that it is not the precedent but the context of its usage, created by the author of a political article, that plays the decisive role in characterizing an event or a personality in mass media discourse.