The colour of rhetoric in the contemporary agora


  • Neal Waddell
  • Bernard McKenna



Rhetoric, Persuasion, Contemporary political discourse, Media interviews


Rhetoric has three colours: white, black, and grey. White rhetoric is the Grecian Agoric ideal and black rhetoric is its mockery in the form of cheap point-scoring and open deceitfulness. Both are commonly used and obvious. A third, grey, rhetoric, however, is the most pervasive and devious kind of rhetoric in contemporary political discourse, which has developed in response to changing patterns of journalistic inquisition in the 24/7 news and public affairs era. This paper describes the three types of rhetoric, and argues that the Fourth Estate has an important democratic role in counteracting black and grey rhetoric.


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How to Cite

Waddell, Neal, and Bernard McKenna. 2009. “The Colour of Rhetoric in the Contemporary Agora”. Alicante Journal of English Studies / Revista Alicantina De Estudios Ingleses, no. 22 (November):271-91.