Rhetorical Analysis Of David Brooks 'Lost Language Of Privacy'

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Ron Judkins Kelly Drummey College Writing 42.102 28 September 2015 “The Lost Language of Privacy” Summary and Rhetorical Analysis The recent New York Times article “The Lost Language of Privacy,” written by David Brooks, discusses the use of police body cameras. Brooks says that the implantation of police body cameras would be beneficial for he believes that it will prevent situations where police officers cover up their mistakes, and abuse their power. He also states that “human memory is an unreliable faculty,” and thus body cameras would eliminate the need to rely on one’s memory. After he outlines these benefits he states, “I’ve been surprised by how many people don’t see the downside to this policy.” He goes on to create an argument…show more content…
Instead, however, it provides his argument with greater credibility through playing devils advocate, and acknowledging an opposing view. This shift also marks an evident shift in tone, as Brooks begins to write in a slight disappointed manner, as he feels the public is overlooking the obvious. From a readers standpoint it makes the opinion more engaging, as the reader wishes to learn more and become better informed. Brooks is “surprised by how many people don’t see the downside to this policy,” as he believes the policy will deteriorate police-civilian relations and individual privacy. Similar to how his first opinion is supported, Brooks provides solid justification of his second. He continues with the use of logos, but this time implements not just logical reasoning, but rather a deeper analysis of the role of privacy in one’s life. He explains to the reader how there are three concentric circles to privacy; privacy in individual development, privacy within a family setting, and privacy within a community. This thorough analysis builds up a sense of trust for the reader, and allows Brooks to effectively communicate his concerns about police body cameras. He then includes cold facts; “20 percent of police calls involve felonies, and less than 1 percent of police-citizen contacts involve police use of force.” However, it is important…show more content…
He then says that while the camera is on, the interaction officers have with the public cannot be like an “intimate friendship and more likely to be oppositional and transactional.” Meaning that a police officer is more likely to write a ticket if a camera is recording his or her every move. There is some degree of pathos used in this portion of the writing. Brooks is able to appeal to the reader by describing a situation much of his audience can relate to, the point where the cop will either right a ticket or let you off with a warning. This allows Brooks to connect with the reader and open their eyes up to perhaps a flaw in the use of police body cameras. The editorial concludes with a powerful summary of what Brooks has been working to convey throughout the entirety of the writing. Brooks uses ethos by provided a more personal viewpoint when he describes the effects a notebook or camera has when introduced to an interview setting. He states that it creates distance between the journalist and the subject. He uses this example to help drive home the point that a camera creates distance between police and the public and thus negatively impacts the relationship between the two

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