Convergent Critical Rhetoric at the "Rally to Restore Sanity": Exploring the Intersection of Rhetoric, Ethnography, and Documentary Production

Art Herbig, Aaron Hess

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

9 Scopus citations


This essay offers convergent critical rhetoric as an approach to critical television studies. Constructed through a combination of rhetoric, ethnography, and documentary filmmaking, the approach encourages critics to utilize the logic of production to illuminate participatory practices in media. We use the "Rally to Restore Sanity," hosted by Jon Stewart of The Daily Show, as an exemplar. Through a combination of an academic essay and a short film, we examine the voice of participants at the rally, who questioned the polarized climate of the modern television industry. Using our approach, we found that attendee participation in the spectacle enacted a critique of "The Media" and the politics of profit-motivated news production. We close the essay with a discussion of limitations and future directions of the approach.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)269-289
Number of pages21
JournalCommunication Studies
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 1 2012



  • Documentary
  • Ethnography
  • Jon Stewart
  • Rally To Restore Sanity
  • Rhetoric
  • Television

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication

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