The Rogue and the Diplomat : an analysis of conservative American media discourse on Russia in the Trump era
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In December of 2016, the CIA announced that Russian actors had hacked into US servers in an effort to assist then-candidate Donald Trump in his 2016 bid for the US presidency. This revelation, amidst increasing political polarization in the US and the common use of phrases like ‘fake news’ and ‘alternative facts’, contributed to a controversial election landscape that combined elements of US-Russian relations, journalistic ethics, and technological advancement. This thesis uses a case study to examine if and how conservative American media shifted its discursive tendencies on the topic of Russia after the election of Donald Trump to the presidency. In observing the shifting of discourse, we may both observe how conceptions of identity, security and power constituted and were constituted by media, and how journalistic ethical change and media developments may have enabled these types of shifts. By exploring transcripts of Fox News Television programs, this study has been conducted in effort to simultaneously provide broad insight into modern developments in geopolitics and media and specific investigation into a unique chapter in American history and in US-Russian relations.