The Ironic Voice and Subjunctive Mood of Public Radio Programming

Open Access
Dzikowski, David
Graduate Program:
Speech Communication
Doctor of Philosophy
Document Type:
Date of Defense:
June 03, 2009
Committee Members:
  • Thomas Walter Benson, Dissertation Advisor
  • Thomas Walter Benson, Committee Chair
  • James Hogan, Committee Member
  • Jeremy Engels, Committee Member
  • Matthew Jackson, Committee Member
  • rhetoric
  • public radio
  • irony
Through a rhetorical analysis of irony in Car Talk, a critique of contrastive epistemics in All Things Considered, and an examination of the superintending ideology of Urban Agrarianism found in A Prairie Home Companion, the rhetoric of public radio programming emerges as ironic, constituted of coherent incompatibilities, and productive of critical thinking about art, science, and politics. Public radio programming is in a subjunctive mood, emphasizing the contingency and possibility of public judgment.