CARL BILDTS BEMÖTANDE AV JÄVSANKLAGELSER PÅ TRE OLIKA MEDIALA ARENOR – EN RETORIKANALYS
In July 2011 the journalists Martin Schibbye and Johan Persson are arrested in Ethiopia when on a mission to report the activities of the oil exploration company Lundin Petroleum. Following a trial, closely observed by media, the two journalists are convicted to a prison sentence of eleven years. The Swedish Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Carl Bildt, is now to act on their behalf to preserve their rights as Swedish citizens. However, doubts are raised as to whether Bildt has a conflict of interest because of his former engagements as a board member in Lundin Petroleum. The aim of the present thesis is to analyse the different rhetorical strategies used by Carl Bildt when affronted by three different medial arenas, the business magazine Veckans Affärer, the radio news Ekot and the talk show Skavlan, where he is asked to refute the accusations of a conflict of interest. The rhetorical strategies are analysed with respect to the rhetorical situation, audience, ethos, logos and pathos, stylistic elements, performance and finally Carl Bildt’s image restoration. The results show that the rhetorical strategies used by Carl Bildt are clearly adapted to the rhetorical situation, the audience and the appropriateness of different rhetorical response, i.e., so called fitting response. Carl Bildt also uses different image restoration strategies such as denial; attack of the accuser; attack of [political] opponents and attempts to put his engagements in global enterprises such as Lundin Petroleum in a positive light for his present role as a Minister of Foreign Affairs; that they were not about personal monetary profit but had the purpose of serving world peace and contributing to a more open global dialogue. In conclusion, in this very delicate case of foreign policy, Carl Bildt uses the full range of rhetorical strategies to serve his own defense where his main strategy was clearly to put his own actions into a more positive context.