March Pundit 2

Reihan Salam

“Why Are People So Riled Up About Zuckerberg’s New-Fangled Philanthropy?”

National Review

December 4, 2015 1:47 PM

Reihan Salam’s article, “Why Are People So Riled Up About Zuckerberg’s New-Fangled Philanthropy?” (2015), asserts that Zuckerberg’s charitable endeavors are not in the best interest of the American people. Salam supports his argument by refuting Jesse Eisinger’s claim, which is in support of Zuckerberg. Salam’s purpose is to convince and inform readers that governmental officials will decided how Zuckerberg’s philanthropic donations will be used instead of by entrepreneurs or charitable organizations in order to appeal to readers of a specific demographic. The audience is intended to appeal to right wing conservatives, which is evident in Salam’s conclusion.

Salam appeals to ethos with a straightforward tone as he introduces Jesse Eisinger as “a prominent left-of-center journalist at ProPublica” who supports Salam’s anti-Zuckerberg stance. Salam includes excerpts of Eisinger’s column to support his position. Hypothetically, readers are given permission to formulate their own opinion on Zuckerberg’s donation through a seemingly “unbiased.” By including a liberal perspective, who also disapproves of Zuckerberg’s actions, Salam may also sway the opinion of potential left-wing readers. Salam assumes the reader is not informed on Zuckerberg’s recent charitable endeavor. However, Salam’s disapproving and patronizing diction “you are welcome to decide for yourself,” seems to display otherwise. Salam concludes with a disrespectful apology to readers explaining his assurance that Zuckerberg will indefinitely use his fortune to fund “ill-advised left-wing political causes.” If Salam was able to change the minds of potential liberal readers, this apology could lead them to restore their perspective just because of his conclusion.




Dear Mr. Salam,

You persuaded me of your contention until your conclusion. Your decision to attack liberal readers is not only condescending but immature. If you would have acknowledged the counterargument in a respectful manner, readers of diverse political beliefs would have been more likely to agree with your claim.

Hi Katie,
I don’t understand what you mean by some votes are more valuable than others. However, I do find it necessary that in order to galvanize readers when discussing Trump, one must utilize humor. I am surprised, however, that Mr. Douthat would speak unkindly of a Republican candidate.

Hi John,
This is the second article I have read this week about Donald Trump. He acquires so much media attention; it is insane. However, it is surprising that for once someone is on his side. Every article or story I have read or heard so far has criticized him.


4 thoughts on “March Pundit 2

  1. Hi Kat,
    Salem’s tone does seem to be a little condescending but factual. He uses evidence but doesn’t explain it much. The whole article appears to be a reply to Eisinger’s column.


  2. Hi Kat,
    The fact that Salam does not assume that his audience is knowledgeable of Zuckerberg’s donations automatically creates a sense of distrust. However, at the same time, it does seem slightly unsurprising that a columnist would attempt to prove another journalist wrong by testing his or her facts.


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