Even senators can get in trouble

Roger W. Shuy

in The Language of Sexual Misconduct Cases

Published in print September 2012 | ISBN: 9780199926961
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199980505 | DOI:
Even senators can get in trouble

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This chapter discusses the sexual misconduct case that involved U.S. Senator Robert Packwood, who is known for his support of legalized abortion. Packwood was first accused of having made unwanted sexual advances towards ten female staff members in November 1992, which he attributed to his drinking problems. Packwood revealed that he had kept several diaries, and insisted that these documents would prove his innocence. He further claimed that the women were the aggressors during these brief encounters. This chapter examines the Senate's investigation and the concerns surrounding Packwood's evidence. It determines that legal issues can be overcome by the political process and demonstrates the linguistic analysis of several diary entries. It also considers the general characteristics of diaries, the accuracy of both Packwood's diary entries and the written transcripts, and the conclusion of the ethics issue.

Keywords: Robert Packwood; U.S. Senator; sexual advances; diaries; legal issues; political process; linguistic analysis; accuracy; written transcripts; ethics issue

Chapter.  4315 words. 

Subjects: Sociolinguistics

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