Fear & Hyperbole in Breitbart News


I want to highlight some aspects of journalistic writing found on Breitbart News which uses hyperbole to create a discourse of fear, in this particular instance, fear of refugees. In the title of the article, Italy is described as being overwhelmed and in a state of collapse due to the arrival of immigrants. The picture which accompanies the article is a stock image of young men, packed into a crowd, which in itself could be deemed by some to be threatening.


The journalist uses the phrase authentic immigrant invasion to describe the refugees arrival on the shores of the Italian coast. Obviously, invasion has many negative connotations. If you ask yourself, what things invade, the answer could be an army. An army invades and causes mass devastation to a country, as the following concordance lines show from COCA:

Capture Therefore, refugees are associated with military, an army that invades and destroys a country.

Further in the article, the refugees journey from North Africa to Southern Europe is described as an exodus. The movement of a large number of people.


Exodus: The Biblical book of Exodus describes the departure of the Israelites from Egypt, so it’s no surprise that the word has come to refer more generally to any mass departure. The word itself was adopted into English (via Latin) from Greek Exodos, which literally means “the road out.”


The article, as is commonly the case, offers little or no sympathy for the plight of the refugees. Of the many comments which the article garnered, I will shoe just one:


The poster offers no sympathy for the individuals involved in the crisis, but instead articulates a conspiracy theory related to a world government.