To invest in the invisible: A case study of Manti Te’o’s image repair strategies during the Katie Couric interview.

Evan L Frederick, Lauren M Burch, James Sanderson, Marion E Hambrick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

tThe purpose of this study was to examine Manti Te’o’s image repair strategies during aninterview with Katie Couric. This interview followed reports that Te’o had been involvedin an elaborate hoax featuring a fake girlfriend. The interview was a worthy avenue ofinvestigation as it was Te’o’s first opportunity to publicly defend himself on camera fol-lowing a week of ridicule and speculation by media outlets and the public. A deductivethematic analysis was conducted on Te’o’s responses utilizing Benoit’s image repair typo-logy and other recently identified image repair strategies as a guide. Results revealed thatTe’o did not deviate from previously established strategies by employing defeasibility, vic-timization, good intentions, stonewalling, retrospective regret, bolstering, shifting blame,and simple denial. Collectively, the employment of these tactics illustrated a timid, naïve,and remorseful approach to image repair. While some of Te’o’s choices were appropriate,the heavy use of
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)780-788
JournalPublic Relations Review
StatePublished - 2014

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