Tuesday, January 31, 2012

No, but thanks for asking

What a delightful illustration of the difference between question-begging and Stupid Questions! What would we do without The Fox Nation?

OK, the embedded question isn't actually question-begging; it's the interrogative form of question-begging called the "fallacy of multiple questions." You can't answer a question about what "Obama's class warfare rhetoric" did without acknowledging that there is such a thing as "Obama's class warfare rhetoric." That's an informal logical fallacy, as opposed to the Stupid Question, which is evidence of brain-dead cluelessness. Here, we can answer the Stupid Question by asking how many times the hated name of the Kenyan Muslim socialist usurper is mentioned in the story -- either the 390-word version at Fox Nation or the glorioous 1,300 words of AP prose at Fox proper.

The answer in both cases is, um, none. Not only is there no known "class warfare rhetoric," there's no Obama. Whatever the Trotskyite rascal is up to, he isn't up to it here.

One of the fun things about teaching a methods course is reminding the younguns that screwing up isn't necessarily an ethical failure. Lying, on the other hand, is. We all screw up sometimes, but lying is a matter of choice. Or, at certain news outlets, a matter of policy. Please don't hesitate to point out the differences.

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1 Comments:

Anonymous Brian Cubbison said...

That's brazen. You should be the ombudsman Fox will never have.

12:31 PM, February 05, 2012  

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