Rachel Maddow Responds to Bill O’Reilly CriticismAuthor: Jon Martin | Friday, July 23rd, 2010 |
Bill O’Reilly criticized MSNBC and Rachel Maddow yesterday because of a report Maddow did that revealed Fox News’ willful ignorance of facts in their reporting. Instead of an honest critique of MSNBC or Maddow, O’Reilly just compared their television ratings.
Bill O’Reilly is using a false argument to defend Fox. False arguments are often used when there is no real defense for the subject’s actions. What can Bill really say? I think it was a mistake to even air this footage, it will make his viewers look into what happened with ACCORN. Then maybe they will find out what a douche Andrew Breitbart is. I don’t get people like him, what’s the point? Maybe he likes to be disliked.. maybe he wants to go down in history as a “nothing”. People like Andrew Breitbart are masters of false arguments and they use those false arguments to sway public and media opinion.
What is a false argument though? You can find out here. For this case, O’Reilly used both an “Ad-Hominem” argument and the “Appeal to Popular Belief” argument.
Ad Hominem (Argument To The Man):
Attacking the person instead of attacking his/her argument.
Appeal To Widespread Belief :
The claim, as evidence for an idea, that many people believe it, or used to believe it, or do it.If the discussion is about social conventions, such as “good manners”, then this is a reasonable line of argument.
However, in the 1800’s there was a widespread belief that bloodletting cured sickness. All of these people were not just wrong, but horribly wrong, because in fact it made people sicker. Clearly, the popularity of an idea is no guarantee that it’s right. Similarly, a common justification for bribery is that “Everybody does it”. And in the past, this was a justification for slavery.
Bill claims that because fox is popular.. then… ? I guess I don’t really understand what Bill is saying. He doesn’t really address the matter at hand. Check through that list of fallacious arguments, it can be really useful in dismantling your opponents thought process.
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