Monday, May 09, 2005

Confusion of Ideas 101, class 2: Stealing the high ground.

Confusion of Ideas 101, class 2: Stealing the high ground.

This is the tactic of accusing the other guy first and loudest, so that whomever is in the wrong, your side looks more victimized. This is the dismissive tactic of labeling your detractors something like, “the liberal press”, so that no matter how plausible the argument, the motives have been preemptively tarnished. Once this mighty sound bite has been loosed, those that have been conditioned to believe without question will dismiss the argument. Even though this kind of name calling is no rebuttal to any valid accusation, it stops people from listening. If used incessantly, it can even shut off the medium of communication before anyone notices that this has happened.

Homework:

Republican Chairman Exerts Pressure on PBS, Alleging Biases

http://www.democraticunderground.com/articles/05/05/06_media.html

Special thanks to Yaoi Huntress Earth for bringing these articles to my attention.