Saturday, March 19, 2005

Huffington Gets It

Thank you Arianna, for your insightful analysis. Nobody else seems to get it.


"Even heroes of mine like Jon Stewart and my buddy Bill Maher have hopped on the Bush bandwagon. "I've been supportive of President Bush," Maher told Wolf Blitzer this week, "now that I think Iraq is turning around. . . . He had a bigger and better idea than the rest of us. (What color is the kool-aid, Bill?)

"How did this cozy unanimity come to pass? Is it something in the water, a byproduct of Bush gutting the EPA? But then I thought back to my time at Cambridge, taking a course in elementary logic, studying the Fallacy of the Undistributed Middle.

For those of you in need of a refresher on the concept, here's an example from the first chapter of my Logic 101 textbook: "All oaks are trees. All elms are trees. Therefore, all oaks are elms." See how easily you can go from point A to point Z, jumping over all the important steps in between?

So: We invaded Iraq. Change is afoot in the Middle East. Therefore, the Middle East is changing because we invaded Iraq. Q.E.D. G.W.B.

See how simple it is? And how illogical? The Bush White House has been masterful at this infantile reasoning: America is free and democratic. Terrorists attacked America. Therefore, terrorists hate freedom and democracy. And that's all anyone needs to know."

2 comments:

Trumbule said...

What does this have to do with Ariana Huffington ?

trumbull said...

An excellent survey of logical fallacies commonly used by politicians and in the press is the book, "Crimes Against Logic" by Jamie Whyte. Journalist Walter Lippman also outlined the 25 classic logical fallacies years ago (he credits Aristotle). His list is available on line. But tune into any news/talk program and they are illustrated brilliantly on a daily basis.