MoveOn Uses Straw Man Tactics

An AP reporter, Jennifer Loven, wrote an article discussing what she calls George Bush’s use of “Straw Men” in his speeches. The story basically says that George Bush makes statements like “there are some who say” or “There are people who disagree” and then he can use this assertion to attack the argument by saying he strongly disagrees with those [who say whatever]. Ms. Loven contends that these “Straw Men” the President presents do not exist or are not as exaggerated as he portrays them. Her idea is that he uses these expressions to form an argument which he can then attack and she says it is misleading. Interestingly, this is a tactic that many politicians use and everyone hears them do it. For the most part, when they say it, many people can recall some incident or news report that is similar to the assertion so I am unsure what the problem is. One example she cites is this quote by Bush:

“some look at the challenges in Iraq and conclude that the war is lost and not worth another dime or another day.”

Now I hear something like this and I think of Jack Murtha, Ted Kennedy, John Kerry, Cindy Sheehan, need I go on? They have all said in some way, shape or form that the war is lost, or we are losing and we need to bring our troops home immediately. I will not waste space or your time reprinting quotes that all of us have heard more than we want to. The point is, the idea the President set up a “Straw Man” is ridiculous since there are examples of people who espouse the opinions. He could have easily used those names but instead spoke in generalities.

Right wing blogs are upset and say this should have been identified as an opinion and that it was not a news item. I want to know what the difference is in the MSM. They all give their opinions instead of the news. They print their slant in any way they can to make the President look bad. So to me it is a moot point.

MoveOn.org, on the other hand, sent an email to a lot of media outlets urging support for Ms. Loven. Interesting as it might be, they did the very same thing that she accused the President of. Here is the MoveOn quote:

“some reporters take notes on what President Bush says and don’t bother to research what is and isn’t true. But the AP took a bold step this week and engaged in exactly the sort of strong watchdog journalism MoveOn Media Action members have been calling for.”

Here they use a “Straw Man” of some reporters and then talk about the AP’s strong move to attack their own argument. The people at MoveOn are so stupid they do not even realize that they used the same tactic for which Loven criticized the President. MoveOn’s praise contains the same “flaw” Loven reported yet no one in the Media reported that. As a matter of fact, the media never criticizes other politicians (especially Democrats) for doing this. They do not criticize organizations [like MoveOn] who do this. The hatred for the President has clouded what little objectivity they had.

From the ACLU:

  • Today, it’s common (or, unfortunately, perhaps not so common) knowledge that many in the anti-war community of the 1960’s, not to mention prominent civil rights leaders such as the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., had their lives disrupted, and on occasion shattered…Who are the many?
  • Many people express shock upon learning that I have been the subject of surveillance by Homeland Security. Who are those many people?

BTW, these are from stories containing items about people being spied on. The stories are filled with innuendo and there is no credible evidence other than “we heard we were a target.”

From Hillary Clinton:

  • Some people favor attacking Saddam Hussein now, with any allies we can muster, in the belief that one more round of weapons inspections would not produce the required disarmament, and that deposing Saddam would be a positive good for the Iraqi people (source)
  • The overriding lesson I take away is the need for international support. And that has become almost a mantra, and people say it, and no one’s quite sure what it means, but everyone keeps saying it. But to me, it is clear that just as we were reminded with the quote that I recited…(source)

These are from just two items I looked at with Senator Clinton. Here she uses the some people and people say. Will Ms. Loven now write a piece telling us that Hillary Clinton uses “Straw Men” to make her points? As I have said, all politicians do this and it might not even involve “Straw Men” if they have the people who have said it. I am not criticizing Clinton because I believe that what she said was perfectly OK (though I might not agree with the content). It is there to point out the obvious bias in Loven’s article and the fact that it was indeed a biased opinion designed to make people think George Bush was uniquely qualified in the rhetoric department and that he is constantly pulling the wool over our eyes.

You know, for a man the left likes to paint as an idiot, they sure give him a lot of credit. They usually tell us that he has outfoxed them and is too sly for them. If he is an idiot, they must be part of the vegetable class.

And yes, I know I used “They” as my own “Straw Man” but we have all heard it said…..

Source: Editor and Publisher



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