Thursday, July 08, 2010

Logical fallacy from MSNBC

In this clip from Media Matters MSNBC host Ed Schultz responds to Bill O'Reilly's charge that MSNBC lies with clips of Fox personalities lying. Schultz is committing the logical fallacy known as the ad hominem tu quoque. None of the clips falsify O'Reilly's statement. All they show is that Fox is dishonest, but how can that possibly prove MSNBC isn't? Let's use a religious analogy. If a Christian says Islam is false, would it be much of a defense of Islam for a Muslim to point out the same thing about Christianity?

My own intuition, not liking either network much, is to believe they're about equally dishonest. I am not certain about this—if a reputable study shows otherwise I'll retract this immediately.

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