Monday, September 24, 2007

Reality, check. Logic, umm... 

I have thought of running the series "Spot the Non Sequitur", but the double entendre would be too cruel. And besides, I think this one is an example of a red herring rather than a non sequitur. My readers can decide.

Pat Kessler runs a series of "Reality Checks" for WCCO television in the Twin Cities. The media seems to love this sort of thing -- look at the wonders it did for Eric Black's career. So occasionally I read these looking for, well, reality. Instead I find this.
"They attacked us and they will again. They won't stop in Iraq," the ad says.

This is a DISTORTION of the facts.

There is no link between the 9/11 in American [sic] and Saddam Hussein in Iraq.
The statement quoted in the ad by Freedom Watch is not a fact; it's a prediction that "they" -- who are terrorists and extremists, not identified as Iraqis, at least not in that ad -- will attack "us", and that this is more likely if we pull out of Iraq. That's not a distortion of fact; it's a hypothesis with which you may reasonably agree or disagree.

But even if you disagree with that hypothesis, support of your proof is not begun and ended with a statement that there's no link between the 9/11 attack and Saddam Hussein. The proposal to stay or go in Iraq has nothing to do with Saddam at this point given that he has achieved room temperature. It has to do with whether who we are fighting includes those who would attack here if we chose not to fight. Again, that's a debatable point; there are no settled facts, and Kessler's conflation of Saddam with that debatable point is an example of using the editorial voice of "Reality Checker" to assert one side of a debate as a settled fact.

Perhaps WCCO could run a segment called "Logic Check". And start with its own reporting.

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