Nothingburgers and Schoolyard Bullies

Two things

There was always interference in American elections by many overseas nations. China, Russia, North Korea and various other enemies of the U.S. have their spies, agents, moles, and organizations, gathering information and helping whomever they want regarding politics. This has been going on since the Cold War and before, so, for many decades. That is a given.

The Russian conspiracy, cooked up by the Democrats and Fake News, is an entirely different kettle of fish. It’s a big nothingburger, as CNN’s Van Jones and John Bonifield explained. The idea was to create the notion in voters that somehow Trump and his team were colluding with Russia and Putin to defeat Hillary and give Trump the White House. It was a nothingburger; a conspiracy; a myth.

Two different things:

Lefties should practice this over and over; One, two. One, two.

Trump talks about both one and two. He talks about real Russian and Chinese interfering, and he talks about the nothingburger. When he talks about the real Russian or Chinese meddling, he says things like, “Well, of course Russia tried to interfere, just like China tries to interfere, and many others…”  When he talks about the nothingburger, he says things like, “That’s a load of nonsense. It’s just a myth. All Fake News.”

One, two. One, two. Two different things and Trump talks about both.

PolitiFake and Fake News like to pretend there is no nothingburger. They mischievously make believe that when Trump talks about one and two, he’s really only talking about one. Using this rascally schoolyard trick, Angie Drobnic, editor of Politifacts.com (PolitiFake I call them), toenailed their “2017 Lie of the Year”, to Trump, December 12th, 2017.

Drobnic cited an example of Trump talking about real Russian interference and then quoted him saying that the nothingburger is Fake News, and concluded that this was a contradiction. “First he says it exists, then he says it doesn’t exist,” that sort of thing. Bullies did this in primary school, remember?

Scene: As kids arrive at school in the morning, a bully, Sally, approaches her victim, Mary.

Sally:  What’s that you’re carrying in the brown paper bag?
Mary:  My lunch, why?
Sally:  For eating?
Mary:  Of course…
Sally:  So why don’t you eat it? [pushes bag towards Mary’s face]
Mary:  Hey! Stop that!
Sally:  I thought you said it’s for eating!
Mary:  I did, but…
Sally:  Then eat it! [grabs lunch bag]
Mary:  No! I don’t want to!
Sally:  Fine, then I’ll take it. [snatches lunch away]
Mary:  Give it back!
Sally:  You said you don’t want to eat it, so I’m doing you a favor. [eats lunch]

The bully uses a False Dichotomy logical fallacy, by oversimplifying the range of options. She tells Mary, “If you don’t want to eat lunch in the morning, you don’t want to eat it at lunchtime,” whereas Mary actually did want to eat it at lunchtime. According to Angie Drobnic, if you agree that Russians and other nations interfere in U.S. politics, then you must also accept that Trump and his team were colluding with Russia. It’s a common logical fallacy, also known as the Black & White fallacy, Either-Or fallacy, or Bifurcation fallacy, and every schoolyard bully uses it.

Another PolitiFake reporter, Jon Greenberg, used the same approach to bash Trump with a “Pants-on-Fire” accusation. Greenberg pretends that when Trump is talking about Russian meddling and the nothingburger (two separate subjects), he is only really talking about one, and concludes that this is a contraction, making Trump a pants-on-fire liar. He even provides a link to Angie Drobnic’s article.

Who are these two kangaroo court logical fallacy junkies?

Angie Drobnic, Jon Greenberg, PolitiFake, False Dichotomy, logical fallacy

Jon Greenberg worked for National Public Radio and now PolitiFake, and Drobnic is his editor. Some critics online say she is a biased partisan hack. See examples here, here, here, and an article about how much she used to drink and sleep under a desk, here. Born in Venezuela to Yugoslavian parents, Drobnic appears to want to bring the same communism her parents escaped from, to the U.S.

 

 

Rob Larrikin

Author: Rob Larrikin