Posts tagged: spin

Pot Misrepresented By Kettle

By , February 1, 2011 5:57 pm

In my last post, I noted that I hadn’t read much by or about Al Gore lately; he’d apparently taken a breather from his climate-change crusades, I assumed, because of that little matter in The National Enquirer or maybe he was busy decorating his new home in California. But then I read some of his blog and discovered that he’s been a relatively regular poster. I also learned that the guy spins faster than a top. To wit:

In a December 15, 2010 post titled Fox News Manipulates Climate Coverage, he writes,

Fox News has consistently delivered false and misleading information to its viewers about the climate crisis.

His evidence?

Today, Media Matters posted an alarming email sent by Bill Sammon, the Washington, DC, managing editor at Fox News. Sammon sent the email to Fox News producers on December 8, 2009 – just as the Climate Conference in Copenhagen was beginning:

“Subject:Given the controversy over the veracity of climate change data”
“we should refrain from asserting that the planet has warmed (or cooled) in any given period without IMMEDIATELY pointing out that such theories are based upon data that critics have called into question. It is not our place as journalists to assert such notions as facts, especially as this debate intensifies.”

And why is this misleading? Apparently because Al says so:

But there’s no legitimate debate: the planet is warming. Moreover, man-made global warming pollution is the principal cause.

No legitimate debate. Bias. Deniers. In my business–I write and teach writing, among other things–such words, used the way Gore and his acolytes use them, fall under the umbrella of logical fallacies. In other words, their purpose is to mislead your audience by mislabeling, misrepresenting, and denigrating your opponents without actually responding to their arguments. In short, they come in handy when you’re spinning.

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