December 31, 2019

WaPo readers demand full-strength propaganda.

The WaPo columnist, Catherine Rampell offers "four suggested New Year’s resolutions for the media" is: "Remember that just because the president did (or proposed) it doesn’t mean it’s bad; inversely, just because one of the president’s perceived opponents did (or proposed) it doesn’t mean it’s good."

The comments over there trash her for that, and not because it's so mild. You might think it's safely and blandly obvious Journalism 101. But commenters are demanding an actively anti-Trump point of view. Here's the highest-rated comment:
Catherine, the most important resolution should be for the media to stop this "both-sides-ism". The republicons are clearly lying, cheating and doing everything possible to stay in power. The Democrats are truly trying to govern for the betterment of the people.
Another highly rated comment:
The first three [resolutions] were good, but then I got to #4, which is simply unnecessary, at least as stated. And "whataboutism," "false equivalence," and " bothsiderism" are still very common in both the Post and NY Times....
Notice that Rampell did not even say that journalists should strive for balance and give equal weigh to both sides. She just said journalists shouldn't assume that everything from Trump is bad and everything from his opponents is good. That is, she wasn't pushing "bothsiderism," only opposing onesiderism.

The commenters speak as if anything less that onesiderism is bothsiderism! They've given up on independence and objectivity and want full-strength propaganda.

96 comments:

Unknown said...

I think this is a little unfair. I just looked at the comments. Yes, there were the crazy opinions you identified, but many more laudatory comments about Rampell's list.

Mid-Life Lawyer said...

I blame the media more than the politicians for the partisan divide. If the media was remotely objective then the populace would do a good enough job selecting its leaders. Had those sick people making comments asking to be propagandized rather than informed been exposed to reasonably objective news, they would not be so sick. The media is the devil.

PB said...

Well, give it to them. Good and hard. They know what they want.

Annie C. said...

I have searched, in vain, for anyone that has an idea how this polarization will evolve over the coming years. Will it end, will it get worse, will it become the new normal?

Sometimes I feel like the Grinch on the mountain puzzling and puzzling.

How can we continue to live like this?

Tommy Duncan said...

"WaPo readers demand full-strength propaganda."

The WaPo rarely disappoints them.

rehajm said...

At least they aren’t pretending anymore.

Their new years resolution should be more seppuku.

Charlie Eklund said...

For decades now, the Democratic Party and most of the media have been telling the American people that Republicans are pure evil incarnate while Democrats are unalloyed goodness personified. Those tactics have apparently borne fruit. Who could’ve seen that coming?

rehajm said...

Be Effluent....

exhelodrvr1 said...

The important question is what percentage of Democrats agree with those commenters?

David Begley said...

How could an intelligent and semi-educated person write that first comment? The Dems are paragons of virtue and good governance?

WaPo is a proud party organ and the worst of it is that they claim to be “professional” and objective.

These people are in for a giant shock when Trump gets re-elected. Wailing and gnashing of teeth, Old Testament style.

AllenS said...

Biden tells Iowans: "We choose truth over facts"

Just kidding. We don't care about truth or facts. Ain't that right, Dems?

R C Belaire said...

Business as usual, no? Anybody/anything other than Trump.

rhhardin said...

If they don't take the left's side on everything, there's a danger that they might mistakenly think something good of the right. That's a high cost mistake.

Bubble-threatening.

tommyesq said...

She is saying that, in the future, the press should not be completely in the tank for the Dems, implying strongly that she believes that the press has been so in the past. WAPO readers, who have been exposed to the most one-sided part of the press, immediately criticize the Post and the Times for not being nearly one-sided enough. Self-imposed bubble - please don't ever tell us anything that we don't want to know...

Owen said...

Old media model has been completely devoured by new media. One angry Tweet beats a dozen Pulitzers. Why? My theory is, time. It takes time to observe, weigh, test, draft and revise: turn the immediate welter of impression and half-seen emergent events and hearsay, into something like a good first approximation of what “really happened.” Traditional journalism tried to do that, and often had the resources to succeed. You bought the paper for the reporting, but also for the editing that shaped and corrected the reporting.

Now? Who can afford to wait? It’s just one “hot take” after another. Which leads to these tsunamis of emotion, comments that favor extreme anger or enthusiasm over balanced and nuanced expression. The process of reflection and self-criticism, self-editing and interior debate to test and develop an idea —rather than announce a feeling— that has been killed off.

Wilbur said...

"The Democrats are truly trying to govern for the betterment of the people."

You cannot discuss with or exchange views of anyone who seriously believes this.

When will this virulent partisanship end? I'm pessimistic on the chances of avoiding violence. Very pessimistic. Antifa tactics will become SOP for the left if President Trump is reelected.

Wilbur said...

"The Democrats are truly trying to govern for the betterment of the people."

You cannot discuss with or exchange views of anyone who seriously believes this.

When will this virulent partisanship end? I'm pessimistic on the chances of avoiding violence. Very pessimistic. Antifa tactics will become SOP for the left if President Trump is reelected.

Leland said...

They built the audience they deserve.

Jersey Fled said...

David Mamet famously said: In order to continue advancing their illogical arguments modern liberals have to pretend not to know things...

They prefer media that keeps that situation intact.

stevew said...

Clearly onesiderism, ginning up controversy, and sowing dissent through propaganda sells papers and clicks. So it shall continue in spite of Rampell's suggestions.

I challenge the notion that WE are a polarized nation. The folks I encounter on a daily basis, other than the politics junkies at this and other internet sites, are too busy managing their lives, working, and enjoying the best economy in decades to be politically polarized and upset.

Calm down, everything will be okay.

Michael The Magnificent said...

Back in the 80s or so, there was a commercial for some sort of ice cream desert. The scene is a restaurant, with two female patrons and a male waiter. He tells them about the desert, that it is fat free, sugar free, and calorie free. The ladies love the desert. When the waiter asks if there is anything else he can do for them, one responds, "Please lie to us again."

In other words, the women don't believe the desert can possibly be free of fat, sugar, nor calories, that the waiter must have lied, and that this lie permitted them to enjoy what they wanted to enjoy guilt free.

Leftists want to believe what it is that they believe, they want to do it guilt free, and they are willing to be told lies in order to stay guilt free.

rehajm said...

The constructive scenario here is Rampell admitting they were cranking out propaganda and has realized they need to change because it isn't working.

wendybar said...

Ignorance is bliss. They have no idea that they are the party that is hating and dividing people because of their so called "DIVERSITY" tag BS.

Ann Althouse said...

"I think this is a little unfair. I just looked at the comments. "

I put the comments order of up-votes (rather than newest or oldest). That's a better test of what readers think. I read the top few comments, not all of the comments. The top was nothing but what I'm saying. That's why it feels fair to me.

John henry said...

I love the smell of fascist fear in the morning.

Some of those comments could have been written by Benito Mussolini himself.

To bad, so sad. The people have 8 more years of this.

Then, Ivanka? Maybe Don Jr?

John Henry

Francisco D said...

I blame the media more than the politicians for the partisan divide.

I beg to differ, slightly. The media is the propaganda arm of the Democrat Party. They protect the party at all costs in order to keep the citizens from figuring out the scam.

The money is with the politicians. Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi didn't get rich by accident. Neither did Hunter Biden.

Qwinn said...

One side (Democrats) wants completely one sided propaganda.
The other side (Republicans) wants objective reporting.

"Independents" demand they compromise.

Phil 314 said...

From Jeremiah:
“The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?”

You may not understand it but you can certainly find this heart of darkness in any comment section.

Clyde said...

In Oceania, you couldn’t say anything good about Emmanuel Goldstein, either.

gilbar said...

do you Boomers remember the movie wild in the streets?

Where Max Frost and his band spiked the Washington DC water supply with LSD?
So that they could get Washington's support, for their insane agenda ???
It certainly looks like that has happened

MikeR said...

"I read the top few comments, not all of the comments. The top was nothing but what I'm saying." Agree. Whoa.

LordSomber said...

Democracy dies in dumbness.

FIDO said...

The last time the press gave reasonably objective reporting on the political stances of Republicans, we got the Republican Revolution in '94.

The last time they were even slightly objective in investigating a Democrat, Hillary lost the election.

They will not make those mistakes again.

Tank said...

Annie C. said...

I have searched, in vain, for anyone that has an idea how this polarization will evolve over the coming years.


Tank has an idea; it will involve tanks and a lot of shooting and death.

I'm hoping to either be wrong or to be dead by then.

Richard Fagin said...

Publishers publish what their readers want to read. Publishing is a business, after all. It seems that the Times'and the Post's condescension and snobbery toward those outside the target audience are what those outside the target audience find so exasperating. Then again, those things reflect the feelings of the Times' and Post's readers by and large. So no blame here for the media. Their target audience, however, are unrepentant commies and fellow travelers.

Curious George said...

"They've given up on independence and objectivity and want full-strength propaganda."

Althouse, this has been true since Obama.

Qwinn said...

FIDO: Objection. I see no evidence at all that Hillary lost because anyone was "even slightly objective in investigating a Democrat". She lost despite the fact that no one was even slightly objective in investigating her. If anyone had been slightly objective, she'd be in jail.

Kevin said...

They've given up on independence and objectivity and want full-strength propaganda.

Once you become a full-on propaganda source, your newly-aligned readership is not going to settle for less.

The WAPO giveth, and now the WAPO cannot taketh away.

Fernandistein said...

"Always do opposite of what Bart says".

"Don't use reverse psychology."

"All right, I will!"

Kevin said...

The top was nothing but what I'm saying.

These are the comments with the most votes.

The Democrats want to be represented by the majority's choice, not the Electoral College's many differing opinions.

RAS743 said...

Are you surprised? I can’t believe you are. I don’t know how long you’ve been reading Post commenters’ responses to anything relating to politics, but anyone who’s been reading them for years as I have should know this is nothing new. It’s merely more pronounced. These are the true believers in the progressive project working for government or liberal NGOs who can recite liberal dogma without a moment’s doubt. Once they sounded like Church Lady, smug in the knowledge of their own moral superiority. Now they sound like Trotsky, pretty much willing to go to extremes to advance their cause. I would like not to think theirs is the prevalent school of thought — such as it is — in our capital, but comparing their comments with those of Congressional Democrats, I see no difference. DC most assuredly is a swamp, and Post commenters are a very much creatures of it.

Rory said...

"How can we continue to live like this?"

We screwed up. We have to accept that. We have to cut loose the coastal cancers into their own crazy little countries. Then we can amend the Constitution to restrict the national government and support federalism and individual rights. But we mostly have to accept that we screwed up.

SteveB said...

Democracy dies in the darkness that YOU asked for.

Browndog said...

I no longer put all the blame on the media-propaganda outlets.

I have come to believe nearly half of the country is just plain stupid. Most of those are "educated".

I remember a poll that suggested a majority of democrats got their "news" from the Daily Show. It was on Comedy Central, for Christ sake.

Have smart phones turned of analytical brain function? Maybe.

Even if the media suddenly started reporting objectively, many Americans would reject it as fake news. Heresy.

FIDO said...

Qwinn

They mentioned her crimes at all, even in as exculpating terms as they could.

Now, they will never mention a crime done by a Dem ever again.

JML said...

I was thinking that TDS made some people addlebrained, but then I recall a coworker who, the day after the election told me he feared Trump would get into a twitter war with Iceland and end up nuking them. I guess the question is, Was he addlebrained all along, or did it only start when Trump won the Republican nomination?

Angle-Dyne, Servant of Ugliness said...

"The commenters speak as if anything less that onesiderism is bothsiderism! They've given up on independence and objectivity and want full-strength propaganda."

They've "given up"? That implies they once sought those qualities.

These are WaPo commenters we're talking about, who make NYT commenters look like paragons of erudition and disinterest. They've held a fair claim to be the stupidest commenters on the internet since the dawn of the combox.

Amadeus 48 said...

What is this thing you refer to, Washington Post? Is that like the J.P. Sousa march? I always liked that. Is Washington Post related to Emily Post?

I love their breakfast cereal.

Amadeus 48 said...

Particularly Post Toasties.

CR said...

Propaganda is “the spreading of ideas, information, or rumor for the purpose of helping or injuring an institution, a cause, or a person; ideas, facts, or allegations spread deliberately to further one's cause or to damage an opposing cause.” (Merriam-Webster)

By this definition, all news is propaganda already. I suspect it has been all along. Our modern news organizations began in the 19th century as organs of political parties. They have always had agendas of supporting their own cause and damaging the opponent's cause.

This doesn't mean the news has no facts or information. It does. But the facts are selectively reported and heavily interpreted. With the chief purpose always to advance a political party or cause.

mockturtle said...

Objectivity has left the building. We are firmly adhered to our own sides and none of us is willing to hear anything opposing it. It is indeed a cold [so far] Civil War and can only end in either apartheid or bloodshed. Or both.

Swede said...

If they're not already, these people are going to be clinically depressed after the 2020 election.

I'm ok with that.

Amadeus 48 said...

And Marjorie Merriweather Post was a real piece of work. She built Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach. I wonder whatever happened to it?

She was married to E. F. Hutton and was Dina Merrill's mother. Her third husband was Joe Davis, the US ambassador to the Soviet Union. RUSSIANS! PUTIN!! EEEK!!!

Ralph L said...

Her third husband was Joe Davi[e]s, the US ambassador to the Soviet Union.

She gave them bowls of money, and all she got was Faberge.

MayBee said...

An NYU journalism professor with the initials JR was famously pushing this idea during the Bush administration now (I won't say his name because I think he has a google alert set up for his name and years ago when I mentioned it, he found his way to the comments here and spewed nonsense about me not wanting truth or something).
The very term "false equivalence" makes me queasy- it's a leftist trope. This idea that the press needs to stop "advocating" for Republicans by not constantly demonnising them has become a leftist trope.
Remember "Don't normalize Trump"? I remember Brian Stelter on his show talking about how reporters can cover Trump neutrally WHILE AT THE SAME TIME getting out the message that Trump is abnormally bad. I think they doubled down on the Trump is abnormally bad thing.

They did this to Bush, too. But back then it was only he who was racist and destroying the country. People who supported him were just dumb. Since that didn't work and we got another Republican president, Trump had to become evil, and anyone who supports him is evil, and anyone who doesn't constantly call him evil is dipping a toe in evil, too.

What egos! Having to be agreed with all the time is the biggest ego trip in the world, lefties!!

Qwinn said...

I honestly don't think the leaderd among the Left ever actually wanted objectivity in reporting. They have always wanted the most left-biased product they could get away with while maintaining a false veneer of objectivity. Remember, these are the people who called the Rathergate biopic "Truth". Unironically.

Phil said...

"Tank has an idea; it will involve tanks and a lot of shooting and death."

I'm afraid of this too. But I don't think it will be tanks in the streets except in the most extreme places. It's not going to be Texas v California. It will be worse; neighbors fighting neighbors in Texas and California and everywhere else.

John henry said...

Inspired by Amadeus, I am going to call all news from WaPo "postum".

Postum was a fake coffee made from cereal grains.

Postum as I will use it is fake news from the Washington post.

As in, "this story and especially the comments seems like typical postum"

John Henry

Phil said...

"I was thinking that TDS made some people addlebrained, but then I recall a coworker who, the day after the election told me he feared Trump would get into a twitter war with Iceland and end up nuking them. I guess the question is, Was he addlebrained all along, or did it only start when Trump won the Republican nomination?"

I think they were addlebrained all along, but they were better at hiding it. Trump's secret power is to get people to reveal their darkest self-truths. Kristof didn't become a toadsucker because of Trump; he just revealed himself as such.

narciso said...

I think I've referenced 'wild in the streets' at least. maybe they are broadcasting from a parallel earth, where Michael moore was rounded up in the great plains, and jim Acosta was put on a pike,

Char Char Binks said...

Don Lemon openly refuses to give certain sides any consideration at all.

Josephbleau said...

It seems to me that WPo readers feel like they are part of the staff, they debate the best tactics and want a good presentation. I don’t know who they think the audience is though.

Greg the class traitor said...

The commenters speak as if anything less that onesiderism is bothsiderism! They've given up on independence and objectivity and want full-strength propaganda.


You just now figured that out?

Yes, teh Left is fundamentally dishonest. "The Truth" is whatever advances their political power, nothing more

rcocean said...

Once you give your readers 90% DNC propaganda, who can be surprised they want 100%? If the Washington Post or NYT was honest, they'd call themselves "the Washington Democrat", and "the New York Democrat", like they newspapers used to do.

But again you see the difference between Liberals and Conservatives. The Liberals are always upset when anyone breaks ranks or refuses to not be even more partisan. Meanwhile the Cons, are full of concern and get frightened when anyone suggests they move one MM to the Right.

Oso Negro said...

Blogger mockturtle said...
Objectivity has left the building. We are firmly adhered to our own sides and none of us is willing to hear anything opposing it. It is indeed a cold [so far] Civil War and can only end in either apartheid or bloodshed. Or both.


Dear Mockturtle, regarding unwillingness to hear the other side, I do not think this is equally true on both sides. It is IMPOSSIBLE not to have heard the side of the progressives, they have been shoving this shit down my throat since the 4th grade and "Franklin Roosevelt saved America with the New Deal". It is in every airport in the country on CNN. And why do I need to HEAR any more about the wonders of socialism. I often live in Ukraine and I can SEE the results for myself. I am here in Laos right now, and trust me, I was struggling with tucking into the charcoal grilled lizard for breakfast. I think quite to the contrary, the progressive side exhibits more of the qualities of religious fervor, including tuning out opposing viewpoints. 90% of Althouse readers can list half a dozen university research topics in which the results are pre-determine by politics, and they are not conservative political positions.

Chuck said...

Blog proprietress Ann Althouse, speaking unironically about commenters at the Washington Post's website:

The commenters speak as if anything less tha[n] onesiderism is bothsiderism! They've given up on independence and objectivity and want full-strength propaganda.


C'mon, Althouse! That is precisely what your Trumpist commenters want and expect in TrumpWorld.

Matt said...

Those comments reflect something I've been thinking about for a very long time - the increasing lack of any humility among a lot of people, who I think are mostly on the left but not exclusively. The absolute and uncompromising belief that they are 110% correct about everything - CLIMATE CHANGE BELIEVE SCIENCE TRANSWOMEN ARE WOMEN DONALD TRUMP PAYS MOSCOW WHORES TO PEE IN THE BED KAVANAUGH RAPES WOMEN BUT NOT BILL CLINTON #METOO MORBID OBESITY IS BEAUTIFUL REEEEEEEE - that there is nothing that they are wrong about, that the idea they could be misinformed about something is completely outside the realm of possibility.

The inability to feel any humility, to even consider you may be mistaken, eliminates amy incentive to find common ground or have good-faith discussions. If you know everything already, well, then, the other person is just plain wrong and there is no need to contemplate their POV.

Bring back humbleness. And shame, too, just good measure.

mockturtle said...

Oso, yesterday morning on Fox Business News' Maria Bartiromo's morning show [she is away on vacation], the panel included some black guy who yammered that through 'talking to African-Americans' he was assured that they are more upset about Trump's rhetoric than they are pleased with his successful economic policies. Obviously, he was a complete idiot who didn't know very many black Americans and who just hates Trump. I turned it off. Fox has plenty of pro-Trump blacks on their shows but felt compelled to bring in an 'opposing view'. I admit I don't want to hear it. I can no longer abide this anti-Trump claptrap and would probably defend him even is he shot someone on 5th Avenue. I'd figure he had a damned good reason.

LYNNDH said...

The Dems hate us and want us dead. They are sick, sick, sick.

Michael said...

There is no God but Progress(iveism), and the New York Times is its prophet.

Rusty said...

Have I mentioned this before? The Washington Post is the greatest high school newspaper in the country. All the cool kids read it. The jocks and the cheerleaders. All read it to catch their names in print.

Daniel Jackson said...

I have said this before and elsewhere: The leaders of the MSM have evolved into Partisan Political Publications. This should be acknowledged by all, accepted by all, and treated as such--arms of the Democratic Party.

As a result, all of the writers for such PPP can now be identified properly as Political Party Hacks.

And, properly dismissed as such: Political Hacks. For example, "Writing in the PPP, so and so, another Political Hack, said such and such. N'importe quoi."

Bob Boyd said...

C'mon, Althouse! That is precisely what your Trumpist commenters want and expect in TrumpWorld.

If that was true we wouldn't be here.

Mark said...

D.C., Arlington, Fairfax, Alexandria, Montgomery County and P.G. County are all one-party autocracies. No dissent allowed. No opposing views allowed. All with differing ideas must be suppressed.

Mark said...

The Washington Post comment section is usually completely unreadable.

hstad said...


Blogger Annie C. said..."...I have searched, in vain, for anyone that has an idea how this polarization will evolve over the coming years. Will it end, will it get worse, will it become the new normal?..." 12/31/19, 6:02 AM

Annie, I feel sorry that you have taken propoganda pushed by a Media organ, business, which is being attacked by the clients they have built to represent their view?

However, you're are being stumped by such political rhetoric is surprising. Please research attacks on Lincoln, Jackson, Hayes, etc. They make attacks on President Trump seem like 'Kindergarden" results.

hstad said...


Blogger Annie C. said..."...I have searched, in vain, for anyone that has an idea how this polarization will evolve over the coming years. Will it end, will it get worse, will it become the new normal?..." 12/31/19, 6:02 AM

Annie, I feel sorry that you have taken propoganda pushed by a Media organ, business, which is being attacked by the clients they have built to represent their view?

However, you're are being stumped by such political rhetoric is surprising. Please research attacks on Lincoln, Jackson, Hayes, etc. They make attacks on President Trump seem like 'Kindergarden" results.

Bay Area Guy said...

Althouse commentariat 27, WaPo commentating whiny little bitches 4.

Kevin said...

Democracy dies in the darkness that YOU asked for.

It was a call to action, not a warning.

MadTownGuy said...

"The commenters speak as if anything less that onesiderism is bothsiderism! They've given up on independence and objectivity and want full-strength propaganda."

Isn't that what the WaPo is already providing?

MadTownGuy said...

Browndog said...

"I no longer put all the blame on the media-propaganda outlets.

I have come to believe nearly half of the country is just plain stupid. Most of those are "indoctrinated
".

FIFY.

Sam L. said...

So it's NOT just the WaPoo writers, but also the WaPoo readers. Why am I not surprised.
It's the WaPoo Borg.

Rosalyn C. said...

Sounds to me that a few brave and wise voices on the left recognize Trump will probably win again and they would like to have some semblance of sanity going forward. That's a good sign. Too bad there is so much resistance.

Rory said...

"Yes, [the] Left is fundamentally dishonest. "The Truth" is whatever advances their political power, nothing more"

In our part of the world, there is no ethic except for a religious one. Other ethics are possible, but they're not widely used. If ethics are rejected or unused, all that's left is doing what you want and then rationalizing.

Jim at said...

Althouse commentariat 27, WaPo commentating whiny little bitches 4.

Actually, I think it's more along the lines of 304-227 ... with possibly a larger margin to be determined.

ALP said...

Ann: isn't this 'whataboutism' the same thing as using precedent in a legal argument? As in "what about Smith vs. Smith" to make your point?

If we can't say 'what about....' in a conflict referring to similar past conflicts, doesn't that destroy the entire legal foundation of our system?

gerry said...

They've given up on independence and objectivity and want full-strength propaganda.

They gave up independence and objectivity decades ago. They are progressive liberals.

bagoh20 said...

I don't know what you do about this divide. Even the most basic facts are completely partisan. I can't see what a lot on the left see, and they clearly don't even want to see what I see. There are some who cross over by opening their eyes, but not enough to make a difference. We have the most deluded population in our history. It's been worse other places in the past, but we should know better from those disasters. It's getting scary, and if not for the likeliness that Trump will get 8 years, it would be terrifying. If someone like Sanders, or Warren got elected, I can't even imagine how bad a crash it would be. Like a lot of others, I'd sell everything and dig a cave. It just couldn't turn out well. I'd really feel bad those without the resources to hunker down and protect themselves. Everyone except the rich will be devastated.

bagoh20 said...

Whataboutism is a fundamental requirement of logic and fairness. Sometimes it's not brought up honestly or fairly, but to discount it when it is, is just like hiding exculpatory evidence.

Qwinn said...

Leftists complaining about "whataboutism" are simply complaining about having their own massive hypocrisies pointed out. They of course scream about hypocrisy anywhere they can find it on the Right (and make it up out of whole cloth wherever they can't, too) and never, ever accept their "gotchas" being so simply dismissed as "whataboutism". So why should we? Complaining about "whataboutism" should frankly just be interpreted as an admission that the hypocrisy charge struck home, otherwise they'd actually argue as to why it was different when they did it.

MadTownGuy said...

The use of the word 'whataboutism' seems to cropped up lately in political posts on a certain social medium. It's almost as though there were a talking points memo.

Isn't tu quoque only a fallacy if the issue cited is unrelated to the original issue? Seems to me that if it's used properly it is a case of holding your opponent to his own rules. Case in point: hue and cry about Cambridge Analytica vs. the Obama 2012 campaign's use of Facebook data.

rcocean said...

Illogical "whataboutism"

-NeverTrumper: I can't vote for Trump, he'll bypass Congress and issue Executive Orders.
-Sane Person: But Obama issued executive orders, and Hillary says she will too.
-Nevertrumper: Don't bother me with whataboutism!

The problem is that if both candidates or parties do the same bad thing, then criticizing ONE party or ONE candidate for doing it, makes no sense. We got this in WW2, where the liberals would say we had to stop Hitler because he was a dictator, but had no problem with Stalin.

rcocean said...

Whataboutism started in 2016, when the Never trumpers were trying to justify their support for the Democrats over Trump.

John henry said...

We got this in WW2, where the liberals would say we had to stop Hitler because he was a dictator, but had no problem with Stalin.

Or Fdr.

The only way we got him out of office was tits up.

He would have gone for a 5th or 6th term had he lived.

We'd always had a gentlemen's agreement about serving only 2 terms.

Fdr was no gentleman. He tried his dammedest in the thirties to bring Mussolini's Fascism to the USA. Made a pretty good start of it. We still suffer too this day.

Just say no to postum.

John Henry

Gunner said...

WaPo commenters are good Pravda lickspittles. They demand only the finest one-sided propaganda. None of this 1.05 sided stuff!

Skeptical Voter said...

They've been fed crapola so long that they've become addicted to it.