Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Does Congress Matter? John Murtha's airport is dumb.

In Glenn Beck's article “Does Congress Matter?,” he commits some logical fallacies. The first one is oversimplification which is seen throughout the entire report. Beck “reduces complex issues to a simple argument” (Writing and Rhetoric 79). Questioning whether congress matters or not is a broad and complex issue that Beck oversimplifies down to a plea for 56 “re-founders” (par. 5). He basically skips over a discussion of the actual question posed and rambles on about John Murtha's airport (par. 6-10). Glenn Beck's quick banter gets readers and listeners riled up about things that are beyond the question at hand. This is direct result of Beck's oversimplification. Another fallacy committed in the article is that of guilt by association. As Meggie discusses in her analysis, “Beck assumes that all of congress and politics are corrupt. He doesn't give the reader or listener a chance to even think that maybe Congress isn't all completely corrupt” (Meggie Savage). This leads to hasty, sweeping generalities being made. Beck's generalization of the character of all Congress members doesn't allow any wiggle room for those in Congress who may be different. He says he wants “56 brave men and women...to stand up to the corruption and the special interests in [their] own party, [to] stand up to what Washington, D.C. has become” (par. 5). Here he infers that all of Washington needs reform and also that people aren't already standing up to the “corruption and special interests” of their respective parties (par. 5).
Yes, Glenn Beck is quit-witted and smart and maybe has some good ideas, but audiences always need to be aware of the tactics, such as logical fallacies, used to persuade them. The logical fallacies he commits are important to understand so readers don't get swept up along with his generalizations or caught up in his oversimplifications and ramblings about airports.

1 comment:

  1. Let's talk about the first sentence in terms of construction.

    EXCELLENT use of Meggie's comment. This is one of the best examples of seen of effectively integrating some of your peers' work.

    Good work.