Poisoning the Well: Freedom of Speech without Consequences

The other night I listened to a clip from a Sarah Palin speech where she said we had to “hold the press accountable when they’re making things up and not telling the truth.”  In another speech, she says, “They talk down to us. Especially here in the heartland. Oh, man. They think that, if we were just smart enough, we’d be able to understand their policies.”

Before that, I listened to Dr. Laura tell the networks that she wants to “take back” her Second-Amendment Rights to free speech that have been “hijacked” by the likes of Media Matters. This, after she machine-gunned an African American caller into her show with the ‘N’ word.

One of the things I try to do on a regular basis is review logical fallacies and try to identify what it is that I sense is going on in even up-beat sorts of rhetoric. When I consider the tactics that these two women are employing, it occurs to me that some sort of poisoning the well, among other fallacies (such as ad hominem),  is occurring.

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