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The Media and Fallacies One rich source of fallacies is the media: television, radio,...

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cjones0333 | Student, Undergraduate | (Level 3) eNoter

Posted September 19, 2012 at 4:32 PM via web

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The Media and Fallacies One rich source of fallacies is the media: television, radio, magazines, and the Internet (including, of course, commercials.) Identify two distinct fallacies you see committed in the media. Do you think it is more likely that you will not be fooled by these fallacies having studied logic? What do you think those presenting these arguments assume about the logical skills of their viewers? Is this a good or bad assumption for them to make? Your initial post should be at least 150 words in length. Respond to at least two of your classmates’ posts by Day 7.

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litteacher8 | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

Posted September 19, 2012 at 6:48 PM (Answer #2)

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Personally, I think that the media usually assumes the lowest common denominator.    In other words, the assumption is that people are stupid.  The use of fallacies is so prevalent because most people don’t know better, or don’t stop to think about things.  After studying logic, we should no longer get the wool pulled over our eyes!

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shake99 | Teacher | (Level 1) Senior Educator

Posted September 19, 2012 at 8:18 PM (Answer #3)

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Depending on which source you are watching/reading/listening to, there may be a severe bias in how issues are presented. For example, Fox News slants their coverage to favor the conservative viewpoint, while some other outlets favor a liberal viewpoint. They way in which they present their stories has a major influence on how those stories are perceived by the public.

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e-martin | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted September 20, 2012 at 3:43 PM (Answer #4)

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There is a common fallacy of coincidence (post hoc ergo proctor hoc) in the news media, especially regarding politics. For example, one president might be blamed for an economic situation that was effectively created and begun during a previous administration. Because the situation lingers into a new president's term, the new president is blamed it. 

We also commonly see simple fallacies of hyperbole/exaggeration. Opinion is also often presented as fact. 

Having some degree of awareness of what fallacies are and which are common does make it easier to maintain an analytic distance from the presentation of information, allowing you to process the information rather than merely accepting it as fact. 

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