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Friday, December 5, 2008
Depiction-Equals-Approval Fallacy Watch
Topic: NewsBusters

A pair of NewsBusters writers engage in the Depiction-Equals-Approval Fallacy:

A Dec. 4 post by Terry Trippany baselessly imputes political motives to the Associated Press for reporting on a county in rural Alabama that has decided to create "Barack Obama Day."Trippany claims that for the AP, the article is "one of those pivotal occasions where they can pursue what should be an obvious national event while at the same time implying the obvious racism of the rest of the state that supported John McCain 'largely on strong support from White voters.'" Trippany doesn't explain why noting the racial makeup of McCain's victory in Alabama constitutes racism.

Nevertheless, Trippany continues:

This wink and a nod style journalism has aspects of McCarthyism. Only now the media has new villains, white people that don't support Barack Obama, heterosexuals that don't support gay marriage, parents that propose abstinence as the best way to prevent pregnancy and global warming "deniers" that separate the politics of global warming from the science behind the cyclical nature to the planet's climate. This is just to name a few of the villains, usually Republican, religious and/or southern white Democrat.

Meanwhile, Clay Waters, in a Dec. 4 post purporting to express surprise that a New York Times writer would express criticism of Che Guevara, cited as an example of "the paper's long-time favorable treatment of Guevara the 'revolutionary icon'" an October 2007 post he did about an article on the reaction of Cubans to "Che Guevara chic," in which he took offense at a Times reporter's description of Guevara as a "revolutionary icon." But Waters missed the point of the reporter's duty -- to describe the feelings of Cubans about Che, who for better or worse feel that way about him. Waters does not contradict that.

That article leads to another Waters attack on the Times over Che from 2004, baselessly claiming that a Times reporter was "gush[ing]" over Che when, in fact, he was writing about attitudes toward Che in his home country of Argentina.

The MRC's Tim Graham has a similar problem in assuming that the only possible reason reporters would write about Che is because they are secret communists and think he's as a deity.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:15 AM EST

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