This deserves a read:
MOMENT OF TRUTH —
It’s Time for the Media To Step Up and Call Out Donald Trump’s Many Lies
It’s all about this:
A common way for this fallacy to be perpetuated is one shared trait between two subjects is assumed to show equivalence, especially in order of magnitude, when equivalence is not necessarily the logical result. False equivalence is a common result when an anecdotal similarity is pointed out as equal, but the claim of equivalence doesn't bear because the similarity is based on oversimplification or ignorance of additional factors. The pattern of the fallacy is often as such: "If A is the set of c and d, and B is the set of d and e, then since they both contain d, A and B are equal". d is not required to exist in both sets; only a passing similarity is required to cause this fallacy to be able to be used.
The following statements are examples of false equivalence:
- "They're both soft, cuddly pets. There's no difference between a cat and a dog."
- "We all bleed red. We're all no different from each other."
False equivalence is occasionally claimed in politics, where one political party will accuse their opponents of having performed equally wrong actions. Commentators may also accuse journalists of false equivalence in their reporting of political controversies if the stories are perceived to assign equal blame to multiple parties. Wikipedia
This morning I was more than irritated by a piece in Daily Beast by Tim Mak and Nancy Youssef saying that both Hillary and Trump “self-destructed” in the C-i-C Forum last night. They wrote "In military terms, the first national security battle between Hillary Clintonand Donald Trump took the form of mutually assured destruction.”
I wrote “mutually assured destruction? Did they really reduce each other to nuclear waste? Give me a break!”
I could go on but if you want to “hear” me kvetch about Daily Beast and Politco and their unfair coverage stories you can read my earlier diary “Hillary might have stumbled, but Trump fell flat of his face.”
I am glad I am not the only one to note how the media grades Trump on a curve and Hillary on a straight scale.
Tomasky began his article with this:
After that Matt Lauer debacle Wednesday night, it’s time to stop grading Donald Trump on a curve, don’t you think? He’s not blunt. He’s not refreshing. He’s not a straight talker.
I ended mine with this:
Between the introductory sentences they cover the “self-destruction” and as has been happening repeated prove that Trump is held to a far lower standard than Hillary.
He is graded on a curve and merely getting a C is considered a stellar performance. Hillary is graded on a straight standard where in my opinion she got a solid B.
If you don’t know the difference between curve grading and straight grading then you didn’t take a course like zoology from the likes of Prof. Braddock at Michigan State who used the later method (which convinced me I didn’t have the memory to go to medical school). Getting a C in that course took my studying so hard I thought my brain would explode.
Trump’s grade, having given it due consideration, on the curve, is a D+. He earned the + for telling the truth once or twice, as Tomasky points out:
Actually I’m not being quite fair. Sometimes, very occasionally, he tells the truth as he sees it. And those turn out to be the most appalling moments of all. Like Trump’s defense of Vladimir Putin Wednesday night, citing the Russian strongman’s “82 percent approval rating” and saying: “The man has very strong control over a country. It’s a very different system and I don’t happen to like the system, but certainly in that system, he’s been a leader. Far more than our president has been a leader.”
Considering Hillary’s grade now, I would say that this straight scale B is not at all shabby because of how much time she had to spend on the emails. I didn’t see any way she could have parried those questions however since she knew this would come up she looses some points (from A+ to A-) for not having better responses. She also lost points for not making abundantly clear what she was talking about when she said she wouldn’t allow us to participate in ground war. She mentioned special forces, but the critics overlooked this. I wrote:
“Of course Hillary is aware that we have some 5,000 soldiers “on the ground;” but anyone with an open mind knows that when she talks about ground troops she means tens of thousands of troops, essentially sending a new army to assume a large role fighting on the ground. Her answer that she’d expect the Kurds and other countries to provide those boots on the ground makes this, or ought to, make this clear.”
Before anyone yells at me for being such a strict grader, I am using Prof. Braddocks scale. If my zoology professor was grading Trump, noting his multiple choice exams usually with five or more choices any number of which could be correct were always scored right minus wrong, he’d get a F.
If Hillary was graded on the same curve Trump was, and always is, Hillary would have gotten an A+++++++++.
Addendum: Another journalist who gets it: