Talking Points Memo

Decent Essays
"Today the question of individual choice -- the quest to succeed or fail on your own -- has almost been obliterated by politicians and judges who don't respect the concept of competition and the struggle to prosper" declares political pundit Bill O’Reilly. In his April 18, 2016 Talking Points memo, "The Big Lie of the Presidential Campaign", O’Reilly discusses how politicians have sold the American public an increasingly grand and unrealistic vision of a world where individual motivation and achievement have been supplanted by all-encompassing entitlements provided by an ever-growing nanny state. In this memo, O’Reilly details his views on how political candidates and "smear merchants" pander to the public solely in order to garner…show more content…
Again, it is necessary for him to capitalize upon pre-existing beliefs of the audience in order to construct an argument that appears sound to them. His goal is not necessarily to connect facts to reality, but to lead the audience to his conclusions based on their shared perception of reality. This approach lends itself readily to logical fallacies such as straw man and ad hominem fallacies, which one could argue O'Reilly readily embraces. By misrepresenting other people's positions in one case, and using their own words against them, he furthers his point while simultaneously demonizing his opposition. O'Reilly employs rhetorical sleight of hand to ease the way in establishing how his conclusion naturally proceeds from his premise by focusing our attention on people rather than…show more content…
He calls out Al Sharpton as being part of a "grievance lobby" that cries wolf about oppression and racist systems in order to mask societal issues. While it is true that in "Culture Wars in America: An Encyclopedia of Issues, Viewpoints, and Voices", author Roger Chapman asserts that "Sharpton is … blamed for inflaming racial tensions and in some cases sparking riots", O'Reilly employs a textbook ad hominem attack to focus on the person rather than his arguments. O'Reilly also claims that Rand Paul believes that American should be free to use drugs, when there is no evidence to support that assertion. In fact, according to authors Cnhi Washington Reporter and Kery Murakami in their December 2015 Claremore Daily Progress article entitled "Rand Paul Finds Unlikely Support from Marijuana Advocates", Paul believes "that states should be left to make their own marijuana policies [but] has stopped short of calling for legalization". By misstating Paul's position, O'Reilly commits a straw man logical fallacy in order to strengthen his
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