Analysis of Pundits - Mostly Glenn Beck and some Al Gore
Posted: 21 January 2015 04:37 AM   [ Ignore ]
Jr. Member
Rank
Total Posts:  12
Joined  2015-01-21

Emotive Words and False Analogies -

Emotive words can provoke emotion and obscure rationality.  They can include positive statements like: integrity, motherland, and honesty. Or they can be negative: rape, cancer, evil, and communist.
Metaphors and analogies can stir us unto a side path.


Al Gore False Analogy
  Al Gore elaborated analogy between his sick son and sick country. America was on the brink of collapse after the Bush and Reagan but would nurture back to health by a new administration. That is an example of anecdote, false analogy, or metaphors which do not constitute prove but just represent a tools of rhetoric.

Glenn Beck False Analogies
It is reasonable to examine another case using Glenn Beck, a famous pundit.
In specific terms, I check Glenn Beck statements for validity and clarity of his claims. The talk show host has massive audience and influences minds of tens of millions of Americans so I would examine some of his clams. The website Right Wing Watch attempts to keep track of his statements but I would use their website and make my own independent notes as well.

  (The RWW done most of the work on Beck here and they are very professional and thorough)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hiF7kekYQ38


Saying that the “and so it begins” message he received from God last year was merely a warning that all of the catastrophic predictions he has been making for the last decade are about to come true, Beck said that the world is a like a racer lined up at the starting line, merely awaiting the “ready, set, go” command. “Last year was the ‘ready,’” Beck said. “I believe the Charlie Hebdo [attack] was the ‘set’ and I think the ‘go’ is coming and it’s coming soon ... I warn you and I beg you with everything in me to hear me, please hear me. The world is on the precipice of fascism, communism, anarchy, and theological nightmares. Nightmares!”.

Something to think about
1.  Communism, fascism, and anarchy are very broad constructs which are not related to each other in many ways.  Anarchists rejected state while statist communists and fascists favored top down control.  Such an “isms” have broad definitions and many sub groups studied by comparative historians, economists, and social scientists.  These are complex constructs.  How can threats of communism, fascism, and anarchism with theological nightmares help to prevent potential terrorist attacks? What is Glenn Beck hypothesis and how is he going to test it?  He seems to project emotive statements for his extremely religious public who would associate fascism, communism, and anarchism as ‘inherent evil. Term ‘theological nightmares’ has no operational definition as well but creates emotional impact on certain audiences.  Another case should be recalled. Al Gore uses term ‘sick planet’ which has no operational definition but has emotive impact.

When dealing with global problems, are there inadequacies?]


Problem Solving Inadequacy
a.  Form a hypothesis and look only at examples to confirm it
b.  Do not seek evidence to disprove hypothesis
c.  A very slow to change hypothesis even if it is wrong
d.  If information is complex adopt a simple hypothesis
e.  If no solution is found form hypothesis about coincidental relationships
I used some concepts from Michael Shermer book ‘Why people Believe Weird Things” to examine logic. In a nutshell I would be skeptical of pundits and read books by scholars which are parts of my goals for the next few years.

What can be done to confront pundits like Beck making logical fallacies addressing big issues and pandering to his pious audience?

[ Edited: 21 January 2015 04:43 AM by VsevolodK ]
Profile
 
 
Posted: 21 January 2015 08:02 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  483
Joined  2014-03-12

Pundit is far too lofty a term for Glen Beck. The vast majority of Americans dismiss him as a nut. His audience is not necessarily in agreement with him and many simply find him entertaining, like watching “Honey Boo Boo” to feel superior to hillbillies. His is basically a shock jock, financially proped up by the Koch brothers.

Welcome to the forum VsevolodK. Where are you from?

Danny

 Signature 

“expectation is the mother of disappointment”

Profile
 
 
Posted: 21 January 2015 09:52 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  6640
Joined  2007-10-05

I’m not sure we can do anything about blowhard like Glenn Beck. His followers are immune to facts. Thinking people, as Handyman alluded, know Beck is circus show.

[ Edited: 21 January 2015 08:52 PM by DarronS ]
 Signature 

You cannot have a rational discussion with someone who holds irrational beliefs.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 21 January 2015 11:11 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  3594
Joined  2011-08-15

Beck himself even alluded to this as a guest once on “The View”. Whoopie Goldberg was taking him apart for his borderline racist and totally misleading political statements and he basically said that he did it for entertainment purposes only. So he’s not a pundit but a self proclaimed entertainer. And a pretty bad one at that.

Can’t Jack

 Signature 

One good schoolmaster is of more use than a hundred priests.

Thomas Paine

Profile
 
 
Posted: 21 January 2015 12:42 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
Jr. Member
Rank
Total Posts:  12
Joined  2015-01-21
Handydan - 21 January 2015 08:02 AM

Pundit is far too lofty a term for Glen Beck. The vast majority of Americans dismiss him as a nut. His audience is not necessarily in agreement with him and many simply find him entertaining, like watching “Honey Boo Boo” to feel superior to hillbillies. His is basically a shock jock, financially proped up by the Koch brothers.

Welcome to the forum VsevolodK. Where are you from?

Danny

I am Russian with American citizenship (Dual Citizenship)

As far as Glenn Beck, I read some of his articles on history and Russian situation and found them very erroneous (he creates hypotheses but provides information that does not support his claims)

“Putin, Aleksandr Dugin, and like-minded elites dream of rebuilding a Russia that dominates Eurasia. In the old days—and we showed this to you—in the old days, Russia owned all of this from the blue line out. This was their spiritual center. In fact, their spiritual center was right here. That’s where Russia really had its heart”

What is definition of like minded elite and what are supporting claims that Russia dominates Eurasia? What is “spiritual center” and how can you objectify “heart in Russia”?
http://www.glennbeck.com/2015/01/14/will-putin-plunge-the-globe-into-world-war-3-the-past-gives-us-a-look-at-the-future/

In simple conversational informal language: Glen Beck website has horrible articles. Even the layman, not a professional, can spot endless errors and logical fallacies.

The merchandise of the Glenn Beck website has some homeopathic survival kits (you can Google Them).  They sell dubious products.

My observation was how this can be on mainstream as analysis or even ‘good entertainment’?  I do not mean to sound like snob, but the term for people Beck seem to be ‘enemies of intellect’.

[ Edited: 21 January 2015 12:48 PM by VsevolodK ]
Profile
 
 
Posted: 21 January 2015 05:16 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
Sr. Member
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  5257
Joined  2011-11-04

Snubbing Glenn Beck aficionados does not make one sound like a snob, around here.  It suggests you may appreciate rational and un-biased thinking, more so than do Glenn Beck followers.

 Signature 

As a fabrication of our own consciousness, our assignations of meaning are no less “real”, but since humans and the fabrications of our consciousness are routinely fraught with error, it makes sense, to me, to, sometimes, question such fabrications.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 21 January 2015 06:50 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  483
Joined  2014-03-12

Mr. Beck is not mainstream. He’s a clown.

 Signature 

“expectation is the mother of disappointment”

Profile