Blog Post

Post-truth fascist inspires post-truth terrorism

When explosive devices were sent to people Donald Trump routinely targets at his rallies, the response from right-wing media was painfully predictable. We all expected the response to be something akin to the now cliche claim of false flag. Thus, none of us were surprised when Alex Jones said as much.  And it really shouldn’t have shocked anyone when Read more

Blog Post

Why is Trump Covering Up Jamal Khashoggi’s Murder?

Jamal Khashoggi is dead. The journalist was murdered on October 2 at the Saudi consulate in Turkey. The available evidence suggests with increasing certainty that it was plotted and carried out by members of Saudi crown prince Mohammad bin Salman’s coterie of advisors and confidantes. The scandal over Khashoggi’s murder has only grown over the past two weeks, with new … Read more

Blog Post

Handling Deceit with Rhetorical Analysis

Does not an outright intention to deceive thwart the whole enterprise of rhetorical dialectic–that is, the search for truth? Rhetoricians analyze a type of deception that can be said to occur in any instance of persuasive behavior. We call it “stance” or “point of view,” or the “enthymeme”–a speech act performs a “trope” or a turning away from pure objectivity. Read more

Blog Post

Pleading the 25th

Everyone reading this is probably familiar with the events of the past week. On Tuesday, September 4, excerpts from Bob Woodward’s forthcoming book Fear were released, describing a Presidency in a state of “nervous breakdown” descending from the top, with high-ranking administration officials constantly scrambling to nullify the President’s worst decisions, such as assassinating Syria’s president or declaring war on Read more

Blog Post

Open Letter: Please Ask Senator Graham How These Two Statements Can Both Be True

[Note: This post is the first of what will be occasional “action items,” or posts that are less about exposing/describing doublespeak and more about actively responding to it. We hope, if you read it and agree, that you’re willing to be in touch with news outlets and tell them you expect this kind of work from them.]

Dear Journalists Who … Read more

Blog Post

Heroic “Resistance” or Self-Serving Enablers? A Senior Administrator Frames an Heroic Odyssey

Doublespeak, it seems, comes from so many quarters that it’s difficult to keep track of them all. One of the most recent instances came from the “quiet resistance” at work within the Trump administration. Indeed, the frame of heroic resistance appears throughout the anonymous op-ed written by “a senior official in the Trump administration” that appeared on September … Read more

Blog Post

The “What About” Strategy: A Grab Bag of Logical Fallacies

During the 2016 election season, I initiated discussion with family and friends about candidate Trump, pointing out my deep concerns with rhetoric I judged as demeaning, racist, and violent. Often the response was “Well, what about Hillary and Benghazi?” or “What about Hillary and her emails?”

These responses are illogical. They demonstrate selective vision, propose a red herring, justify … Read more