I recently received a comment from a person in Roermond, Netherlands regarding a post I made in June of 2007. That post invoked a work by Robert H. Thouless – Straight and Crooked Thinking – an out of print book that I highly recommend. (A later edition – How to Think Straight is also out of print, but has been more available).
The 2007 post showed how, in a 5 minute radio interview, State of Michigan Rep. Andrew Meisner (D-Ferndale) committed 15 of the 38 “dishonest tricks of rhetoric” Dr. Thouless identified in his book. It was fresh in my mind when I read today’s edition of Best of the Web Today.
So I write to commend James Taranto for applying the Thouless principles to a polling company and to John Avlon, a left-wing political “analyst” who uses the poll as “evidence” to support an article beginning with this sentence*: “In a disturbing parallel to the Nazi’s [sic] kristallnacht, windows are shattering in Democratic offices nationwide.” Avlon’s intent is the lately common one of discrediting the Tea Party movement as violent racists.
Taranto’s debunking is thorough. RTWT
The curious case of John Avlon and the “scary new GOP poll.”