The Ranting Kraut

19.3.2006 – 27.9.2010

Archive for the ‘media manipulation’ Category

The Results of the Motoons

Posted by rantingkraut on January 3, 2010

The BBC followed a report on the attempted Murder of Kurt Westergaard and a Danish police officer with a review of the earlier Motoon saga. This background report starts of with a rehearsal of the Motoons publication history (they were first printed in Jyllands Posten, later reprinted elsewhere etc.). Then the narrator announces “… and this were the results …” before the clip cuts to archive footage of Motoon riots in the Middle East.

If the riots were the result of the cartoons’ publication then the cartoons must have been the cause,  the riots the effect. The rioters’ ideology Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Civil Liberties, Freedom of Speech, In The News, Islamism, media manipulation, Middle East, Religion | Comments Off on The Results of the Motoons

Muslims and Dhimmis in Britain

Posted by rantingkraut on July 19, 2009

The Economist –back in May—offered some strange musings on the fate of Britain’s Muslims:
The unhappiness of British Muslims is easy enough to explain: their living standards tend to be low and relatively few of the women work.” (source)
Hmmm… these two demographic data are presented in juxtaposition as if they were simply two external negative influences from which Muslim households tend to suffer. Could it be that one leads to the other? Could it be that households who, on average, have fewer second earners also tend to have lower household incomes?
Where the low female labour market participation is driven by religiously conservative lifestyle choices I struggle to see how this unhappiness should be seen as anything Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in discrimination, Islamism, media manipulation, monthly rant, Religion | Comments Off on Muslims and Dhimmis in Britain

Some false refutations

Posted by rantingkraut on June 30, 2006

The Telegraph recently ran a story about a lecturer who allowed students to set their own questions for an open book exam. The lecturer in charge had this to say:

“Some people would suggest that an open-book exam is open to plagiarism. I would counter that by the fact that the students felt a trust and respect from our collaboration.”
(source)

What is interesting about this statement is not so much the issue of plagiarism, but the rhetorical trickery involved. First note, that he raised the issue of plagiarism himself so he could rebuff it: this attracts attention away from the real issue -allowing students to set the exam question itself. Once this is done, only self assessment is missing.

Second, note how the impression of a refutation to the self made accusation is created: the possibility of plagiarism is contrasted with students feelings of trust and respect, yet it is easily possible to feel trusted and respected while engaging in plagiarism. The rebuff is dressed up as a refutation by no more than a bit of deceptive grammar. The phrase “I would counter that by the fact …” creates the impression that the accusation and the observed fact are mutually exclusive so the accusation can’t be true. A less than attentive reader might easily fall for that.

Now, if this was just a case of a lecturer misleading some vaguely interested readers, the issue wouldn’t deserve much attention. As it happens, the above quote just gives a clumsy example of the kind of rhetoric which our rulers use in a more polished form. Consider the following statement by Tony Blair:

“We are not living in a police state but we are living in a country that faces a real and serious threat of terrorism.”
(source)

As above, the impression of a refutation is created through use of no more than a sentence structure that suggests a case of mutually exclusive possibilities. In reality, both statements are easily reconcilable, i.e. we may well end up living in a police state that faces a real and serious threat of terrorism. Only that in such a state terrorists wouldn’t be the only ones threatening the average citizen.

[Edited: 26 January 2008]

Posted in Civil Liberties, media manipulation, Strange happenings | Comments Off on Some false refutations