Can I finish?

It's a been a while since I've rapped at ya', but things have been busy in my neighborhood. 

This–click here–Daily Show interview with Marc Thiessen, torture apologist, sophist, and for that reason Washington Post columnist is well worth watching.  Not only does this fellow advance a bunch of silly arguments (which Stewart shoots down) he whines relentlessly about not being able to talk.  He got to talk just fine, it's just that he got called on his silliness.

Stewart's case I think is an interesting one.  We might all agree that Thiessen's argument fail miserably on logic and facts.  For instance:

Would most Americans want to know if the Justice Department had hired a bunch of mob lawyers and put them in charge of mob cases? Or a group of drug cartel lawyers and put them in charge of drug cases? Would they want their elected representatives to find out who these lawyers were, which mob bosses and drug lords they had worked for, and what roles they were now playing at the Justice Department? Of course they would — and rightly so.

That analogy completely blows, to use a technical term.  For starters, the lawyers worked pro bono, unlike Tom Hagen.  Second, being someone's lawyer doesn't entail you endorse their alleged criminality.  Third, everyone is entitled to a lawyer.  Fourth, we have a nation of laws, allegedly.

But how one points this out most effectively is another matter.  Arguments, for too many people in our silly televised and printed discourses, are  just monologues: there is no common purpose, no shared goal, and no commonly agreed-upon rules to which we can refer to resolve our disagreements.  It's nice to see someone successfully knock one of these monologues off the tracks.

Update.  Media Matters beat me to the Tom Hagen reference.  Drats.

7 thoughts on “Can I finish?”

  1. You could probably run for a week on the 'logic' from that Daily Show clip (as well as from his appearance on CNN in January).  Thiessen's statements about waterboarding (when it happened, stopped, if its torture, etc) are probably mutually incompatible, too.  
    I know I shouldn't be shocked that this guy is in the WaPo now, but I am.  This all just makes my brain explode.

  2. I loved the part where he was talking about an alternate history in which Khalid Sheikh Mohammed wasn't waterboarded, then repeatedly insisted that his example was not hypothetical.
    I believe he was trying to argue that we know what information we obtained from KSM, so it's not hypothetical to imagine a world in which we lacked that information, but….

  3. I just watched the Daily Show interview…
    Stupidity has reached new heights.

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