Many times, when I have watched those who do not subscribe to the mainstream media’s progressive political agenda being interviewed by the liberal media, I have often witnessed the interviewees get shredded to pieces by the MSM’s style of ambush journalism. They seem utterly perplexed at how to respond to the sort of spitting moralism that spews forth like bile from the hardcore progressives and socialists in the press.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve watched MSNBC’s Chris Matthews and ilk savage guests they disagree with. Matthew’s engages in classic ambush-style journalism. He typically interrogates his political opponents in a overtly hostile manner, as opposed to having a civil discourse with them. I’ve noted, too, that Matthews is a big fan of complex and leading questions.
The complex question is really two questions in one, yet a single answer is then applied to both questions; its purpose is to entrap the respondent by forcing them into a position where no matter how they respond they will always be seen in an unfavorable light.
I’ll never forget watching Andrew Breitbart being interviewed by MSNBC’s Martin Bashir. Before the interview ever got started, Breitbart said, “I just want you to know that I reject your premise.” Breitbart got it; he turned the tables. Many times you can throw out the premise of a progressive liberal’s argument altogether, thereby putting the “attacker” on the defensive.
If the premise(s) of an argument is invalid, then any conclusion derived from a flawed premise will be invalid as well. Additionally, one can have a valid premise and still draw an unsound argument from it. Recognizing these differences is crucial in winning arguments and debates.
In the day and age of mass media, it would behoove our conservative leaders and talking heads to take the time to learn some Socratic Dialog and the Art of Deductive Reasoning. The left loves to employ logical fallacies, as do lawyers and lawmakers, to further their own agenda. It is vitally important to know what they are and how to deal with them.
There are more than a few conservative and like-minded individuals who don’t seem to know how to argue and debate at times. On numerous occasions, I’ve watched them simply shout over their guests, just like many on the left do, and never let them finish. Such tactics may have some cathartic effect for the one employing them, but it is not really going to persuade or win anybody over.
I’d like to see more of these talking head types take the time to learn rhetoric and dialog and lead their opponents like a lawyer does. A lawyer will ask questions and carefully listen to the responses (being a good listener is required). A good lawyer will let them “have it” after building a solid case based on valid premises and sound arguments, not before.
For example, Alex Jones recent interview with Piers Morgan was a good example of how the left likes to lead their opponents into the muck and mire by purposeful goading. When enraged, it is more likely one will say or do something stupid and lose their credibility. Jones did not anticipate his opponent’s rebuttals. Although I completely understand Alex Jones’ fiery passion, going off half-cocked in such a venue is a “fail.” Big mistake.
One strategy that has proved very effective, at least for me, when dealing with liberals who are frothing at the mouth is to directly address their bad behavior before we ever engage in “debate.” I don’t take kindly to being disrespected, especially in a public forum. If we are going to have a dialog or debate, then mutual respect is required as a prerequisite, otherwise I will return the disrespect tenfold—screw the debate.
The left, to me, is all about bad behavior; they endorse bad behavior (see Saul Alinsky); they subsidize bad behavior (see Nanny State); they revel in bad behavior (see Hollywood); they employ bad behavior (see Occupy); they excuse bad behavior (see MSM); they worship bad behavior (see Obama et al.) … the left is all about bad behavior!
That’s why my hat is off to Breitbart‘s editor-at-large, Ben Shapiro, for directly confronting the bad behavior and the hyperbolic and incendiary rhetoric employed by Piers Morgan et ilk. One can only hope and pray more Republicans and conservatives would learn from folks like Ben Shapiro, Andrew Breitbart, Dana Loesch, Allen West, Joe Walsh, and others, in how to deal with the frothing minions of political advocacy known as the liberal mainstream media (MSM).
Watch and learn: