Fallacy Watch: Trevor Noah uses Equivocation

I happened to channel surf past this much discussed discussion between Trevor Noah and Tomi Lahren a few nights ago.

I came in at the part where Noah used the logical fallacy of equivocation when Lahren asked, “What did the KKK do?”

He pretended Lahren asked because she didn’t know, so she must be ignorant.

Yet, her question came after listing several things that took place at Black Lives Matter events that mirrored actions KKK has been known for. Her question was meant to make that connection: that BLM acts like a hate group.

The fallacy got the response that fallacies like equivocation often gets from people on the 6th grade level discordant discussions — a rousing applause.

It also had another typical outcome. It put Lahren in a defensive mode and she had a tough time articulating her points after that, at least for the 20 seconds I continued to watch it before I continued my channel surfing, since I don’t find 6th grade level political discussions interesting.

When a logical fallacy is used, I find it more productive for the conversation to put the conversation on pause and point out the fallacy.

If I was Lahren it might have said something like this:

Hold on, Trevor. Let’s unpack what just happened.

You used an informal logical fallacy called equivocation to change the meaning of what I said.

You know, I know and all the people in the audience who just cheered you for using a fallacy that is common among 6th graders know that I’m not ignorant of what the KKK does.

Everyone knows that my point is BLM, in some cases, has acted like a hate group.  So, rather than making fun of a point I did not make, how about we stick to the point I did make?

Do you agree or disagree that BLM is stooping to that level?


1 thought on “Fallacy Watch: Trevor Noah uses Equivocation

  1. Pingback: Don’t let facts get in the way of a good story | Our Dinner Table


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