Friday, November 10, 2006

Hyman Already Spinning for 2008




Mark Hyman offers us his services as a political prognosticator, and in the process, gives us an example of one of the most basic argumentative fallacies there is: stating something as fact that is actually an unsubstantiated opinion.

In his handicapping of the 2008 presidential race, Hyman states unequivocally that “the majority of primary voters just don’t trust” John McCain. About Rudy Giuliani, he says cryptically that “he doesn’t have the juice to get the Republican nod.”

Hyman doesn’t even suggest why these statements are true; they’re just flat-out assertions. My guess is that these are simply things that Hyman hopes or believes to be true because neither Giuliani or McCain are sufficiently conservative enough for his tastes, given Hyman’s far right leanings. And who knows? He might be right. But as with so many of the claims he makes on “The Point,” Hyman offers no reason for us to believe him.

Note to Mark: making an assertion and making an argument are two different things.

Of course, we also get the gratuitous shot at Hillary Clinton, who is now “freed from the distraction of running for reelection” and probably sees Barak Obama as “a nuisance.”

Parenthetically, it’s striking that in the list of folks Hyman names as potential candidates in 2008, the Democrats have by far the stronger field. In folks like Clinton, Obama, John Edwards, and (less likely) Al Gore, and John Kerry, you have a stable of nationally-known candidates with credibility and gravitas. And in Gore, you’ve actually got a candidate who’s already won a presidential election.

On the Republican side, after McCain, you’ve got folks like . . . Newt Gingrich?! Sam Brownback? Bill “She’s Alive!” Frist? Please.

It’s nice to see Tom Vilsack join the race, the former Governor of Iowa. Although less well-known, he’s smart, charismatic, and a governor (governors have a far better track record of success in presidential elections than do senators). Heck, Bill Clinton was a relatively unknown governor from a small state before 1992.

Fortunately for Hyman, he’ll have plenty of time on his hands to do volunteer work for whatever GOP candidate he happens to favor, now that he’s finished with the “exhausting” work of doing “The Point.”

And that’s The Counterpoint.

Hyman Index: 2.75

3 Comments:

At 4:28 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ted,

What will happen to The Counterpoint?

Your ever faithful fans from Iowa, the IBLTV gang.

 
At 11:20 AM, Anonymous Bradley said...

Ted,

I'm sure you've already seen this, and are probably planning on writing about this. So I hope I'm not stepping on your toes when I point out that in the "Short Takes" edition of the Point posted on the web yesterday, Hyman included this little gem:


"Here's an update on George Soros. We heard from a spokesman for Soros after the Point played a nearly decade old 60 Minutes interview in which Soros discussed his role in Hungary during World War II when Jews had their personal belongings confiscated. According to the spokesman, the 60 Minutes interview gave the wrong impression. The spokesman said Soros speaks English as a second language and he did not understand the questions that were asked of him. The spokesman stated that Soros was hiding for his life during the war and did not participate in the confiscations. We thank them for bringing this to our attention."


Not exactly an apology, of course, but it seems like a very tactful way of saying, "I really screwed up." Granted, most sentiments are predicated with a phrase like "the spokeman stated..." But still. How many other times as Hyman come clean and at least allowed for the possibility that he was wrong about something?

Frankly, I think this kinda supports your theory that Hyman bit off more than he could chew when he tried to smear George Soros...

 
At 3:48 PM, Blogger Ted Remington said...

Hi Bradley--

Yeah, that caught my eye, too. It's a bit reminiscent of the pseudo-apology/retraction he offered me after misattributing and misquoting those course materials in order to suggest I didn't give a damn about plagiarism.

Unlike me, though, Soros has money to burn with which to carry out lawsuits, so I'm also thinking that ol' George put the hammer down on Sinclair, leading to Hyman to take his "hiatus" from "The Point."

Oh, and IBLTVers--thanks for the shoutout. The CP will remain online, ready to spring to action if Hyman returns (or an alternate version of him). After taking a breather, I'll likely be starting another blog doing the same sort of thing, but on a wider scale. More on that later.

And congrats on getting Leach out of there, as well as putting Culver in as governor. I was worried about the possibility of Jim "Brown Bag" Nussle assuming control over my beloved Hawkeye state.

tjr

 

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