Sunday, August 13, 2006

We, the fools

I just read this in today's Observer.

"Withing minutes of the airports being closed, angry emails arrived.......... 'Funny how these terrorist "threats" seem to knock other more important stories off the news agenda', railed another."

Titled "Save us from the crackpots who see Zionist conspiracies in everything" by a Nick Cohen, it goes on to state:

"Since modern technology allows every fool with an internet connection to broadcast his or her ravings, I would be making too much of the emails if they didn't exemplify a wider culture of denial."

Ah, the refuge of the journalist without an argument - the ad hominem attack. Call the other party a fool, and label their opinions as mere ravings.

Also, Mr. Cohen probably meant to write "....I would NOT be making too much of the emails.......".

Let's ignore that (possibly Freudian?) slip and remember the remainder of the name-calling. If journalists were obliged to follow certain rules of formal debate which were current during my college days, I imagine many wouldn't have much to say.

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