- Eye on Media
In a rare Monday morning editorial, The World claims the county is “undeniably dysfunctional” and cites as its authority the two amateurish, thoroughly debunked and voter rejected structure and governance advisory committee reports. One of the strategies a writer or a politician hoping to deflect blame away from an unpopular decision can employ is to claim support from widely respected authorities, books, people or institutions for example. A fallacious appeal to authority occurs when “using a biased, suspicious or incredible source to defend a conclusion”.
This fallacy is committed when the person in question is not a legitimate authority on the subject. More formally, if person A is not qualified to make reliable claims in subject S, then the argument will be fallacious.
This sort of reasoning is fallacious when the person in question is not an expert. In such cases the reasoning is flawed because the fact that an unqualified person makes a claim does not provide any justification for the claim. The claim could be true, but the fact that an unqualified person made the claim does not provide any rational reason to accept the claim as true.
Employing a false authority to support a conclusion, like sciolism, is a form of deceit. The editorial continues by citing the recent PSU study but fails to mention either the authors relationship to rat PAC(K) contributor ICMA or that the study relies on the same false authorities, the advisory committee reports.
Assuming the new commissioners have read the advisory committee reports and the PSU study and see merit in the former and thereby accept the latter, then I worry that John Sweet and Melissa Cribbins are not very discerning. If the two new commissioners want to implement changes then they should show respect for the electorate and do so honestly rather than hiding behind suspicious, incredible sources to deflect heat for their decisions. The paper on the other hand should be ashamed to stoop to such low standards and apologize for deceiving its readers as well insulting their intelligence.