See if You Spot These
Published on April 14, 2004 By Wahkonta Anathema In Politics
In punditry and opinionating, a great deal of deceit, deflection, and propoganda is put forth. As things heat up this election season this will be for your information. See if you spot these techniques used in the postings when logic defies the post:

1.) Regardless of what the Person knows, the 'Poster' won't discuss it -- If it's not reported, it didn't happen, and you never have to deal with the issues.

2.) The 'Poster' avoids discussing key issues and instead focuses on side issues which can be used to show the topic
as being critical of some otherwise sacrosanct group or theme. This is also known as the "How dare you!" gambit;

3.) Creates rumor mongers. The 'Poster' avoids discussing issues by describing all charges, regardless of venue or evidence, as mere rumors and wild accusations. Other derogatory terms mutually exclusive of truth may work as well. This method works especially well with a silent press, because the only way the public can learn of the facts are through such "arguable rumors". If the 'Poster' can associate the material with the Internet, then he/she can use this fact to certify it a "wild rumor" which can have no basis in fact ;

4.) The 'Poster' either makes up an issue he/she may safely imply exists based on your interpretation of the opponent/opponent arguments/situation, or selects the weakest aspect of the weakest charges. the poster then can amplify their significance and destroy them in a way which appears to debunk all the charges, real and fabricated alike, while actually avoiding discussion of the real issues ;

5.) The 'Poster' sidetracks opponents with name calling and ridicule. This is also known as the primary attack the messenger ploy, though other methods qualify as variants of that approach. the 'Poster' will also associate opponents with unpopular titles such as "kooks", "right-wing", "liberal", "left-wing", "terrorists", "conspiracy buffs", "radicals", "militia", "racists", "religious fanatics", "sexual deviates", and so forth. This makes others shrink from support out of fear of gaining the same label, and the 'Poster' avoids dealing with issues ;

6.) Hit and Run. In any public forum, the 'Poster' will make a brief attack of opponent or the opponent-position and then scamper off before an answer can be fielded, or simply ignores any answer. This works extremely well in Internet and letters-to -the-editor environments where a steady stream of new identities can be called upon without having to explain criticism reasoning -- simply make an accusation or other attack, never discussing issues, and never answering any subsequent response, for that
would dignify the opponent's viewpoint ;

7.) The 'Poster' will question motives. Will twist or amplify any fact which could so taken to imply that the opponent operates out of a hidden personal agenda or other bias. This avoids discussing issues and forces the accuser on the defensive ;

8.) The 'Poster' invokes authority. Claim for his/her self or associates the self with authority and present the argument with enough "jargon" and "minutiae" to illustrate he/she is "one who knows", and simply says it isn't so without discussing issues or demonstrating concretely why or citing sources ;

9.) No matter what evidence or logical argument is offered, the 'Poster' will avoid discussing issues with denial they have any credibility, make any sense, provide any proof, contain or make a point, have logic, or support a conclusion. they then mix well for maximum effect ;

10.) The 'Poster' draws upon the overall umbrella of events surrounding the crime [or mis-conduct] and the multitude of players
and events, painting the entire affair as too complex to solve. This causes those otherwise following the matter to begin to loose interest more quickly without the 'Poster' having to address the actual issues ;

11.) The 'Poster' will demand complete solutions. Avoids the issues by requiring opponents to solve the crime [or misconduct] at hand completely ;

12.) The 'Poster' changes the subject. Usually done in connection with one of the other ploys listed here, finds a way to side-track the discussion with abrasive or controversial comments in hopes of turning attention to a new, more manageable topic. This works especially well with companions who can "argue" with you over the new topic and polarize the discussion arena in order to avoid discussing more key issues. This is one of the key techniques used here. One will note a slew of pro- or anti- posts following one behind the other as if it is a gang of strangely identically minded people all tuning in at one time by coincidence. Contrast this with the "appropriating" technique of posting a article BEFORE the issue hits the site, so as to turn the otherwise relevant discussion into a sidereal issue the 'Poster' has 'created' as the topic of debate ;

13.) The 'Poster' will Emotionalize, Antagonize, and Goad Opponents.[EAG On] If he/she can't do anything else, will chide and taunt the others and draw them into emotional responses which will tend to make them look foolish and overly motivated, and generally render their material somewhat less coherent. Not only will the 'Poster' avoid discussing the issues in the first instance, but even if their emotional response addresses the issue, but can further avoid the issues by then focusing on how "sensitive they are to criticism". [ever heard that here?] ;

14.) The 'Poster' ignores proof presented, demands impossible proofs. This is perhaps a variant of the "play dumb" rule. Regardless of what material may be presented by an opponent in public forums, the 'Poster' will claim the material
irrelevant and demand proof that is impossible for the opponent to come by (it may exist, but not be at his disposal, or it may be something which is known to be safely destroyed or withheld, such as a classified report). In order to completely avoid discussing issues may require the Poster to categorically deny and be critical of media or books as valid
sources, deny that witnesses are acceptable, or even deny that statements made by government or other authorities have any meaning or relevance .

These are things used in the blog world, and elsewhere to obfuscate facts and sidetrack people from the issue at hand. Here, there are even those who use the infamous 'blacklist' to make it appear no one disagrees or has a refutation of their view when, in fact, they censor opposing views and facts from being offered.[NOTE: This is different from those who are blacklisted for their subjective and insulting behavior at the keypad. Those who censor for political reasons merely use this reasonable use as an excuse to make it appear they are debators, when they are actually censors who can't handle debate on the issues] You'll note them on the political posts, where strangely, some knowing and commonly posting individuals are absent.

The source document for these examples are found by clicking on the link.

I will keep a copy of this by the terminal from now on to know by number what techinique is being used day-to-day. Blog ON.

on Apr 14, 2004
Indymedia? I used to spend a lot of time there, but the ad hominem attacks coupled with outright physical threats against those they disagree with have lead me to not only cease reading them, but it casts a pall over everything that comes fromt hat site. Just my opinion though. There are still some fine folks over there who try and steer the debates to actual content, but they are the minority. A lateral step from DU really.
on Apr 14, 2004
You got an insightful mate!

on Apr 14, 2004
Wahkonta i have offered advice on the problem you emailed into me on my problem page Link

on Apr 14, 2004
Thanks SPM. Just a way to get the word out as to the goings on. Some wonder why I am not posting repies to him anymore. Now they know. As for the ear, it was just a American-style joke - not like the Brits I guess.
on Apr 14, 2004
A very insightful one!
on Apr 19, 2004
Participating in debate can be an extremely gratifying experience if only enough effort is mustered by the individuals involved to provide for an intelligent forum exchange.

It has been a great disappointment to find the majority of those posting on this 'site seem to derive their debate tactics from the list above.
on Apr 20, 2004
Deference: This is true. I put it up because some who carry influence here do nothing but follow these tactics, and the book-carrying followers make it seem they said something by the number of replies in the affirmative, when they only mouth the replies as if told to.

There used to be heated debate here, but it is suffering from those with weak positions using 'blacklisting' to censor those with intelligent opposition, and make it appear the posting has no detractors. There are always some joining in who have not yet been censored, but they drop into the 'blacklist' pile one-by-one as they express intellignet opposition to, what is largely the 'controlled-media' status-quo dictum fed for that day.

Those who censor to suppress opposition, tend to lack original thought for their own positions, being used as mouthpieces for whomever has a political agenda. To get through it, one should see the techniques and learn to recognize those who have an opinion from those who are puppets, dismissing their rhetorical, one-sentence, puppetry. Soon I can just reply with, "number 7", or so on, because it does fit most types of posts and replies so well.

Thanks for the replies. I hope it helps identify the imposters and puppets for those, who feed them their opinions.
on Apr 20, 2004
You definately hit the spot on this one! I've really been frustrated about these tactics, and I've been blacklisted myself, around the same time BulbousHead got kicked out. No comparison between me and him though. I haven't written anything here, just commenting, and I've been reluctant to do so because of this hollow rhetoric.
Since then, I've stayed away from politically charged articles, because it often seems fruitless....But I'm thinking about posting more now. I thoroughly appreciate your articles, keep 'em coming!
on Apr 23, 2004
Thanks for the reply Corio. This is largely a political site, with fluff at the edges to get 'ups'. Things are heating up for the fall now, with nine of the top ten being installed Republicans. We will need the voices of non-republicans to offset the rhetoric they hope to stack the site with this fall. There is a major play concerning blog sites, and the web in this falls election cycle, you should check out in my archive. It is in the post "McCain-Feingold Backfires" which indicates that there is a plan to outlaw public dissent against incumbents this fall, under penalty of audit and daily fine, as decided by the Republican controlled FEC. I am examining the effect on blog sites which were purchased and privately owned in relation to this law now. Don't really 'hate' to say it, but it looks like I was right on again on this matter. So stay tuned for upcoming events, as 'blacklisting' is just a start for those having a biased political agenda.

By all means enter the debate though,as it only benefits those who want to censor and suppress dissent and adverse opinion to not do so. My feelings for blogging period are withheld, due to greater goal of being able to tell how and why the things to come do so. There is a story in this my friend so stay tuned.
on Apr 23, 2004
Thanks Wahkonta! Will do. Looking forward to your articles on the subject.