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Small Fish

September 30, 2009

As usual, Jon Stewart presents trenchant analysis of and commentary on Sean Hannity’s recent bugaboo, the Delta Smelt:

Jon Stewart

What I appreciate about this, and what is nice about most of the humor on the Daily Show, is that the laughs depend not on silly equivocations or puns, as much humor does, but rather on identifying and calling attention to the variety of informal fallacies that politicians and political pundits employ. That’s the modus operandi of the Daily Show, and I often point out in my critical thinking classes that the best way to learn about the variety of informal (and in some cases formal) fallacies is not necessarily by sticking one’s nose in a textbook, but by watching the Daily Show.

So here, yes, the survival of salmon fisheries is a relevant fact to the allocation of water, just as Stewart notes. It’s a relevant economic fact, and it’s an equally relevant political fact. Similarly, the internal contradiction of lambasting government subsidies, while at the same time depending on government subsidies, demonstrates the inanity of Hannity’s faux stance.

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