Hyperbolic Fallacy – FT#20

Hyperbolic Fallacy – FT#20

Show Notes

When someone supports their argument by making a statement that is significantly more emphatic than can possibly be supported by evidence, they may be committing the Hyperbolic Fallacy.

As a rule a hyperbole is not meant to be taken literally. When someone says they had the worst morning ever, you
know they are being dramatic rather than literal. However, when someone uses hyperbole to defend or bolster their position in the absence of other evidence, their reasoning is not sound, because it is not possible to support such an extreme view with evidence – and often there is easily available refuting evidence.

We started out with this from the Donald:


Then we played this compilation of some of his ‘best’ moments:

In Mark’s British Politics Corner, we talked about this over-optimistic claim from Liam Fox:

And this unfortunate choice of adjective from Boris Johnson

In the Fallacy in the Wild, we talked about this clip from American Dad:

And then we discussed the claims of Angelina Jolie’s cancer doctor, Kristi Funk. All the details can be found in this excellent post by David Gorski on Science Based Medicine.

We briefly talked about Dan Rice and The Ballad of John and Yoko before moving on to play Fake News.

Here are the statements from this week’s Fake News game, all of which were from Trump’s insane, rambling Rose Garden press conference announcing the national emergency:

  1. They’re saying that Mexico isn’t paying for the wall, and that’s just a lie.  I never said they would write a big check, like bing bing bing. They’re paying indirectly, through the money we’re saving through the USMCA. Frankly, we made such a great deal with the USMCA, I think it’s one of the best trade deals ever made, especially compared to NAFTA, which was one of the worst. We’ll pay for the wall five times over with the money we save.
  2. We had certain funds that are being used at the discretion of generals, at the discretion of the military. Some of them haven’t been allocated yet. And some of the generals think that this is more important. I was speaking to a couple of them. They think this is far more important than what they were going to use it for. I said, “What were you going to use it for?” And I won’t go into details, but it didn’t sound too important to me.
  3. Their criminal list, a drug dealer gets a thing called the death penalty. Our criminal list, a drug dealer gets a thing called how about a fine? And when I asked President Xi, I said do you have a drug problem? No, no, no, I said you have 1.4 billion people, what do you mean you have no drug problem? No we don’t have a drug problem. I said why? Death penalty. We give death penalty to people that sell drugs, end of problem.

Click below for the answer

Mark got it right this week, so he’s now on 32%.

Jim interviewed Joe Strupp, author of Killing Journalism: How Greed, Laziness (And Donald Trump) Are Destroying News And How We Can Save It. Jim and Joe talked about how the internet has affected newsgathering, the impact that Trump has had on the news cycle, the rise in fact checking, and the future of journalism.

Click on the book cover below to find out more about Joe and his writing, and buy his book –
It’s an in-depth look at the real problems with today’s news media — from staff cutbacks and 24/7 demands for content to reduced advertising revenue, less support for press legal defense and fewer in-house watchdogs to keep the news fair and honest. And, of course, the impact of Donald Trump’s constant war on the press and false claims of “fake news.”


And finally, here are the stories we really didn’t have time to talk about…

  • Trump’s latest medical results are in, and we’re all pretending that he’s only 243 pounds and that he’s six foot three – which means he must be standing in a small hole any time Obama or Trudeau are anywhere near.  The best part of this year’s fictional doctor’s report is where Dr Conley says the President is in very good health, and then predicts that “he will remain so for the duration of his Presidency, and beyond”. Honestly, some people can’t afford basic healthcare, but the White House gets psychic doctors!
  • The troller-in-chief and Greatest-Humble-Bragger-of-All-Time has apparently been nominated for the Nobel Peace prize – by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe but what for – well apparently for being president at the same time as a gap in nuclear testing by North Korea. Delightfully when asked in his own parliament if he had been asked by the US Administration to nominate Trump, Abe said “I’m not saying that it is not the fact,” Which we know by using Trump’s measure of veracity: “I don’t think anyone’s denied it” must mean its true. “Oh Obama got one can’t you get me one too-ooo? I’ll be your best friend.” Needless to say Trump didn’t get it!
  • A federal judge has ruled that Paul Manafort intentionally lied to Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s office, which is just the latest of the crimes he’s committed since being arrested.  On the plus side, since it invalidates his plea deal and means he’ll probably spend the rest of his life in prison, he can just keep on committing crimes now and there’s not much more they can do to him.
  • Trump’s latest tweet about Native American genocide in a slur against the latest to join the presidential race “Elizabeth Warren, “sometimes referred to by me as Pocahontas” which ends “see you on the TRAIL” – in capital letters – a not-too-veiled reference to the Trail of Tears – caused outrage this week as per usual, and Fox News analyst Brit Hume dismissed the outrage as per usual, this time however using an unusual defence maintaining that Trump is too ignorant of 19th Century history to have known it’s a joke! Hume explained that Trump “says ignorant and offensive things regularly, but he is not noted for veiled references to historical events.” But being stupid still doesn’t mean it’s not offensive – ignorance is no defense in the eyes of the law – and also Jeremy Clarkson!
  • A MAGA hat wearing Trump supporter attacked a BBC cameraman at a Trump rally in El Paso.  Nobody knows what motivated the attack, which came just a few days before Trump called the press the Enemy of the People for the 50th time.
  • Goodloe Sutton the editor and publisher of a local paper in AlabamaThe Democrat Reporter wrote an editorial on Valentine’s Day entitled “Klan needs to ride again.” in a piece of writing you’d thought you’d only get to read in a museum’s chamber of horrors he writes: “Democrats in the Republican Party and Democrats are plotting to raise taxes in Alabama. This socialist-communist ideology sounds good to the ignorant, the uneducated, and the simple-minded people. If we could get the Klan to go up there and clean out DC we’d all be better off. We’ll get the hemp ropes out, loop them over a tall limb and hang all of them. It’s not calling for the lynchings of Americans. These are socialist-communists we’re talking about.” However Sutton also told the paper he did not believe the Klan was a violent organisation. “They didn’t kill but a few people. The Klan wasn’t violent until they needed to be.” oh so that’s alright then – it’s only Fake Noose!
  • Trump has come up with an idea for an event which he hopes will become an annual tradition. It’s a brilliant idea, a totally original concept, and nobody has ever done anything like it before. He’s suggested having a parade in Washington DC on July 4th to celebrate America. Details are still being worked out, and there’s no word yet on how this will affect the National Independence Day Parade that has been held in Washington DC for over 20 years.
  • It’s probably no coincidence that Trump trails declared 2020 election Democrat contenders by several percentage points in the polls, he even trails Joe Biden by 12 points- and he’s declared nothing beyond thinking about running he is spending much of his executive time making up nasty nicknames for the Democrats. If he had even one iota of self-awareness he would realise that the enormous amount of name-calling that has gone in the direction of the fetid, orange,small-minded, short-dicked, brain-farting, mealy-mouthed, cunt-faced, pube-headed, mother-fucking arsehole himself hasn’t actually unfortunately made any impact on someone continuing to be in power, and he he might give it up and concentrate on statesmanship?

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See you all next time!

Jim Cliff

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