Gish Gallop – FT#28

Gish Gallop – FT#28

Show Notes

The Gish Gallop is a method of debating that focuses on quantity of arguments over quality, overwhelming your opponent with multiple arguments, each of which is often poorly argued or evidentially lacking. The sheer number of arguments makes a detailed, effective refutation impossible due to the research and time needed to present contrary evidence.

We started out with the Donald’s December 2017 interview with the New York Times, in which he made 24 false or misleading statements in about 30 minutes:

Then we looked at one day of Charlie Kirk’s tweets in which he made multiple false claims, and discussed these two tweets in particular:


In Mark’s British Politics Corner, we talked about Nigel Farage’s claims that immigrants are the cause of all your problems, and Russell Brand’s counter-claim that it’s actually the economic elites like Nigel Farage:

Then we talked about Jacob Rees Mogg talking about how we should all rejoice about Brexit:


In the Fallacy in the Wild, we talked about this amazing 32 second Gish Gallop from Climate Change denier Marc Morano:

Guardian journalist Graham Readfearn brilliantly debunks all Morano’s points here:

Then we discussed the trope namer, creationist Duane Gish. Here’s a transcript of one of his debates, in which you can get a sense of just how many different fallacies and falsehoods he can fit into 45 minutes:

Here are the statements from this week’s Fake News game:

  1. We have one poll where the pollster said, “Anybody that says, ‘I don’t want to talk to you. I don’t want to tell you. I don’t want to even discuss it — ‘” And they also added another two words, when they call up and they say these two horrible words — anybody in that category it’s a 100% vote for Trump. And what they’ve done is they don’t count that. But now this one counts that, it’s 100%
  2. We do very little polling because I’m not a huge believer in polling. I think you go out there and you fight and you don’t really need polls. You need ideas more than polls. But we have some internal polling — very little — and it’s unbelievably strong. The strongest I’ve ever been is exactly today.
  3. We’re doing tremendously in the polls — we’re seeing numbers like never before, especially among Hispanics. And what they say — what the pollsters say is that with Trump and polls, whatever the number is, you can add 20, because for whatever reason, people are ashamed to admit how much they love me. It’s true.

Click below for the answer

Mark is on a roll of epic proportions, so he’s now on 41%. I feel like I’m losing my powers to fool him!


Then we talked about the awesome Rep. Katie Porter, her call for impeachment, and her impressive performance in congressional hearings. This year’s freshman class of congresspeople is genuinely exciting!

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

  • The Office of Special Counsel, an independent government agency that oversees the behaviour of Federal employees, has recommended that KellyAnne Conway be immediately fired for ‘egregious, notorious and ongoing’ violations of the Hatch Act, a statute that prohibits federal employees from taking part in political campaigns while on duty. Like the time KellyAnne told people, in her official capacity as counsellor to the President, to vote for accused pedophile Roy Moore, or the literally dozens of other times she did something similar. She doesn’t seem too worried, telling one journalist ‘blah blah blah, tell me when the jail sentence starts’.  Of course she’s not worried, Trump isn’t going to do anything about it because, in his administration, breaking the law isn’t a bug, it’s a feature.
  • In a move absolutely guaranteed to cast the last shred of doubt that he could possibly be capable of collusion from the minds of well just about everyone, Trump told ABC News that if he was offered dirt on his 2020 opponent “I’d wanna hear it” adding that he’d probably only tell the FBI “ if I thought there was something wrong”. Just like last time I guess – Yeah remind me how that’s working out for ya again Donny?
  • On Flag Day, the official White House twitter account deliberately tweeted a picture of Trump dry-humping the American flag at CPAC like a fucking maniac.  For some reason they thought it was a good thing that the President thinks that’s what patriotism looks like. Weirdly, some people think the flag should be treated with a bit more respect, but after all, when you’re a star, the flag lets you do it.
  • In more echoes of Back to The Future where Marty parks the DeLorean behind the sign for Lyons Estates – and there’s no estate! Trump Heights was announced in Israel, but there’s no Heights, just a bit of scenery, artificial grass and some pomp but no circumstance As even the founder of the Knesset caucus for the Golan, Kahol Lavan MK Zvi Hauser, observed: “Anyone who reads the fine print of the ‘historic’ decision understands that this is a conceptual decision. There is no funding. There is no planning. There is no location and there is really no committed decision”. Netanyahu’s government has made a brilliant move. After all, what does Trump love more than seeing his name in golden letters on a big sign? The main thing is the picture, and who’s going to check afterward whether a community is built there or not. The honor has already been bestowed; the facts are marginal.
  • Last week in the Gulf of Tonkin, sorry – Gulf of Oman, two Japanese tankers were attacked, and Mike Pompeo, who really really seems to want to go to war with Iran, says Iran did it, with underwater limpet mines, and they totally have evidence, but they aren’t going to show you, because… reasons.  Unfortunately for Mike, the owner of one of the tankers says the crew saw a projectile flying towards the ship before the explosion, and the damage is all well above the water line. But that’s just crazy, I mean the US government would not lie about a foreign aggressor to justify going to war… Oh, wait.
  • Right here’s a thing. You’re making a film about a spy in the White House – it turns out that no… it was the President all along.. what a damn great plot twist, forget it ‘sbeen done. A report in the New York Times says top people in the U.S. military and Trump’s own government are attempting to evade filling Trump in on the details of an anti-Russian espionage effort because of an informed suspicion that Donald Trump might well sabotage their efforts on behalf of their Russian targets. Okay what that actually is is that they are behaving with at least some consideration that Trump, as president, may either be acting as foreign agent or is simply so incapable of restraint that he could expose intelligence details he has been given in order to ingratiate himself with, or merely make smalltalk with, foreign visitors/dictators. That’s what you get when you call your lead character after the British slang for noise that comes out of an arse! I for one wouldn’t green light that movie – not realistic enough.
  • Evangelical Trump supporters are about to get a lesson in the law of unintended consequences. Trump’s latest proposed tariffs on China include 25% or more on printed material. Fun fact – the overwhelming majority of bibles in the US are printed in China, and according to a spokesman from publishers Harper Collins, ‘Due to the unique paper, printing, and binding needs of Bible production there are simply no U.S. vendors that could produce any significant portion of the volume needed to meet the demands of the U.S. market”, adding that a 25% tariff “could result in a Bible shortage”.  It looks like people are going to have to not read something else instead.
  • This week we were treated to the return of the Spectacle of Government as described by the Situationists in 1960s revolutionary Paris through televised debates between Tory leadership hopefuls vying to appear the most socialist. Us poor gawping souls in the TV audience have no actual say over who gets to go through to the next round – that’s down to other MPs, and we don’t get to vote on the final choice. This is the very opposite of Love Island; as @James Melville accurately tweeted “Britain is a country where a new prime minister will be chosen by 0.3% of the electorate to form a government that doesn’t have a majority, in a party that is at 20% in the polls, to try and deliver something that most of the country doesn’t want.”

If you’d like to come along at meet us at the Merseyside Skeptics’ 10th Anniversary event in Liverpool on July 6th, tickets are still available from (and they’re only £29)

See you next time!

Jim Cliff

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