Of Kimmel And Colbert

Very simple.

One, Kimmel, is an appeal to emotion and the other, Colbert, an ad hominen.

With the former, it's a little dicey but it's still designed to work your emotions. Just stick a sick child in your argument and dare someone to challenge it lest they look like a monster. Focusing on one anecdotal emotional example doesn't detract from the overall concerns against the law.

Stated another way, he used his child as a pawn in politics to defend a policy in public. As such, he is not above any criticism that comes his way. You don't get to use such a tactic and not be questioned.

Appeals to emotions are tricky -with all due respect to Hume who believe emotions were at the centre of our moral agency - and can be useful in politics. Notice when Obama tried to push gun control in the aftermath of Sandy Hook making a passionate plea surrounded by children. We're usually told it's not wise to make decisions in the heat of the moment, yet we seem prepared to accept this with policy; particularly those that impact liberty. In the case of Obamacare, it also demands one takes the labor of another.

Tricky because it can lead to rhetorical constructs to build an argument. One filled with projection based on a personal experience. This is not the foundation, I think, of how public policy should be written. For every personal anecdote there's real people affected by this law - so filled with exemptions and confusion. It's also unhelpful to the extent it blocks a discussion of why costs have spiralled upwards: government intervention.

Says Kimmel:

“Let’s stop this nonsense,” he said. “This isn’t football; there are no teams. We are the team — it’s the United States. Don’t let their partisan squabbles divide us on something every decent person wants.”

As in, listen to our side only because we're decent and no decent person could ever want to repeal this law. Don't be political even though that's exactly what I'm doing here. Never mind he just asked someone else to foot his bill; one in which he could, presumably, afford.

The latter is an example of a position that lost its ability to present a reason argument. With Colbert, he comes from the faulty premise of *believing* his world view is the correct one thus permitting him to enter the world of ad hominen. Leave aside for a second the sobering fact had a celebrity talk show host had done the same to Obama...I'll let you ponder the rest. Colbert needs to apologize quick and without reservation. In other words, he was being an asshole.

I don't know how anyone who claims to possess critical thinking skills can tolerate and digest all this noise in the celebrity (and corporate ranks i.e. Marvel Comics and ESPN) ranks.

It's mere partisan smugness of shallow proportions.


  1. Don't Kimmel and Colbert simply come across as high school "class clowns" or quintessential butt-fucker college "fraternity brothers" rowdily rambling off a bunch of hedonistic bullshit while getting drunk at a popular local bar/club?

    I've always found those types too shallow-headed and juvenile-to-boot to ever really be able to enjoy their brand of humor anyway. I usually just get bored with them and simply turn them off, or go find something else to watch.


Mysterious and anonymous comments as well as those laced with cyanide and ad hominen attacks will be deleted. Thank you for your attention, chumps.