Tony Ortega’s Whataboutism

These days in the news we hear a lot about Whataboutism’, it’s a variant of the tu quoque logical fallacy which attempts to discredit an opponent’s position by charging them with hypocrisy without directly refuting or disproving what it is they are saying. It’s a pernicious line of argument particularly associated with Soviet and Russian propaganda. Indeed, when criticisms were leveled at the Soviet Union during the Cold War, the Soviet response would be “What about…” followed by an event in the Western world.

Whataboutism was then and remains today a red flag indicating an attempt to manipulate deceive in those who engage in it.

Tony Ortega’s now infamous attack on CNN’s Amber Lyon following her piece on the growing sex trafficking scandal which would lead to his firing, is a textbook example of Whataboutism and clear evidence of Tony Ortega’s Cold War Soviet-style propaganda.

Ortega writes:

I remember the last couple of mass panics. Do you? 

There was the daycare scare of the 1980s, when we were told that child molesters had infiltrated childcare centers across the country. From the beginning of the panic, with the infamous McMartin Preschool trial (which ended in zero convictions), it should have been obvious that there was something hard to believe about the media reports of this nationwide crime epidemic.

Setting the stage as only master propagandist can, he plants his seed of doubt recalling those crazy claims of false child molestation and devil worship that swept daycares in the 80’s.

He continues:

We’ve panicked in other ways since those days, but if we tended to see terrorists everywhere after 9/11, at least there was vivid evidence that we had become a target.

Ortega wants desperately for you to believe that even today we invent stories out of mass panic and fear. His whole case depends on you buying into the idea that if those stories are inventions then the ones made against him must surely be inventions too.

He ends his rant by drawing a straight line from these made up stories to the then growing chorus of celebrities, activists, and politicians who’d begun loudly condemning him in the press and on television.

He writes:

What’s there to panic about today?

A small group of political activists is quite ready to provide the answer. In the second decade of the 21st century, we are being told that there’s a widespread, growing, and out-of-control problem to fear in our country. And it has a catchy name: “trafficking.”

In cities across America, we are told over and over, like a mantra, that “100,000 to 300,000” underage sex slaves have been stashed away from public view, with more joining them every day. It’s a problem growing so quickly that the United States soon will be no better than Moldova or Nepal in regard to child sex trafficking. Why go to the Third World looking for this nightmare when our cities and suburbs are bursting with children in bondage?

Feel that panic in your chest? Must have been what Geraldo experienced. Now, step back and take a deep breath.

See? Nothing to see here with my sex scandal! I mean, just look over there: Whatabout the satanists! Whatabout the terrorists! Whatabout Geraldo Rivera!!! Classic Whataboutism that would surely bring a tear to Kruchev’s eye.

Perhaps if Ortega is in need of a job, he might consider taking a desk at the propaganda department in some dictatorship country. He certainly has the chops for it.

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