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Linguistic Magicians: What the Left Hand Is Doing

Posted on January 25 2011 9:00 am
Jeff Jefferson is a carpenter who lives with his family in rural Illinois. He is a Tea Party participant and blogs at his site:

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There is a storm brewing over a recently surfaced segment of The Glenn Beck Show from June of 2010. In the video, while he is talking about impeding people with strong convictions, Beck says, “you are going to have to shoot them in the head.” The clip was quickly posted on along with a description of Beck’s statement. Jed Lewison, the author of the post, provides a long list of names that Beck has put up on his chalkboard, and then goes on to claim that Beck has called for their death:

“The only way to stop their plot, Beck says, is to “shoot them in head” before they “shoot you. It’s worth noting that this wasn’t the first time Beck told his audience that the only way to stop their political opponents was through violence.”

Although the leftist media elites fancy themselves to be so much smarter than the hoi polloi, they seem to be unable to glean meaning from context. Below Lewison’s post is a full transcript of the Beck segment. A quick read of the transcript reveals that Beck does not call for his audience to shoot anyone in the head. Instead, the “you” Beck is addressing happens to be opportunistic politicians, not his audience, and the “them” Beck is talking about are the radical revolutionaries that the politicians are using to empower themselves.

This kind of willful unawareness is a staple tactic of the Left. They feign ignorance, twist meaning, and make radical assertions. By the time their marks (conservatives) have caught on to the sleight-of-hand, the media memes have run their course. Conservatives often issue a response, but by then, the narrative has already been established, and those that have a peripheral interest in politics have moved on to other news.

For example, when Dutch politician, writer, and feminist, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, appeared on PBS’s The Tavis Smiley Show last May, Tavis Smiley performed such an overt display of syllogistic sleight-of-hand that the term for such an act should carry his name. Smiley and Ali were discussing Islamic terror. Ali begins:

“These guys are acting on a conviction. Somehow they have gotten it into their minds that killing people is a great thing to do, and they will be rewarded in the afterlife . . .”

At which point, Smiley interrupts:

“But… but Christians do that every single day in this country. Christians, people walk into post offices, they walk into schools, that’s what Columbine was. There’s so many more examples of Christians who do that than you can ever give me of Muslims who have inside this country where you live and work.”

The deception is obvious. Ali is referring to acts of terror perpetrated in the name of Islam. Smiley changes the premise to violence committed by Christians. The Christians that he claims are committing acts of violence are not doing these acts in the name of Christianity; they are psychopaths that happen to have been raised in a Christian environment. Radical Muslims are committing acts of violence for the cause of Islam; they claim that their religion commands them to commit murder. When one compares the argument on an apples-to-apples basis Smiley’s assertion is shown to be pure fraudulence. Ali is caught of guard by Smiley’s logic to such an extent that the only response she can muster is “I think you and I disagree.” Smiley has never issued a correction.

Next: The “Daily” Slight of Hand…

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