Today I will be going over the Sally Yates testimony along with her firing and how the conservative side of the media had used fallacies within their arguments and claims to persuade their readers to come to pre-made conclusion.
What I had noticed in the Fox News article titled “Former acting AG Sally Yates testifies on Russia”, is that the straw man fallacy has been used in its claims and arguments. I had noticed that they (it) had cut down Yate’s answers and rebuttals to the questions that she was being asked. They had made it look as if she put less effort into the testimony that what she actually did. This is a common occurrence within the article and it happens quite often as the majority of the time Fox news had put down only line answers from Yates when it was much more than that. For example, the Fox news article quoted Yates “I did my job the best way I knew how”, which did not provide much context other than being asked why she had done to the travel ban. They undermine her answers that are given. The way that this fallacy is used is actually quite convincing as I have seen the videos of the Yates testimony and it made it seem lackluster and not up to par with the real answers that Sally Yates gave. When I fact checked the article it was all true due to the fact of it being all quotes from the testimony.
Another conservative news source Breitbart in “FNC’s Hume: Sally Yates’ Testimony ‘Didn’t Really Move the Ball Very Much‘” had many of the same aspect as the Fox news article due to the fact it used the straw man fallacy and went after Sally Yates. Another thing that stood out to me in this article and that was that it had also used the fallacy ad hominem, attacking her person rather than the answers she was giving. Jeff Poor said “So, it didn’t really move the ball very much. Embarrassing”, he had said this in the context that Yates had not disclosed much about the Flynn case and that it was classified information. Rather than acknowledging Despite that Breitbart called it embarrassing not much has been revealed and disclosed about the case. Breitbart had also used the strawman fallacy in their article about Yates. They gave no other quotes on Yates testimony and only concluded that it was embarrassing for her to not be able to disclose an information. They had only implemented parts that benefited their argument. They had used this fallacy of only showing a small part of her testimony to show their readers that not much had happened during the testimony. They had not mentioned anything about the Russian investigation nor any of Yates words defending herself of her actions against the travel ban. This was really interesting to me because there was so much more context and so much more going on in this testimony but Breitbart chose to stay on only one particular aspect of it and only take a single quote from her testimony regarding the Russian investigation, the travel ban, and Michael Flynn. Coming from a reader’s perspective, it was very convincing that the testimony came down to nothing being done or revealed when a lot was said about her actions defending what she had done to the travel ban.
What I find most interesting in both these articles is that only one article covers the whole testimony, but only the way they want to. By undermining the answers from Yates, they only took quotes from yates that they could take advantage of. which was really compelling to me. On the other hand, with the Breitbart article they had no mention of anything else other than it was not really progressive. That not much had gotten done throughout the testimony. When in reality there was so much more to it. Breitbart had not a single mention of the Russian investigation and chose to pick at a single quote from Yates which an example of the straw man fallacy. In the end both of these articles had used straw man fallacies and ad hominem to get their information across. It Their arguments would be convincing if there was no other research done on this material.