Originally Posted by midwinter
Well, in a debate, I would expect questions to have some kind of bias. What the hell is the point of the debate if not to ask candidates questions that force them to speak in specifics? At any rate, I don't think this is a discussion of the questions. I think this is about people being upset because the askers were Democrats, as was the premise of this entire thread. That, as I have pointed out a number of times, is a logical fallacy.
You can easily speak in specifics without the question taking a particular positive or negative point of view with regard to the answer.
Now you've attempted to steer this in the direction of questioner bias and if that were the only objection regarding the debate, you would be right that it is a fallacy.
Let's dig into your own sources here.Genetic FallacyThe genetic fallacy is a fallacy of irrelevance where a conclusion is suggested based solely on something or someone's origin rather than its current meaning or context. This overlooks any difference to be found in the present situation, typically transferring the positive or negative esteem from the earlier context.
The questions are not loaded merely because the questioner is a Democrat. They are loaded because they contain presuppositions which is the definition of a loaded question.
If I wanted to overlook the actual content of the question and focus on questioner alone... solely as your own definition notes, that would be the fallacy.
That has not happened here. No fallacy has been committed with regard to the genetic fallacy.
Now on to ad hominem circumstancial...Ad hominem circumstantial
Ad hominem circumstantial involves pointing out that someone is in circumstances such that he is disposed to take a particular position. Essentially, ad hominem circumstantial constitutes an attack on the bias of a person. The reason that this is fallacious in syllogistic logic is that pointing out that one's opponent is disposed to make a certain argument does not make the argument, from a logical point of view, any less credible; this overlaps with the genetic fallacy (an argument that a claim is incorrect due to its source).]
If I said, "Look you can't allow an openly gay, Democratic, ex-general to ask a question in this debate because he is only going to speak about homosexual rights in a manner that will attempt to play gotcha with Republican presidential candidates." You would be completely correct in calling that a fallacy. He can be a Democrat, openly gay, an ex-general and still not ask a loaded question.
The fallacy states that just because he is predisposed to make a certain argument, it doesn't invalidate or make the point of that argument any less relevant.
But the complaint here is that the general didn't make any argument. Instead he asked a loaded question and then chastised the candidates using his own fallacy, an appeal to his authority, to dismiss valid and logical concerns related to homosexuals openly serving in the military.
So again, no fallacy.
Not since the 1960s. The problem, and you know this, is that you could make this complaint about any nationally televised debate after the Kennedy/Nixon debates. So to complain about crappy questions in this particular debate is sort of like pointing out that to see the sky, one should look up.
Well YouTube and CNN didn't exist in the 60's. Secondly, even if they weren't as substantive as we would have liked, they were still supposed to be MORE substantive. If the other debates were 50% substantive, these were supposed to be higher than that and the reverse happened.
The bias of the questioner is irrelevant. That is a logical fallacy.
It is a fallacy if we ignore reality and appeal to the bias of the questioner to substitute for reality. The reality is that with an active military engagement going on and with 5,000 questions submitted, the most substantive thing CNN could think to filter and ask about was a loaded question from a person committing their own logical fallacy attempting to play a game of gotcha. You suggest it is ignorance on the part of CNN. The background of the the questioner along with all the other facts suggests collusion.
The broader issue, which someone above pointed out, is that this is all a stunt. All of it. The premise of the debate is that real people will ask questions instead of Tim Russert asking questions. But when 5000 questions are submitted and then producers choose the ones they like, they might as well have had Russert and the producers writing the questions. And those questions are no more or less biased than any the Dems were asked, nor were they any more or less biased than in other debates. Were the questions at times bad? Sure. Were they, at times, stupid? Sure.
We understand that CNN used a claimed attempt to democratize the debate question process as a ruse to continue to do what they have done and foist upon the continued bad results of their own prejudices.
But incompetence is not bias. And I believe all of us, left and right, agree that there is something horribly, horribly wrong with our mainstream media.
Incompetence isn't bias, but bias can't be dismissed as incompetence either. In fact if anything the fact that CNN claims to keep changing and investigating the processes that make up their outcome and still end up with the exact same outcome is a pure definition of bias at play.