QUESTION TYPE: Flawed Reasoning
CONCLUSION: The critics are wrong to say that journalists undermine society with cynicism.
REASONING: Journalists have always been cynical.
ANALYSIS: The author is mixed up. The critics claim that journalists hurt society by being cynical.
The author responds by saying that journalists have always been cynical. That’s irrelevant.
If I say “you’re being mean right now”, I don’t care if you’ve always been mean or if you just started.
That is to say, maybe journalists are currently hurting society with their cynicism. And maybe they hurt society in the past with the cynicism, as well.
- The commentator needn’t say that cynicism is good to disprove the social critics. He can disagree with them any way he wants. It seems like a bad argument technique to say that cynicism is good, few would argue that widespread cynicism is a good thing.
- This would explain why the journalists are cynical, but it doesn’t prove that their cynicism is harmful.
- It doesn’t matter if the cynicism is genuine or not. The commentator was only trying to prove it wasn’t harmful.
- This might show that the journalists are just being honest. But it doesn’t prove whether or not their cynical portrayals harm the public.
- CORRECT. The social critics were arguing that the cynicism is harmful right now. They might agree that it was harmful in the past as well. You can’t prove something is good merely by saying it’s been happening for a while.
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