Denialists’ Deck of Cards: The Jack of Clubs, “You’re A Ninny”

i-97ba06801a1a240ff3b91894cb907ad9-jc.jpeg It’s time to go on the offensive. Call your opponent a ninny!

One of the best examples of this comes from–you guessed it–our friend Jack Abramoff. One of Jack Abramoff’s teammembers, Dennis Stephens, once proposed to attack Gary Ruskin of Commercial Alert because Ruskin’s group was criticizing “Channel One:”

From: Dennis Stephens
To: Chad Cowan
Cc: Abramoff, Jack

“Have you guys ever looked into Gary Ruskin, a Nader protege who runs Commercial Alert (which is attacking Channel One, our client)…The guy is a weasel…Someone should consider doing an in depth piece on Ruskin and his Nader front groups. We should have lunch and review the options.”


2 responses to “Denialists’ Deck of Cards: The Jack of Clubs, “You’re A Ninny””

  1. I think you need to distinguish ad hominem as straightforward attack from ad hominen as sensible cognitive filter, something that your citation doesn’t necessarily do. In any reasonably complicated debate (whether technical or otherwise) it’s a good idea to know the biases and reputations of the participants. I can know, for example, that if someone from the Discovery Institute is making an argument that seems reasonable at first glance, I should probably look at it more carefully.

  2. Kapitano

    Calling your opponant a fool and calling him a bad person are, I think, different strategies. Though often calling him one implies the other, so the two can run in tandem.

    Calling Dr X a bad person
    “Dr X is intellectually dishonest. He is deliberately hiding evidence that contradicts Darwinism because he knows that if he admits the truth, he’ll be out of a job.”

    “Dr X is a communist.” (good old-fashioned name-calling)

    “Dr X refuses to support our brave soldiers in Iraq. He obviously doesn’t believe in the freedoms they protect.”

    Calling Dr X a fool:
    “Dr X once paid tribute to the liberal moonbat Noam Chomsky, calling his childish pretensions ‘brave and necessary’”.

    “Dr X was among those who wavered on classifying Piltdown Man as the evolutionist fraud we all know it to be.”

    “Dr X says he can’t discount the possibility of extraterrestrial visitation.”

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