Prosecute the torture.

February 1, 2012

Another Logical Fallacy At The Trib

We'll start with the fallacy: post hoc ergo propter hoc which is defined as:
The post hoc ergo propter hoc (after this therefore because of this) fallacy is based upon the mistaken notion that simply because one thing happens after another, the first event was a cause of the second event.
Now let's look at The Trib and see how they stroked the fallacy.


Today they wrote:
After the then-inspector general overseeing AmeriCorps dug up enough dirt to bury the federally funded community service program, a curious thing happened: The IG's office funding was slashed nearly in half for this fiscal year.

Gerald Walpin, the IG for the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), found that its AmeriCorps division was mired in scandals. Among them, allegations that Sacramento, Calif., Mayor Kevin Johnson misused an $850,000 grant and the dubious funneling of about $80 million to City University of New York.

In the glare of these findings, the Obama administration fired Mr. Walpin.

Now, apparently to ensure no further embarrassments, the IG's office at CNCS has been neutered despite efforts in recent weeks by Republican lawmakers to shift funding from CNCS to the IG's office, the Federal Times reports.
You'll note that no where in that little blurb is any mention of when any of these events occurred.  It's implicitly implied that the IG's funding was slashed due to Walpin's dirt digging and subsequent firing.

So when was Walpin fired?

June of 2009 - that's more than two years ago, by the way.  Huffingtonpost had the story:
An inspector general fired by President Barack Obama said Friday he acted "with the highest integrity" in investigating AmeriCorps and other government-funded national service programs. Gerald Walpin said in an interview with The Associated Press that he reported facts and conclusions "in an honest and full way" while serving as inspector general at the Corporation for National and Community Service.

In a letter to Congress on Thursday, Obama said he had lost confidence in Walpin and was removing him from the position.
Huffpo also said:
Walpin was criticized by the acting U.S. attorney in Sacramento for the way he handled the investigation of Johnson and St. HOPE Academy.
And so this acting U.S. attorney must be an Obama appointee, right?  I mean if the whole things whitewash by the Obama administration, the criticism of Walpin must be from that side of the political aisle, right?

And here's the acting USAttorney's letter spelling out those criticisms.  If you read it, it says that concerns were expressed in August of 2008 about Walpin's investigation of Kevin Johnson.

Tell me again who was in charge in August of 2008?

Ah, the stuff Scaife's braintrust doesn't tell you.  Once you ponder what they left out of their causal chain, you see there's no there there.

Post hoc ergo propter hoc.  It's a fallacy for a reason

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