Why is it that the media loves to "fact check" people? What does that even mean? Since the RNC and DNC, I have been asking these same questions. What I found was shocking: the number of fallacies the media and Democrats have committed over the past year. I have dedicated this post, therefore, to going over the top 7 most egregious of them.
1. Quote mining
In June 2015, Donald Trump made a bunch of statistically valid remarks about illegal immigration: Despite liberal claims to the contrary, the ratio of criminals to good people is much higher among illegal immigrants than among both legal immigrants *and* people who stay in countries like Mexico. How did Trump get painted as a racist, therefore? This is how: the media harped on "they're sending rapists… they're sending drug dealers…" while completely ignoring "and some, I assume, are good people". That last sentence is the one that provides the entire context of what's being said. Quote mining is exactly this: placing quotes outside of their surrounding contexts and attacking people over them.
2. Ad hominem
"Racist". "Sexist". "Homophobic". "Xenophobic". "Islamophobic". "Basket of deplorables". Should we go on? These have absolutely nothing to do with the topics, the ideas, the key problems that this country has faced since Obama took office. Instead, they're all about attacking people personally. They're a distraction: instead of going after the issue, they're attacking a person's character directly and going off topic in the process. Yup, that's exactly what the definition of ad hominem is, and you wonder why in the world these people who claim to be the logical, reasonable ones are committing it.
3. Association fallacy
Just because someone supports an (allegedly) divisive candidate does not under any circumstances mean that the person in question is also divisive even by the same definition. Accusing people of being racist or sexist merely for associating with people, even if those people actually are, is called the association fallacy, and applying it towards people is ad hominem on top of the association fallacy.
4. False dichotomy
"I respect you as a human being, but don't agree with you on [name key issue]." "Homophobe!" "Transphobe!" "Woman-hater!" The assumption in this accusation is obvious: it's that anyone who disagrees with you hates you. Irony: notice how the person responded with name-calling? That makes the liberal twice as hateful as the conservative in this case! If calling someone a f****t or t****y is hateful — and it is hateful indeed, even by my conservative standards — then calling someone a homophobe or transphobe is equally hateful. A false dichotomy, by definition, is assuming that there are only two options when there are in fact more than two, and that's exactly what this is.
5. Poisoning the well
The fallacy of "poisoning the well" is a fallacy in which irrelevant (and abusive) information about an opponent is presented with intent to distract an audience. Since fallacy #1 (quote mining) is the fallacy that the media used to give people the impression of Trump being a racist, this fallacy was something that the media has been guilty of right from the get-go, and the "basket of deplorables" remark would also qualify as this. So, accusing Trump of committing a hasty generalization, are we? You're committing this fallacy by doing so.
6. Red herring
Ad hominem is technically a subset of this one. Any argument that attempts to distract from a topic is called a red herring, and there are plenty of them from the left to say the least. One of the most common examples is when someone responds to issues like Islamic terrorism and illegal immigration with "not all Muslims are terrorists" or "not all Mexicans are drug dealers," respectively. Yes, those are true statements, but do they have anything to do with the topic at hand? No. They fail to take into account, respectively, that the majority of post-9/11 terrorists are Muslims and that the ratio of criminals to good people is higher among illegal immigrants than among legal immigrants, which happen to be the respective topics.
7. Circular reasoning
When the left tries to attack us, do they even think about it? Unfortunately not. When the premise and conclusion are the exact same thing, that's called circular reasoning. Some examples are to the effect of "conservatives are dumb, because… conservatives are dumb," "DNA and homology point to Darwinism and not to OEC because… DNA and homology point to Darwinism," "Trump supporters are racist because… Trump supporters are racist", or, for an example that goes contrary to forensic evidence, "People who think Christianity is objectively true are closed minded… because <repeat>". Failure to use anything other than circular reasoning to defend a position makes you the closed-minded one.