Jim Cliff & Mark Levermore public
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Jim and Mark use the insane ramblings of a tiny-handed narcissist to explain logical fallacies. Each episode we focus on a single logical fallacy and, using examples from Trump, UK politics and pop culture, explore how and why it fools people, how to avoid committing it yourself, and how to counter it in an argument.
 
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show series
 
In the ninety-first episode we explore Amazing Familiarity, starting with Trump claiming to know what the Founders intended when writing the Constitution, and whether anybody has ever said I love you to a politician. Kevin McCarthy claims he knows why people voted for Biden, and Kayleigh McEnany claims Trump has never lied. In Mark's British Politi…
 
Happy New Year! Here's part 2 of our Holiday treat for you, a breakdown of Disney+'s latest shameless cash grab, a film made by people who either didn't watch Home Alone or didn't understand why people liked it. It's part scholarly film theory analysis, part snarky nitpicking, part exasperated diatribe. Yes, each of the two parts is technically abo…
 
In the ninetieth episode we explore the Argument from Silence, starting with Trump assuming everyone is flirting with him even if they don't know it themselves, and assuming people who take the fifth are guilty, and Marjorie Taylor Greene harassing school shooting survivor David Hogg. In Mark's British Politics Corner we look at Simon Case not answ…
 
Merry Christmas! Here's our Christmas gift to you, a breakdown of Disney+'s latest shameless cash grab, a film made by people who either didn't watch Home Alone or didn't understand why people liked it. It's part scholarly film theory analysis, part snarky nitpicking, part exasperated diatribe. Yes, each of the two parts is technically about as lon…
 
In the eighty-ninth episode we explore Survivorship Bias, starting with Trump talking to literal survivors of coronavirus about using hydroxychloroquine, and telling people not to be afraid of Covid after he survived it, and South Carolina Republican Nancy Mace citing a study on natural immunity that relies heavily on this fallacy. In Mark's Britis…
 
In the eighty-eighth episode we explore Conflating Views, starting with Trump lumping New Mexicans in with Californians regarding the Wall and claiming Biden had vowed to defund the police; and Candace Owens suggesting Rittenhouse disbelievers were more charitable to OJ. In Mark's British Politics Corner we look at Priti Patel being unsympathetic t…
 
In the eighty-seventh episode we explore the Gotcha Argument, starting with Trump revealing how unprepared he was to answer foreign policy questions as a candidate, and failing to clarify Jared Kushner's statement on the Strategic National Stockpile. In Mark's British Politics Corner we look at Matt Hancock refusing to answer a question he didn't l…
 
In the eighty-sixth episode we explore the Appeal to Fiction Fallacy, starting with Trump confusing a movie with real life around the southern border, and comparing himself to a notorious movie villain, before Don Jr misunderstands Orwell. In Mark's British Politics Corner we look at Boris Johnson attempting to pepper his speech on how great we all…
 
In the eighty-fifth episode we explore the Broken Window Fallacy, starting with Trump claiming tariffs would help the economy, and Texas and Mississippi Attorneys General arguing that banning abortions empowers women and stimulates interstate commerce. In Mark's British Politics Corner we look at Boris Johnson boasting that the abolition of Free Tr…
 
In the eighty-fourth episode we explore the Sunk Cost Fallacy, starting with Trump justifying sending 4000 more troops into Afghanistan in 2017 based on the loss of life so far, then being unable to back down from his mistake about Hurricane Dorian hitting Alabama. In Mark's British Politics Corner we look at Tim Loughton complaining about the ongo…
 
In the eighty-third episode we explore the Double Standard Fallacy, starting with Trump selectively accepting the media 'calling' the election depending on who won, Kayleigh McEnany claiming Biden's phone call to Ghani was impeachable due to a quid pro quo, and Candace Owens invoking absolute medical freedom but definitely not for abortion. In Mark…
 
In the eighty-second episode we explore the Appeal to Nature, starting with Trump complaining about artificial light, Mike Pence asking how natural things like CO2 and coal can be bad, and Rand Paul suggesting the natural immunity gained by those who survive a deadly disease is way better than the artificial vaccine and never getting the disease in…
 
In the eighty-first episode we explore the Appeal to Common Folk, starting with Trump claiming he's a blue collar worker, and then claiming he and his followers are actually super elites. Then Don Jr talks about how much he loves trucks, guns and meat. In Mark's British Politics Corner we look at Nigel Farage, who embodies this fallacy. In the Fall…
 
In the eightieth episode we explore the Just World Fallacy, starting with Trump blaming black victims of police shootings for resisting arrest and the site of a mass shooting for not having armed security. Then Eric Trump blames women who are sexually harassed for allowing themselves to be subjected to it, and Mo Brooks blames sick people for not l…
 
In the seventy-ninth episode we explore the Appeal to Accomplishment, starting with Trump talking about how successful his imaginary friend is, and suggesting non-successful people shouldn't be able to criticize people like him. In Mark's British Politics Corner we look at Boris Johnson touting the success of the very unsuccessful Track and Trace s…
 
In the seventy-eighth episode we explore the McNamara Fallacy, starting with Robert McNamara and Donald Rumsfeld, then moving on to Trump focusing on money instead of the environment and Don Jr equating refugees to Skittles. In Mark's British Politics Corner we look at Boris Johnson focusing on COVID cases to justify lockdowns and switching deaths …
 
In the seventy-seventh episode we explore Ignoring Linear Time, starting with Trump saying Biden should have already done all the things he promised to do when he became President (including fixing the mess Trump made). In Mark's British Politics Corner we look at Chris Philp defending Priti Patel's stance on immigration reform against claims that …
 
In the seventy-sixth episode we explore the Fallacy of Worse Evil, starting with Trump saying Covid could have gone worse, and China is worse than Russia, then Louie Gohmert saying the insurrection wasn't the worse possible thing. In Mark's British Politics Corner we look at Matt Hancock, Dave Caesar and Dominic Cummings claiming Covid could have b…
 
Happy Birthday Fallacious Trump! This is the third of our birthday presents to you - Jim's Skeptics in the Pub talk about his work at the BBFC. Streamed live on 25th March 2021 For over a hundred years, a small, secretive group of people in Soho have decided what you can see in UK cinemas and, more recently, on video and DVD. Who are they, how do t…
 
Happy Birthday Fallacious Trump! This is the second of our birthday presents to you - the second episode of our Q Anon Book Club! In our second Q Anon Book Club episode we look at some of the best proofs Q followers (or 'anons') can come up with, which - as far as they are concerned - prove Q is real to a statistical certainty. Of course, the Q com…
 
Happy Birthday Fallacious Trump - this is your first of three birthday presents! In the very first episode of our new Q Anon: An Invitation to the Great Awakening book club, we discuss the criminals who run the world and who are either the most famous people you can think of or people behind the scenes who you've never heard of, and the 'good guys'…
 
In the seventy-fifth episode we explore Tokenism, starting by explaining why Trump appearing in a photo with Rosa Parks doesn't mean he's not racist, and looking at other times he claimed he wasn't racist. In Mark's British Politics Corner we look at Sajid Javid not being an ally of the Windrush community, and Matt Hancock lying about Boris Johnson…
 
In the seventy-fourth episode we explore the Accent Fallacy, starting with Trump misrepresenting what Ilhan Omar and Joe Biden said, and Mitt Romney misrepresenting what Obama said. In Mark's British Politics Corner we look at Boris Johnson being intentionally vague about which Bill Labour wants to kill. In the Fallacy in the Wild, we check out exa…
 
In the seventy-third episode we explore Circular Reasoning, starting with the GOP's reasons for not allowing witnesses in Trump's first impeachment trial, and then Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker arguing against legal weed. In Mark's British Politics Corner we look at the Boris Johnson kind of arguing both for and against lockdowns, and the UK Home…
 
In the seventy-second episode we explore the Appeal to Sincerity, starting out with Trump sincerely believing Covid is almost over (7 months ago), Democrats are pro-crime, and all his rallies were full. In Mark's British Politics Corner we look at the Boris Johnson being very confident about how well the UK is handling Covid, and Matt Hancock being…
 
In the seventy-first episode we explore the Anecdotal Fallacy, starting out with Trump telling stories of employees whose children were turned autistic with vaccines, and friends who were cured by hydroxychloroquine. In Mark's British Politics Corner (yes, Mark is actually back!) we look at the Irish and Thai leaders explaining why they relied on a…
 
In the seventieth episode we explore the Appeal to Anonymous Authority, starting out with Trump claiming 'the best analysts' predicted a stock market crash if Biden won, and that there are those who say you can test too much. We also heard about his extremely credible source for birtherism, and got a masterclass in combatting this fallacy from WH P…
 
In the sixty-ninth episode we explore the Imposter Fallacy, starting out with Trump claiming the Deep State have infiltrated the FDA and various people claiming Antifa attacked the Capitol on January 6. In Mark's British Politics Corner we look at Alistair Campbell claiming Corbyn supporters are actually trying to bring down the Labour Party. In th…
 
In the sixty-eighth episode we explore Failing Occam's Razor, starting out with Trump not understanding why he didn't get more mail in ballots and Lou Dobbs wondering why there's no proof of election fraud. In Mark's British Politics Corner we look at Therese Coffey and Baron McColl claiming obesity, age and population density are the reasons for t…
 
In the sixty-seventh episode we explore the Argumentum ad Lunam, starting out with Trump claiming that we can give every child school choice since we put a man on the moon. In Mark's British Politics Corner we look at Boris Johnson claiming we can solve Brexit since we put a man on the moon. In the Fallacy in the Wild, we check out examples from Th…
 
In the sixty-sixth episode we explore Promised Proof, starting out with Trump promising proof for rain in France and Mexico sending their criminals to the US, and a Trump supporter promising proof of Antifa attacking the Capitol. In Mark's British Politics Corner we look at Boris Johnson promising that he has seen evidence that Dominic Cummings did…
 
Happy New Year! It's part two of our special present to our lovely listeners, our breakdown of the Donald Trump movie Ghosts Can't Do It! And this part has the actual Donald Trump cameo in it (which won him a Razzie for Worst Supporting Actor) and you don't even have to wait long, as it's pretty much the first scene we talk about this time! Anyway,…
 
Merry Christmas! As a special present to our lovely listeners, we thought we'd give you the breakdown we did of the Donald Trump movie Ghosts Can't Do It! OK, technically, it's a Bo Derek movie, but the Donald does have a cameo (for which he won a Razzie for Worst Supporting Actor) - but you'll have to wait until part 2 on New Year's Day to hear us…
 
In the sixty-fifth episode we explore the Argument from Consequences, starting out with Trump unable to accept either the results of the election or climate change. In Mark's British Politics Corner we look at Boris Johnson promising we wouldn't end up in the No Deal situation we are currently in. In the Fallacy in the Wild, we check out examples f…
 
In the sixty-fourth episode we explore the Thought-Terminating Cliché, starting with Trump dismissing hundreds of thousands of dead Americans as "It is what it is", and arguing that election fraud is common sense. Then various Republicans claim now is not the time to talk about gun control. In Mark's British Politics Corner we look at Rishi Sunak a…
 
In the sixty-third episode we explore the Ad Hoc Fallacy, starting with Trump making shit up about why he lost the election (and also pretending he didn't lose the election). In Mark's British Politics Corner we look at Piers Morgan interviewing Matt Hancock and Nigel Farage. In the Fallacy in the Wild, we check out examples from 12 Angry Men, The …
 
In the sixty-second episode we explore the Ambiguity Fallacy, starting with Trump vaguely claiming the coronavirus will go away on its own. In Mark's British Politics Corner we look at Boris Johnson being ambiguous about how much money he'll pay the EU to leave. In the Fallacy in the Wild, we check out examples from The Simpsons and No Country For …
 
In the sixty-first episode we explore the Prosecutor's Fallacy, starting with Trump misrepresenting a CDC study about masks and coronavirus. In Mark's British Politics Corner we look at Mark Francois confusing a claim by Will Self, and the Telegraph's reasoning regarding false positive coronavirus tests. In the Fallacy in the Wild, we check out rea…
 
In the sixtieth episode we explore the Contextomy Fallacy, starting with Trump taking London Mayor Sadiq Khan out of context, and Bill Barr and Mike Pence doing the same to Robert Mueller and Ron Klain. In Mark's British Politics Corner we look at both Boris Johnson awkwardly quoting song lyrics and Keir Starmer probably quoting himself. In the Fal…
 
In the fifty-ninth episode we explore the Argument by Slogan, starting with Trump rally crowds chanting "Lock her up!" and "Build that wall". In Mark's British Politics Corner we look at the various slogans the UK government have tried out for Coronavirus. In the Fallacy in the Wild, we check out examples from Friends, Ryan Reynolds and the Colombi…
 
In the fifty-eighth episode we explore the Argument by Gibberish, starting with Trump talking nonsense about Obamacare and economic plans. In Mark's British Politics Corner we look at the drivel Matt Hancock talks about coronavirus tests. In the Fallacy in the Wild, we check out examples from Spies Like Us, Peter Sellers, a toothpaste ad and Billy …
 
In the fifty-seventh episode Jim and special guest host Chris (Mark's away this week) explore the Politician's Fallacy, starting with Trump explaining his motivations for the China tariffs and the Muslim ban. In Chris' British Politics Corner we look at Brexit. In the Fallacy in the Wild, we check out examples from Yes Minister and the world of Bri…
 
In the fifty-sixth episode we explore the Accelerating Truth Fallacy, starting with Trump claiming Robert Mueller really wanted to be his FBI Director. In Mark's British Politics Corner we look at the media's approach to a recent invasion of the UK by a few people in a rubber dinghy. In the Fallacy in the Wild, we check out examples from a BBC docu…
 
In the fifty-fifth episode we explore the Base Rate Fallacy, starting with Trump boasting that the police kill loads of white people and falsely claiming he rebuilt the military. In Mark's British Politics Corner we look at Boris Johnson and Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez arguing about who's more coronavirusy. In the Fallacy in the Wild, we c…
 
In the fifty-fourth episode we explore the Appeal to Ridicule, starting with Trump asking if he should tell the FBI every time he talks to the Queen, and claiming Biden is anti-windows. In Mark's British Politics Corner we look at Matt Hancock laughing instead of answering a question. In the Fallacy in the Wild, we check out examples from Dave Gorm…
 
In the fifty-third episode we explore the Appeal to the Law, starting with Trump and Giuliani claiming that paying off Stormy Daniels and colluding with Russia were both fine because there's no law against it. Then we heard Louie Gohmert using a child's excuse for disrupting a Congressional hearing. In Mark's British Politics Corner we look at Domi…
 
In the fifty-second episode we explore the Overextended Outrage Fallacy, starting with Trump attacking immigrants, and following that up with Trump attacking protesters. In Mark's British Politics Corner we look at Priti Patel's outrage over statues being destroyed. In the Fallacy in the Wild, we check out examples from X Men, Star Trek: Picard, an…
 
In the fifty-first episode we explore the Argument by Rhyme Fallacy, inspired by Trump's "When the looting starts, the shooting starts" tweet. Then we hear some more fun with words from Trump and Kellyanne Conway. In Mark's British Politics Corner we look at the Boris's rhetorical devices which Boris is convinced make him sound like Churchill. In t…
 
In the fiftieth (yay!) episode we explore the Alleged Certainty Fallacy, starting with Trump claiming that everyone knows what crimes Obama committed. Then we hear 50 other things everyone knows according to Trump. In Mark's British Politics Corner we look at the government attempting to explain how Staying Alert is better than Staying Home. In the…
 
In the forty-ninth episode we explore the Historical Fallacy, starting with Tucker Carlson claiming that since we flattened the curve, the lockdowns weren't necessary. In Mark's British Politics Corner we look at Boris Johnson claiming success and telling everyone how much worse it could have been. In the Fallacy in the Wild, we check out examples …
 
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