Mockery is a kind of jeering or showing contempt by derision or parody, often in the form of a caricature of someone's style in a humorous or satirical way. Mockery is characterized by its malicious intent; it seeks to harm its object.
Mockery is not always a sign of a defect in its target. The tactic of mocking someone or their work is multi-pronged.
It is used to dismiss the person's work, so that others don't even take a look at it. It is often used as a political tactic to distract people from seeing the real facts. It's a variant of ad hominem, like saying scientists who disagree with the United Nations about global warming are "in the pay of Big Oil" or saying scientists who are not believers in evolution are not real scientists so their views can be discounted.
It is used to make the person lose confidence in what they are doing. "Ha, ha, you're stupid! Give up! You'll never succeed!" The idea is to bring someone down to one's own level, i.e., a "do nothing".
Mockery is also used to create confusion. Each of the books on Bushisms published during the 2000 and 2004 election campaigns was a subtle blend of gaffes and digs. The gaffes were just verbatim transcriptions of the sort of error any politician makes when replying extemporaneously to a reporter's question. "One of my concerns is that the health care not be as good as it can possibly be." (Obviously by not be he meant is not) There is no reason to collect and show these for one politician while never showing the same kind of error made by another politician, unless you are trying to make the false point that your candidate is infallible and your opponent is incompetent. The digs were grammatically correct statements of fact, which the author of the book simply disagree with. The point of including them among the malapropisms and slips of the tongue is to insinuate that these statements were indications of incompetence. Actually, they only reveal the prejudice of the author.
- a dictionary definition Scornfully contemptuous ridicule; derision.