Discrediting attack

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Different types of discrediting attack can include:

  • Accusers impugning their opponents, while depicting their own motives as pure of heart.
  • Journalists and other communicators often portray themselves as merely "asking questions", reporting what others say or describing events, when everyone knows a verbal mugging is actually taking place.[1]
  • Gotcha journalism - whereby interviewees are asked impossible or overly demanding questions.
  • Memory exploitation - where an interviewee can be confronted with a past statement which contradicts whatever claim he is currently making. Inability to remember the context of the past statement can lead to hesitation, and so make the interviewee look ignorant or incompetent.
  • Interruption - intentionally interrupting an interviewee with a new question to cut the interviewee off from completely answering the previous question to throw the interviewee off-track. This can make someone look bad if the first part of their answer demands an explanation or elaboration.
  • Biased photos - wherein a media outlet will use images that denigrate a political figure. Most common on media websites, but also in some newspapers. The photos are usually intended to make the target appear either incompetent or sinister.
  • Name calling in the crude form of argumentum ad hominem (such as calling opponents of liberal-favored agendas or sacred cows "conspiracy theorists" or "[insert word here] deniers").

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Liberals, as well as Communists, have been known to claim that something they oppose is "discredited" or "debunked" based merely on their say-so, either with nothing to back up their claims or with fabricated "evidence" which they claim supports their claims of "discreditation".

See also