Wednesday, August 24, 2016

John Oliver's sloppy and slippery schtick

I enjoy some of John Oliver's bits on "Last Week Tonight."  This commentary on sub-prime car loans was pretty eye-opening and I literally LOL'd at the lobster trying to sell the "devil car" to an unsuspecting fluke.

But his recent bit on charter schools was a litany of logical fallacies and sub-prime rhetoric.  Over at Ricochet, Jon Gabriel details the argument against charter schools that wasn't:
His argument, if you can call it that, is basically, “Here’s a bad charter school, therefore all charter schools are bad.” If he was truly interested in not taking a side on whether the model is good or bad, he would have spent at least as much time promoting the good examples.
Yes, that was the argument against charter schools, wrapped in incredulous f-bombs for maximum audience reaction.  Oliver found some charter schools behaving badly.  Guess what: there are public schools out there that are worse.  Furthermore, Oliver didn't deign to do an actual comparison of outcomes in the aggregate, almost certainly because the results didn't fit his narrative.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Solyndra's default was inarguable proof that the entire DOE loan program was a failure.

But it's wrong for a TV show - a [i]comedy[/i] show, in case we're forgetting - to focus on cherrypicked failures rather than "promoting the good examples."

Agreed on Oliver's f-bombs, though. Those are worse than not deigning to do an actual comparison of outcomes in the aggregate. They're lame, lazy comedy.