What’s Fallacious With Simply Asking Questions?


The text Truth appearing behind torn brown paperTake into consideration politicians or pundits: Once they need to specific an outrageous thought, they phrase the thought as a query, to allow them to disavow its import.

Take two current examples:

“Perhaps the assault on Paul Pelosi was an inside job. Or the supposed assailant was a male prostitute. I’m not saying that these items are true, however now we have to ask questions, don’t we? How might you probably object to asking questions?”

Or:

“I’m not saying that the 2020 presidential election was rigged. However folks have questions in regards to the election. Why do you object to folks asking questions? We’ve got to get to the reality.”

That is outrageous with out seeming to be outrageous. Suppose we turned the tables, and a pundit or politician had been requested:

“I’m not saying that you simply’re a recidivist rapist ax-murderer. However absolutely that’s an vital query to ask.  We must always reply it.”

After the politician huffed and sputtered, the questioner might go on:

“You’re getting terribly upset once I ask whether or not you’re a recidivist rapist ax-murder. Why do you get so defensive once I ask the query? Methinks thou doth protest an excessive amount of. Perhaps there’s one thing there in spite of everything.”

Courts have a means of coping with this: Any query that you simply pose in court docket will need to have an affordable foundation the truth is. You probably have proof suggesting that one thing is true, then you may ask a query in regards to the topic. However you may’t make stuff up and say that you simply’re simply asking questions.

Thus: For those who had proof that the assault on Pelosi was an inside job, you would ask a query about it. However for those who had no motive to suppose that was true, the query can be off-limits.

So, too, with the 2020 election or recidivist rapist ax-murderers.

There’s, in fact, no method to implement this authorized rule exterior of court docket, however isn’t it a great one?

You probably have motive to suppose one thing is true, ask away. For those who’re simply making stuff up, be quiet and sit.


Mark Herrmann spent 17 years as a companion at a number one worldwide legislation agency and is now deputy normal counsel at a big worldwide firm. He’s the writer of The Curmudgeon’s Guide to Practicing Law and Drug and Device Product Liability Litigation Strategy (affiliate hyperlinks). You may attain him by e-mail at inhouse@abovethelaw.com.



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