Thank You For Smoking Essay

767 words - 4 pages

I think the video clip for “Thank You for Smoking” provides some excellent examples of fallacies and bias. I actually own this movie and have watched it so many times I can’t honestly count but never once have I ever considered it as a learning device. If I may go off topic for just a second, I think this is a wonderful way to show that everything, including things that have no apparent educational premise, has a way of teaching or demonstrating.
To address an instance of bias in the video clip, I think that the whole overtone of the hearing represents a group bias. To explain what I mean let me say that having the committee “attacking” the Tobacco industry and trying to force them to ...view middle of the document...

The senator is begging the question by making a veiled claim—or implication that the tobacco companies may be buying the results they want from the Academy of Tobacco Studies. A few other fallacies I noticed in this clip are apple polishing when Nick Naylor turns to the audience and in a sense validates their intelligence by saying “Yes. In fact, I think you'd be hard pressed to find someone who really believes that cigarettes are not potentially harmful. I mean -- show of hands -- Who out here thinks that cigarettes aren't dangerous?” He is appealing to a vanity, of sorts, of the audiences. I also think that Mr. Naylor uses an ad hominem fallacy when he speaks of Vermont cheese, Detroit automobiles, and Washington airplanes because he is attacking the people who represent those areas and not the actual subject at hand.
As far as rhetorical devices, I think there are euphemisms throughout. Mr. Naylor refers to cigarette companies as “Conglomerates”. I feel that when the senators refer to the “warning label” that is a nice way to say “dangerous”—by placing the warning on the packaging it would be detrimental to sales and profits of tobacco companies. In response, Mr. Naylor refers to the “warning...

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