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    They Trust Me! They Really Trust Me!

    oreillyoscar.jpgQuote: "People believe what I'm saying is true. And I trust the folks." Bill O’ Reilly, quoted in The Phoenix.

    Figure of Speech: begging the question, the circular argument.

    O'Reilly, the thought-provoking commentator for balanced and accurate Fox News, warms our rhetorical heart with this quote. His assertion of truthfulness comes in the form of a fallacy.

    We usually think of "begging the question" as offering an incomplete argument that begs for another question. In logic, though, it means using the premise and the conclusion to prove each other. People believe me, and I trust them, so I must be telling the truth. The formal name for this nested loop of illogic is petitio principii (pe TIH tee o prin CIH pee) -- "to assume at the beginning."

    Snappy Answer: "Those people are chumps, and you're a chump to believe them."

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