Quote: “You don’t go see Joseph Goebbels’ films to see the truth about Nazi Germany. You don’t go see Al Gore’s films to see the truth about global warming.” Sterling Burnett, Fox News
Figure of Speech: anaphora (an-AH-phor-a), the beginning repeater.
“Why go see propaganda?” asks oily rightist pundit Sterling Burnett. He backs this rhetorical question with an anaphora (“bring again”) to associate Al Gore with Hitler’s propagandist. The figure repeats a word or phrase at the beginning of consecutive clauses.
The anaphora can build a link between thoughts that otherwise have little to do with each other. Start with a point everyone agrees with: Goebbels’ films are an unreliable source of information on the Nazis. Then repeat the same line, substituting Gore for Goebbels. The repetition establishes guilt by association — even though Gore and Goebbels make very strange bedfellows.
Burnett fails to mention that his employer, the National Center for Policy Analysis, is funded in part by ExxonMobil. Which might make him something of a propagandist.
Snappy Answer: “I don’t watch Fox News to see the truth about … well, we’ll stop right there.”