Overheard at a house-warming party:
Drunk blogger: Well, I’ve been called an ‘Islamophobe’ and an ‘anti-semite’ on my blog, so…
Drunk non-blogger: … you’re just the bigot in the middle?
The fallacy of the blogger here, of course, is to assume that the two positions attributed to him are mutally exclusive, and therefore cancel each other out. This is not the case at all, as his respondent was so quick to point out.
Its an extension of that argument which says that if you are against position x (say, the invasion of Iraq) you are necessarily supportive of position y (the regime of Saddam), which doesn’t quite capture the true nature of the situation. The fallacy begins when we assume that these arguments are binary, zero-sum problems. Our politicians (supported by their cohorts in the media) are very good at promoting these falsehoods. “You’re either with us or against us”. Buy into the way they have framed the debate, and your argument is already lost.
And yes, dear reader: I was that blogger.