Reality Adjustments

The Hollow Flaw in Paul Joseph Watson’s Bad “Idiot Left” Videos

Aug 10, 2018

People still fall for his simple tricks?

Uh oh: Perhaps you’ve had this moment.  A friend starts posting some Paul Joseph Watson videos.  The friend says “Get your heads out of the sand, people.  Be rational.  Use your brain!”

Paul Joseph Watson uses manipulative and flimsy tactics that reveal the white nationalist prejudices of those who share his videos, under the guise of being objectively rational.  Here’s the breakdown.

It is easy to find idiots online.  Progressive idiots.  Conservative idiots.  Idiots.  There’s plenty of them.

It is much easier to pick on the idiots, rather than to use nuanced arguments against well-rounded people.

Paul Joseph Watson uses a pretty basic yet deceitful formula when he posts his YouTube video rants:

  1. Show random clips of progressives acting like idiots; or misrepresent progressives to seem like idiots.
  2. Attack the clip using blunt characterizations lacking nuance.
  3. Claim his blunt portrayals on idiots reflect the broad progressive left in general.
  4. Toss in some right wing conspiracies and product placement.
  5. Repeat.

In other words: He picks out the worst cases of the left, further mischaracterizes them, and then says his statements apply to all the left.

This tactic falls within the “straw man” style of argument.  A straw man is an intentionally misrepresented proposition that is set up because it is easier to defeat than an opponent's real argument.  The straw man technique has been used throughout history, particularly for emotional issues where a fiery "battle" and the defeat of an "enemy" is more valued than critical thinking or an understanding of the many nuanced sides of life.

It is easier to defeat a weak person than a strong one—aka, easier to win an argument against a hollow scarecrow made by your own hands than a grown human with weight and refinement.

Paul Joseph Watson will scrape trending news to see what topics gain the most attention.  He then goes online and finds scatterings of "evidence" to back his prejudices, often pieced together schizophrenically.  He makes a video attacking such fringe examples, pretending they are the norm.

It’s candy for white nationalists who now feel like their voice is heard and being represented by someone ‘objective.’  Plus he’ll toss in overly sarcastic catchphrases like "Imagine My Shock!” to create entertaining hype.

But don’t be fooled: Paul Joseph Watson’s main goal is to be famous and make money (through ads and hawking Brain Force pills).  His secondary goal is to spread right wing, white nationalist conspiracies and destabilize the left.

He uses an idiotic tactic (principally, the straw man) to tell his viewers how smart his opinions are.

He is running a playbook that does not reflect reality, but rather plays upon the biases and prejudices of his viewers.

Reminds us of The Hollow Men by T.S. Eliot: 

Those who have crossed
With direct eyes, to death's other kingdom
Remember us - if at all - not as lost
Violent souls, but only
As the hollow men
The stuffed men.

Time to go bye bye, Mr. Watson.  You are no Sherlock.

The Tilted Glass