Monday, May 23, 2005

Mayor Anderson Has Areas of Grey

As the Deseret News reported, Salt Lake City may have some trouble with its free airport parking. Mayor Anderson was criticized for using his working perk of free airport parking when he was away on a personal trip. His parking for the trip was worth just over $150.00. It's interesting that Mayor Anderson and his spokesperson Deeda Seed both used the same logical fallacy in defending the parking. The fallacy is called 'Red Herring' and it's used to draw attention away from a central issue or to bring irrelevant points into the argument. So, for the argument "Mayor Anderson used free parking for a personal trip and that is okay", Mayor Anderson and Deeda Seed introduced the following Red Herrings: Mayor Anderson: "The city didn't pay for any of my flight or hotel." Deeda Seed: Anderson hadn't taken a food allowance when traveling and that past mayors and other public officials have also enjoyed free parking. (Paraphrased by Deseret News) Neither of those points are actual arguments. The only real argument introduced by either of them is that Mayor Anderson did engage in some city business while on that trip. That's no much of an argument. According to the News, "Other council members defended the policy by noting that city officials often call the office and check city e-mail while on family vacations." I'm sorry, but calling in to the office and checking emails doesn't turn your vacation into a work trip. Also, check out Slam Smith for some thoughts on this topic.


Anonymous Slam smith said...

Good point about the misdirection. It looks so silly defending something that really can't be defended.

5/23/2005 10:05:00 PM  
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10/07/2005 10:32:00 PM  

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