Saturday, January 27, 2007

Woman beater didn’t kill 90 Iraqis

This Red Herring Fallacy comes from the lawyer for [alleged] woman beater Matthew Newton:

The lawyer for Matthew Newton today described assault charges against the entertainer as a "very minor matter".

…The son of Bert and Patti Newton is accused of assaulting his former girlfriend, actress Brooke Satchwell.

He has pleaded not guilty to the charges, including one count of assault occasioning actual bodily harm…

"Ninety people died in Iraq today, most of them kids," Newton's solicitor Chris Murphy told reporters outside. "This is a very minor matter."

This kind of Non Sequitur is a Red Herring; no different to the kind used in movies and books. It is a deliberate attempt to divert attention away from the real issue under consideration - that Newton [allegedly] beat his [now ex] girlfriend.

Yep, 90 people dying is worse, for sure. But it has nothing to do with the case. And I wonder if Ms Satchwell thinks being assaulted "… is a very minor matter"?

Source: Newton case 'minor' compared with Iraq - The Sydney Morning Herald - 17 Jan 2007.