Red Herring Fallacy Examples in Media, Advertising, Politics, Movies & Literature
Red Herring Fallacy
What is Red Herring Fallacy?
The Red Herring Fallacy is a logical fallacy in which a speaker misleads the audience by drawing their attention to an irrelevant issue. This technique is also known as “distraction by irrelevant facts.”
This may be done by using catchy phrases to distract the audience from the real issues or to “confuse them until they no longer know what the real issues are.”
It is a fallacy in which a person asserts that there is some connection between different facts just because they appear next to one another. It is called the “smelly fish fallacy” or the “red herring” because the smell from the fish, which usually hangs off the rafters, would lure the dogs away from more promising smells that were being sought.
This fallacy is one of the most common types of logical fallacies. It is oftentimes referred to as a logical distraction. It is used to fool an argument to make it seem like there is a more important issue than the one being spoken about. It is also used to divert attention from another issue.
Red herring fallacy examples may be used when trying to extend an argument with no validity or may be used by a person to distract from it.
It is easy for people to confuse a red herring with a smokescreen or a straw man. All of these terms have to do with when a person offers up an irrelevant or faulty argument to shift the focus away from the discussion at hand.
A red herring fallacy, in particular, is a statement that is irrelevant to the discussion. This can take many forms, such as an anecdotal story with nothing to do with the topic at hand or a diversion from the main argument being made.
Red Herring Fallacy Examples
The red herring fallacy is a logical fallacy whereby irrelevant information is presented in order to divert attention from a weaker argument.
The red herring fallacy also refers to the distraction technique in which a trail of (smoked) fish is dragged across the ground (in a straight line) to throw the animal off the scent.
Examples of red herring fallacies are A: “What kind of car were you driving on your way back home?”
Another example of Red Herring Fallacy in an argument.
A good example of this would be an argument in which someone brings up an irrelevant topic and then argues that the irrelevant topic was relevant to the discussion. The fallacy is often used in order to confuse or distract from the real problem at hand.
Red Herring Fallacy Examples In Media
Examples Red Herring Fallacy in the Media
The media often uses the Red Herring Fallacy to distract from a story’s main point and to mislead people. This fallacy is often used when someone wants to avoid discussing an issue or topic they don’t want to talk about, so they change the subject by introducing another idea that has nothing to do with the original discussion.
Red Herring Fallacy example in media discussion; If you’re talking about how much money should be spent on education in America, instead of addressing this issue head-on, your opponent might bring up how expensive it is for parents who have children in private schools.
This often happens when a politician talks about how they’re going to fix an issue but never actually does anything.
Another example; When people are talking about what is happening in Syria, and the media starts talking about something else.
Red Herring Fallacy Examples In Advertising
The use of certain words or phrases that are irrelevant to the product being advertised. A false comparison between two products, one of which is intended for a different purpose than the other. Falsely suggesting that a product has some connection with an important person, event, or institution.
The use of an irrelevant topic to divert attention from the true issue. Example: “I’m not going to talk about taxes; I want to talk about the economy.” Then: “The new iPhone X is coming out next month!”.
Red Herring Fallacy Examples In Politics
A politician will sometimes use a false statement to distract from the real issue. The statement is not actually true, but it appears to be an important point that needs addressing. Politicians may also use red herrings when trying to avoid answering tough questions or delaying making a decision.
Examples of use red herrings fallacy:
- “I have a dream” – Martin Luther King Jr.
- “The government has no right to tell me what to do with my body” -Abortion Activist.
- “We are the 99%” – Occupy Wall Street movement.
Red Herring Fallacy Examples In Movies
An example of Red Herring Fallacy in Movies: The protagonist is framed for murder, but the detective doesn’t find any evidence. The protagonist’s girlfriend has been kidnapped, and he knows who did it but can’t prove it. A character is killed off in the first act to create suspense.
Another example of Red Herring Fallacy in Movies: The protagonist is in a car accident and wakes up to find themselves in a hospital. A character has an important document, but it falls out of their pocket, and they can’t remember where they put it. A detective finds that the person who committed the crime was wearing gloves, so there are no fingerprints on the murder weapon.
Red Herring Fallacy Examples In Literature
A Red Herring Fallacy is a logical fallacy that is often used in the form of an exclusionary argument. It is used to distract the audience from one point by presenting another; it is also used to divert attention away from your argument’s flaws.
The fallacy is usually evident in the form of a person presenting irrelevant information, often to the recipient’s dissatisfaction. The fallacy is also seen as a deliberate smokescreen to hide an underlying issue.
In Literature, the Red Herring Fallacy is used by the person presenting an argument that misleads the audience by using an unrelated subject to distract from the argument. The fallacy is so-called because it distracts the reader from the argument by dragging in an unrelated topic.
A: I’m not really hungry
B: I only ate a peanut butter and jelly sandwich for lunch.
A: Whoa! I was just thinking about peanut butter and jelly.