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The Verbal Cheap Shot Artist Part Nine: The Red Herring
Posted By Ron On September 28, 2009 @ 4:00 AM In Verbal Cheap Shots | Comments Disabled
This is part nine of a 12 week series where I explore the tactics of verbal cheap shot artists – people who can’t, or won’t use valid arguments to present their case, but instead resort to verbal cheap shots. To make sure you don’t miss a single article, be sure and sign up for my RSS  feed or subscribe by email  (both are free!) so you can get the freshest new articles! Check out my other posts in the Verbal Cheap Shots  category.
The red herring is much like other verbal fallacies  – it relies on distraction as its main strength. The phrase “red herring” is thought to have originated from the use of smoked herring fish to distract dogs following a scent trail. The herring’s strong smell could obscure the real trail and lay a false one.
Using an ad hominem attacks  could be considered a red herring since it tries to deflect attention away from the real issue and focus it on a person. The straw man argument  could also be considered another form of a red herring.