Pot Attacks Kettle

February 23, 2006

Here is an odd press release from the Montana News Association attacking the communication style of a recently fired school superintendent. What is so ironic is while they attack his inappropriate communication, their statement is full of examples of how not to make an argument. Here are a few of the comments in their piece:

Instead of graciously bowing out, Svee shows his lack of effective "front man" style of communication, through sniping at the School Board. Svee’s communication style is, when confronted with a problem of real substance, to answer through attention-diverting techniques. Svee’s comments surround the smooth running of the school district, the fact that he is not a micro-manager and that he is being measured by an unfair standard.

... Rod Svee also shows an inability to take constructive criticism and apply it. Defensive people don’t hear suggestions; they hear criticism and strike out, rather than grow up. (Hmmmm . . . Perhaps Svee and Mayor Ron Tussing should have lunch together and discuss the communication tactics they have in common.)
While they attack his communication style as ineffective, this press release also fails on a number of levels. The Ad hominem attacks—especially the one following "Hmmmm"—are logical fallacies and inappropriate. It is important when criticizing someone not to make the same mistakes.