The Ethical Skeptic

Challenging Agency of Pseudo-Skepticism & Cultivated Ignorance

The Fatuous Errand of the Fact Checker

What you are seeing in the media is not news. The function of media is to craft the direction and range of tolerance of an Overton Window. Paltering is the method by which one may lie through the delivery of facts. It is the chisel wielded by the ‘fact checker’, employed to shape and direct the Overton Window.

Gone are the days in which one could sit down in front of the TV, and trust the information given by a Walter Cronkite or Peter Jennings. The function of media under the rule of The Party is to deliver neither salient information nor logical truth. While the media does tender updates on cherry sorted social situations, do not be deceived into thinking that therefore the media is a source of news. Most of the articles passed by the media for public consumption constitute means of ingens vanitatum persuasion or public witch-hunt coercion, and not modes of informing. The purpose of a media inside a socio-fascist oligarchy is in fact to enable establishment of an Overton Window regarding that policy discourse which is deemed to be acceptable.1 This Window is then reinforced by astroturfed social pressure inside Clayton Trust collusion on the part of social media tech firms.

Overton Window

/philosophy : misrepresentation : coercion/ : the range of opinion positions which are acceptable to the mainstream population at a given time. It is also known as the acceptable window of discourse. The term is named after Joseph P. Overton, who stated that an idea’s political viability depends mainly on whether it falls within this range. False skeptics purposely pathologize subjects and individuals in order to artificially truncate or manipulate where this window falls in media, along with what is deemed acceptable for scientific study.

At the frontiers of such a Window, reside the ‘fact checkers’. Like Marines in a military theater of engagement they are the most skilled in conducting the frontline warfare of propaganda, through means of a specialized form of lying-through-facts called ‘paltering’.


/philosophy : misrepresentation : Wittgenstein sinnlos/ : lying through facts. Paltering is the deceptive use of truthful statements to convey a misleading impression or inference. It is the devious art of lying by telling unqualified truths. It usually involves equivocation and/or prevarication as the basis of its management of constraint, context or ignoratio elenchi – however often can also come in the form of a semantic truth as opposed to a logical one.

Paltering is the method by which the right end of the Overton Window is sculpted in a given direction. The left end of the Overton Window is directed by universities and colleges in their role as up-front-dues unions for white collar labor. In this regard, not only does one pay/borrow the present value (PV) of an entire career’s union dues all at once, but often one must also compromise their integrity in order to be deemed acceptable to The Party. Especially if one is to be inducted into that cathedral called science, and thereafter held also as authority. Paltering in contrast, is used to herd the non-conforming right end of the Overton Window towards a progressive or even extremist viewpoint. It is also a form of confirmation anchoring for the already-compliant left.

Examples of Paltering the Overton Window

The following constitutes a short listing of various species of paltering. An article’s inclusion as an example of each is purposed simply to elicit that principle in use, and not to make commentary upon the claim being made nor falsified. In many cases here I agree with the fact checker’s conclusion; however, I do not agree with the method by which they arrived at their ‘fact’. One cannot arrive at truth standing upon a foundation which lacks integrity in the first place.

Once the blinders have been removed, it becomes nearly impossible to watch the ‘news’. ~Twitter: @baseballmama34

The various species of paltering include:

Prevarication – to lie through manipulating in advance of a point, its basis of definition, observation or data, or by means of persuasion, locution and/or tactic of argument.

Example: AFP Fact Check – Quotes from US Democrats falsely characterized as calls for violence

Hyperbolic – an exaggeration, or as well a form of special pleading wherein a ludicrous or cherry picked statistical constraint upon a set of data is used to lens that data in such a way as to make it appear to be more favorable or unfavorable per one’s a priori position.

Example: Based Upon Science Claim Check – Vaccines are Safe: Vaccines go through a lot of testing

Eqivocation – the misleading use of a term with more than one meaning, sense, or use in professional context by glossing over which meaning is intended in the instance of usage, in order to misdefine, inappropriately include or exclude data in an argument.

Example: USA Today Fact Check: Joe Biden has condemned protest-related violence from the left and the right

Lob & Slam – a stooge-posed incident or even one fabricated by allies, often cherry picked from a vast array of such incidents for its ridiculousness or vulnerability in being easily debunked, both as an example of how irrational the other side indeed is, or how easy the subject is to dismiss.

Example: CheckYourFact – Fact Check: Did The International Space Station Film A UFO For 22 Minutes?

ignoratio elenchi – a misdirection in argumentation rather than a weak inference. A misrepresentation of the question being addressed, logical calculus or evidence for an opponent’s claim, so as to frame the opponent’s contention in the poorest light.

Example: AFP Fact Check – Police did not assist Antifa during US Capitol assault

Amphibology – a situation where a contention may be interpreted in more than one way for a variety of deceptive reasons, due to ambiguous sentence structure.

Example: AFP Fact Check – Fact check: Joe Biden has condemned protest-related violence from the left and the right

Semantic versus Logical Truth – a logical truth is a statement which is true, and remains true under all reinterpretations of its components or in all contexts aside from simply that of its apperception and crafting. A semantic truth is only true in certain given circumstances.

Example: Misbar – GMOs Aren’t Inherently Unhealthy

Appeal – a variety of appeals to an external reference as support for one’s claim or position. Appeal to popularity, ignorance, authority, hoax, virtue, bucket classification, race, motive, etc.

Example: PolitiFact – Seniors around the world who died from COVID vaccine are being improperly listed as “natural causes.”

Weapon Word – a familiar and often overused term of condemnation and bucket categorization, which is employed towards a person or idea in advance of any state of knowledge or investigation. A pejorative which is used to condemn from an a priori perspective, in an effort to end an argument without due rigor.

Example: Snopes – Did a Scientific Study Prove That “Conspiracy Theorists” Are “The Most Sane of All?”

Straw Man – misrepresentation of either an ally or opponent’s position, argument or fabrication of a ridiculous version of such, often in absence of any stated opinion.

Example: CheckYourFact – Fact Check: Were These 9 Democratic Politicians Born 9 Months After The 1947 Roswell UFO Incident?

Wicker Man – called ‘the ultimate straw man’. Employing a Daedalean identity where so many special exemptions are able to be pleaded or apologists habitually spin the idea that any critique offered towards their side constitutes straw man, ignorance or tu quoque errors – that the defended philosophy or position actually has no effective defining essence which can be pinned down in the first place.

Example: – Missing Context on Claim About ‘’

Special Pleading Misdirection – a misdirection in denial by means of a specific or cherry picked anecdote, so highly constrained that it most likely has to be false to begin with, to serve as a red herring distraction from a similar but more valid version of the same contention.

Example: Snopes – Is Rep. Debbie Dingell Introducing a ‘Gun Confiscation’ Bill?

One of the purposes of ethical skepticism is to hone an ability to spot paltering when it is passed by a fact checker as ‘correct information or inference’ or for basis thereof.

The Ethical Skeptic, “The Fatuous Errand of the Fact Checker”; The Ethical Skeptic, WordPress, 6 Feb 2021; Web,

February 6, 2021 Posted by | Ethical Skepticism | 8 Comments


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