Tuesday, June 2, 2020

About whataboutism…

There's a subtle but important distinction between "whataboutism" and legitimate criticism of bias.

For example, if you're a Trump supporter and your reflexive response to any unfavorable news about Trump is to bring up something Obama did long ago, with the goal of distracting from a current issue about Trump, that's "whataboutism." That's bad.

If you're not trying to distract from the current news and you're open to criticism of Trump, but you merely suggest that the media wouldn't have been so negative about something similar when done by Obama, that's a legitimate criticism of bias. That isn't "whataboutism," because you're not being dismissive of anything important. So that's OK.