whataboutism


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whataboutism

A style of rhetoric that attempts to deflect criticism or a line of questioning (rather than responding directly or addressing the issue itself) by shifting the focus to alleged inconsistences in the position of one's opponent, or alleged wrongs committed by one's opponent or other entities. It was initially associated with propaganda used by the Soviet Union. The term gets its name from the common execution of such a strategy, when one facing criticism asks, "What about (something else)?" The whataboutism on display is blatant, but somehow effective. When he brings up unrelated atrocities, people seem to lose focus immediately. A: "Oh yeah? Well, what about the fact that you left the door unlocked last night?" B: "Don't give me that whataboutism—that has nothing to do with you forgetting to take the trash out."
References in periodicals archive ?
Unless it is about red lines of bigotry and hatred that are used as an incitement for creation of harder borders and violent other-ing of the world, for which all who have a voice must speak without indulging in any whataboutism, I fail to comprehend the absoluteness of views vis-a-vis words and deeds of others, and categorical labelling of those who don't affect your life in the least.
It's at this point that such comparisons usually draw a charge of "whataboutism," a scurrilous debater's dodge that's become increasingly common in the Trump era.
This is pure "whataboutism." And it brings us to the heart of a problem we all have with Iran (as with any state or organization founded upon the principles of political Islamism): Its claim to be the only disinterested, authentic and truly moral actor in the region.
And the latest strategy here seems to whataboutism. Yeah, Russia may have interfered, but what about China now interfering to help the Democrats!
Those who gained traction by scolding others for corruption, but when in power, out-corrupt their predecessors, often lead us to forget their hypocrisy through distractions and 'whataboutism.'
Those who believe that Russia is an increasingly malign power must also confront "whataboutism": the argument that, when it comes to meddling in elections, the West, led by the United States, has been at the fore.
When asked about this absurd accounting practice, Bubak, the Railways CEO, engaged in an even more absurd case of whataboutism. 'The cost of transporting goods on trucks or by air is way higher than the cost of transporting them through rail.
Without qualifying it as a Pandora's box, as the past alleged partisanship of various judges for various reasons in various cases against leaders of various parties, reported to be controversial or objectionable, is neither new nor shocking, what must be said without any whataboutism: Judge Malik must recuse himself from all cases he's presently overseeing.
Any questions about human rights abuses are quickly countered with 'whataboutism' and comparisons with arch-enemy Armenia.
Oftentimes, non-mainstream "news" outlets trade in opinion, advocacy journalism, whataboutism, conspiracy theories and worse.
The questions are many, and they are in your face, despite the glib and slick whataboutism, blame shifting, and finger pointing of the opposition parties
Its beneficiaries come in all shapes, sizes and moral whataboutism. It is here, and it is there, and it is everywhere.
Don't let "whataboutism" reveal you as an unworthy debate opponent.