Thank You for Smoking Response

Bao Doan
English 1302
Professor: Christopher Dunn
Response to Thank You for Smoking
Analyze the use of fallacies in the opening scene of Thank You for Smoking (where Nick Naylor is on the Jenny Jones Show).  Which fallacies does Nick commit?  How are they useful?
The movie, “Thank You for Smoking” is a comedy-drama about a tobacco industry lobbyist, Nick Naylor. The movie brings up serious issue of the addicting substance tobacco and its various effects on human’s health. In the opening scene of “Thank You for Smoking”, Nick has committed three fallacies:
  1. “Joan, how on earth would Big Tobacco profit off of the loss of this young man... It's in our best interest to keep Robin alive and smoking.” There is an element of False Analogy. He draws a weak comparison between things that are alike in some respects, however the comparison does not hold up to his statement.
  2. “The Ron Goodes of this world... want the Robin Willigers to die.”   In this argument, he uses Ad Hominem and Red Herring to shy away from his first argument, by attacking personal name and arguing off point by bringing an issue that “ Ron goodes of this world want the Robin Willigers to die,” “so that their budget will go up.” Its intention is to deflect attention from the main point of the issue.
  3. And finally, he uses Ad Populum to appeal to the audience, a group-approved belief that is “there is nothing more important than America's children.”   Nick is trying to get the audience to agree with him by appealing to their belief on American children’s education.
His fallacies are useful in invading, shy away from the main topic and focus on something else that is irrelevant to the debate. He knows that tobacco or nicotine is dangerous and that it is to his advantage to avert the question and placing the blame on “Ron Goodes ”   and appeal to the audience.
How do his arguments appeal to ethos, pathos, and logos? Explain
Ethos: his outward appearance is clean-shaven, neat...