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Jindal Wasn’t There? Prove It.

Originally written as a response to a comment, expanding this makes pretty good diary material.

If there’s one thing I’m getting tired of, it’s people arguing that Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal (R-LA) is lying about his trip to Jefferson Parish and helping Sheriff Harry Lee (D-LA) cut through bureaucratic red tape.  The only “evidence” that is offered is that there are no photographs or video of Jindal being there, and that Jindal never contradicted the statement that he only flew-over the area.

Rarely does anyone link to any proof.  They simply say Sheriff Lee isn’t available to confirm it, because he is conveniently dead (this despite multiple videos available of Sheriff Lee and his then-deputy Newell Normand [D-LA] confirming the story).  They don’t offer video evidence of the CNN American Morning interview, or even a transcript.

Oh, wait. Here’s the transcript.

All that is said is that Jindal did fly over the affected area. Not that he only did an overflight.

This is what is called a “logical fallacy.” That because Miles O’Brien, CNN correspondent, talked about Jindal flying over the area but not being on the ground, Jindal therefore must not have been on the ground.

This is the same kind of logical fallacy that leads people to believe that president Bush lied about weapons of mass destruction: “They weren’t there, he must have lied. If he weren’t lying, they’d have been there.”

Were a student in a science or statistics class to attempt to “prove” that something was so, simply because there was no evidence to the contrary, that student would receive a failing grade.  Lack of contravening evidence is not proof of the hypothesis.  Only data that confirms the hypothesis is proof.  Willful dismissal of evidence contrary to the hypothesis would invite even greater condemnation from the professor.

However, there is one statement by Jindal that is telling:

You look at the areas that you’re used to being looked at — I looked at my children’s school and you just see this devastation and you think even seeing the pictures don’t prepare you for it. What’s even worse, we spent hours in the shelters. We’ve been trying to comfort people and bring them assistance. Even worse than seeing the physical damage is talking to people.

Notice what he said: “We spent hours in the shelters.”

Since the shelters are on the ground, wouldn’t that indicate that Jindal was on the ground, too?

Of course, that’s the same logical fallacy I just accused Lefist bloggers of committing.

The only real evidence so far, one way or the other, are the statements by Sheriff Lee and his deputy, now-Sheriff Normand.  Those statements confirm Governor Jindal’s statements.

When someone can show me real evidence to the contrary (say, a photo or video of then-Congressman Jindal in Baton Rouge when he was supposed to be in Jefferson Parish), I will reconsider my position.

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