Just Askin’

Good stuff from Donald Clarke in the IT:

Somebody is always “just asking a question” about immigration, alien visitation or the “truth” behind 9/11. Back in 2009, the good people at South Park satirised the technique in an episode called Dances with Smurfs.

“Because I’m brave enough to ask questions, I come under scrutinies,” the perennially vile Cartman says. “Is Wendy using your lunch money to buy heroin? Probably not, but how can we know? I don’t want my lunch money going to drugs!”

Cartman has made no accusation about Wendy, but somehow or other we’ve got it in our head that the poor girl is a drug dealer. Followers of James Randi, the assiduous debunker of paranormal baloney, refers to this practice as “JAQing off”.

I wonder if George Hook was indulging in some JAQing off last week (now there’s an image to savour). I’m not saying he was. I’m not saying he wasn’t. I’m just asking the question.

“I’m only askin'” is a great way of pretending you don’t support a position.