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#4 - Essayist: Politicians deserve protection from a prying

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Complete Question Explanation

StrengthenX. The correct answer choice is (E)

The argument's conclusion can be found in the first sentence of the stimulus: politicians deserve protection from a prying press. The rest is a series of reasons for why this might be so. The last sentence simply restates the author's main point.

The question stem is asking us to find the one answer choice that does NOT strengthen the argument. Therefore, any answer that gives additional support to the conclusion will be incorrect.

Answer choice (A): If the press is inaccurate when it reports on people's private lives, that is yet another reason to avoid doing so. This answer choice strengthens the argument and is therefore incorrect.

Answer choice (B): If such reporting tends to distract voters from the important issues in a campaign, the author's main point is reaffirmed. This answer choice is incorrect.

Answer choice (C): If the reporting in question consists of biased rumors circulated by opposing candidates, it is probably not a good idea to continue with this practice. This answer choice strengthens the argument and is therefore incorrect.

Answer choice (D): This answer choice directly supports the premise that talented people are often dissuaded from pursuing a career in politics.

Answer choice (E): This is the correct answer choice. Not only does this answer choice fail to strengthen the argument in the stimulus, but it actually suggests a hidden benefit that stems from reporting on politicians' private lives. If their personality flaws often affect their performance on the job, it might be a good idea to continue with this practice.
valentinal
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Hello,

I am confused with the wording in the answer choice A. I understood "unusually inaccurate" to mean usually accurate, which would in this case hurt the conclusion, because if the press is accurate then politicians don't have to be protected from anything. Can you explain this better to me please?
Thank you
Adam Tyson
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Hey there valentinal! It looks to me like you interpreted that phrase as meaning "they are usually not inaccurate." That's not quite what "unusually inaccurate" means. It's not a classic double negative, where you can just turn it into a positive. Rather than meaning that they are usually accurate, it means that they aren't this inaccurate that often. That is, they are especially bad at getting the facts right in these cases, even worse than what they typically do (which may be usually accurate, or 50/50, or bad but not this bad).

So, if they are extraordinarily inaccurate when it comes to reporting on peoples' personal lives - if they are really, really wrong - that would strengthen the claim that they shouldn't do it any more.

Be careful about taking too mechanical approach! I hope that helps clear this one up for you!
Adam M. Tyson
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