GRE Argument Essay 35
Sadly, widespread negative images of businesspeople have been created in large part by television. Consider the fact that, although they make up a mere 10 percent of the characters in dramatic roles on television, businesspeople are responsible for about one-fifth of all the crime on television shows. In fact, in a recent survey of television producers, only 35 percent of the television roles for businesspeople were viewed as positive ones.
The given argument draws the conclusion that television is responsible in a major way for creating negative images of businesspeople. The arguer supports his claim by citing two facts. The first fact is that 10 percent of the characters in dramatic roles in television are businesspeople and this small percentage of businesspeople is responsible for about one-fifth of all crimes committed on television shows. The second fact cited by the arguer in support of his claim are the findings of a recent survey of television producers which have brought out that out of all the television roles for businesspeople, only 35 percent were positive roles. Although, the given argument sounds convincing when it is read for the first time, a careful study of the facts presented exposes various logical fallacies that render the argument weak and unreasonable.
The argument rests on the assumption that the negative characters that are businesspeople in television shows have created negative images of businesspeople in real life. This assumption fails to sound convincing enough as there is no indication of the negative images that are associated with businesspeople in reality. The assumption could have been supported with a survey of the population who feel that businesspeople actually have negative traits. In the absence of such evidence, the claim that negative images of businesspeople have been created seems far-fetched and unconvincing.
Moreover, the facts presented by the arguer do little to support the claim made in the argument. Firstly, there is no description of the crimes that have been committed by the businesspeople in television shows. It is likely that the events labeled as crimes may be related to the world of business in which it is not rare to go to any extent to enhance the profits accrued from businesses. Therefore, these crimes may not succeed in associating negative images with the personalities of businesspeople in reality as the public normally expects businesspeople to have this kind of an attitude. If the argument had explicitly described the types of crimes committed by the characters of businesspeople in television shows, then the claim made by the arguer could have been substantiated to an extent.
Even if the television shows are actually creating negative images of businesspeople, one cannot ignore the fact that the argument takes into account only the dramatic television shows. There must be other shows on television like those related to business news and success stories of businesspeople. It is likely that such shows may be contradicting whatever negative images are being created by the dramatic television shows and the overall effect may be a positive image for the businesspeople.
The second fact presented by the arguer refers to a survey conducted on television producers. The statistics of such a survey have little relevance in context of the overall image of businesspeople in the eyes of the general public. The regular viewers of these television shows are common people and only their opinions will matter where the images of businesspeople are concerned. It is quite likely that the reasons mentioned above have succeeded in creating a higher percentage of television roles for businesspeople which are viewed as positive ones by the general population. Therefore, in view of the above, it can be concluded that the given argument is flawed in a number of respects due to the presence of various logical fallacies. Hence, the argument fails to convince the reader that negative images of businesspeople have been created because of the negative characters in television shows that are businesspeople.