The following appeared in a memorandum from the manager of KMTV, a television station.
Applications for advertising spots on KMTV, our local cable television channel, decreased last year. Meanwhile a neighboring towns local channel, KOOP, changed its focus to farming issues and reported an increase in advertising applications for the year. To increase applications for advertising spots, KMTV should focus its programming on farming issues as well.
Discuss how well reasoned . . . etc.
In this editorial KMTV, a local cable television channel is urged to change its programming focus to farming issues in order to increase advertising revenues. The authors line of reasoning is that KOOPs change in focus was the cause of its increase in advertising and that since this tactic worked for KOOP it will work for KMTV as well. This line of reasoning is flawed in three important respects.
To begin with, the belief that the change in focus to farming issues was the cause of KOOPs increase in advertising applications is unfounded. The only evidence offered to support this belief is that the change in focus preceded the increase in applications. Unfortunately, this evidence is insufficient to establish the causal claim in question. Consequently, it is possible that KOOPs change in focus may not have been related to its increase in revenue in the manner required by the authors argument.