I wish Professor Blanchard would stop reading the Northern Valley Beacon and confine himself to the study of the convolutions of his own navel. The Beacon provokes his obsessive rage out of its usual level of petty insult and abuse, which he regards as “witty repartee,” into outright libel, such as in this example: ”Professor Newquist likes to accuse me and others of logical fallacies but, oddly for a former English professor, he doesn't seem to know what any of these fallacies are.”
Prof. Blanchard assumes a prodigious responsibility when he calls into question more than 55 years of the study (including a doctorate), the practice, and teaching of rhetoric. However, the point is that there are more appropriate and effective venues to resolve such accusations than on Internet blogs.
One can enter any term for a rhetorical fallacy into an Internet browser—such as ad hominem, straw man, bifurcation, equivocation—and come up with thousands of sites that offer definitions of the terms. Nearly all of the definitions will be accurate, but none will be comprehensive. (Ad hominem on Google produces, 233,000 citations.) That leads some people into choosing a definition they prefer and concluding that others are inaccurate. Rhetoric, as with all disciplines, has many facets and dimensions. The purpose of scholarship is to make essential distinctions and to work toward a comprehensive knowledge. That does not mean dismissing definitions that are merely inconvenient or disagreeable to one/s purpose of the moment.