Shifting burden of proof

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In a political dog-fight one participant may make an unfounded accusation towards their rival and demand that the rival politican show PROOF that they are innocent. In most countries the burden of proof is on the person making the accusation but by shifting this burden it implies guilt on their opponent.

The power of this tactic is often enhanced by reliance on the the accusation being made by a credible third-party and the inability of the accused to respond effectively by media dedalines. A slow response - even if credible - is considered less newsworthy and often reported within the frame of reference set by the original accusation.

However, such a tactic is not without risk for the accuser. Where there is a credible and swift response within the initial news cycle, the frame of reference used can be reversed with the accuser portrayed as a fabricator resorting to smear tactics.

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