When we feel passionately about an issue, it’s easy to fall into the trap of making unwise comparisons or analogies that muddle your messages. It can happen to even the most experienced communicators when they are not careful.

Jonathan Turley is a prominent law professor at George Washington University and a television legal analyst who speaks confidently on a variety of legal issues. Turley was interviewed on Fox News about the Canadian government’s crackdown on truckers who had been clogging roadways to protest Covid vaccine mandates. In his passionate opposition to the government’s action against the truckers, Turley brought up the American Civil Rights Movement and Martin Luther King. In doing so he muddled his message, especially when he seemed to suggest King had never been arrested. View the clip below:

Of course, King was arrested multiple times during civil rights demonstrations. After being savaged on social media, Turley tweeted that he didn’t intend to imply that King had not been arrested. But the damage was done. Turley’s credibility took a hit and his message in support of the truckers was lost. So, don’t let your passion take you down a road that may leave your audience confused. Verify your facts! Then you can be sure to communicate in a way that drives home your messages in a clear and unambiguous way.