pp. Claiming that the craziest or most outrageous member of a group is a typical representative of that group.
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Other Forms
One great way to worsen our already gaping political divisions is to engage in what Internet chatroom denizens call “nutpicking.” That is, the deliberate search for the “nuts” on either side of the political aisle to use as unflattering representations of opponents.
—John Stonestreet, “Campuses Going Nuts: Why Civility and Truth Matter,” CNSNews, January 11, 2018
Blogs and Twitter encourage "nutpicking," the use of things written by the worst people on the other side to discredit them.
—Dan McLaughlin, “ Pew: The Voters Lose Faith In The Voters,” National Review, August 04, 2016
There’s a big difference between these random voter interviews and "nutpicking," when only the craziest, most bigoted clowns at some event are photographed and quoted.
—David Weigel, “Stupid Voters Are People, Too,” Slate, March 19, 2012
2006 (earliest)
Last night I held a contest to create a name for the moronic practice of trawling through open comment threads in order to find a few wackjobs who can be held up as evidence that liberals are nuts. … Proposed by BlueMan, the winner is:


Hoorah for BlueMan! If I had a free t-shirt to send you, I would. As it is, all you get is your own tiny slice of immortality.
—Kevin Drum, “Nutpicking,” Washington Monthly, August 11, 2006
Nutpicking is a version of the weak man fallacy, where an opponent's weakest argument is treated as their strongest or only argument. This in turn is a variation of the straw man fallacy, where one refutes an argument or position not actually held by one's opponent. Compare both the weak man and the straw man with the steel man.
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