There was a debate the other day over at Fr. Z's about altar girls and the EF and Universae Ecclesiae 28. The debate morphed around and grew to include the question of why boys were not queuing up to be altar servers. My wife, Puff, chimed in to point out that, among other reasons, boys were no longer volunteering to be altar boys due to The Scandal. Z came and commented on her remark that it was "a cheap shot."
A few observations:
Very often, mention of the scandal is a cheap shot. It is often used as a Tu Quoque rebuttal to an argument- which is not a rebuttal at all, but a logical fallacy and a formal error. We often see the Tu Quoque used among children on the playground: One child says something to another, and the other responds with"Well, what about you? Last week you...." Of course, what happened last week, and the fact that the first child was wrong a week ago does not mean they are wrong now. So the constant reply of "Yeah, but what about the scandal?" is a Tu Quoque, and a cheap shot.
Sometimes, it goes to credibility. If one is trying to using the empathic proof to an argument ("trust me, for I am someone who knows") then evidence that the person is not someone who knows is usually valid, as long as it addresses the issue.. Here it may or may not be raised as a cheap shot.
In this case, it was raised as an explanation and answer to a question. Why aren't boys becoming altar servers? Among other reasons, The Scandal. Was that a cheap shot?