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Spin Versus Ideas

Good new piece by Chris Moody on Frank Lutz’s tutoring of the GOP to twist reality into knots:

How Republicans are being taught to talk about Occupy Wall Street

Luntz is a GOP political consultant and pollster who has a number of books on how to deceive people using language.

Republicans are increasingly demonstrating an alienation from the reality-based community.

Instead of putting forth better ideas, they continue to push the old defeated ones — by repackaging them and reframing actual new ideas through deceptive wordplay.

Here’s some of what Frank Luntz is doing to prep conservative politicians to answer questions about Occupy Wall Street — you know, instead of actually dealing with any of the criticisms raised:

Luntz advised that if they give their employees an income boost during the holiday season, they should never refer to it as a “bonus.”
“If you give out a bonus at a time of financial hardship, you’re going to make people angry. It’s ‘pay for performance.'”

Moody’s report highlights some bullet points of wisdom from Luntz:

  1. Don’t say ‘capitalism.’
  2. Don’t say that the government ‘taxes the rich.’ Instead, tell them that the government ‘takes from the rich.’
  3. Republicans should forget about winning the battle over the ‘middle class.’ Call them ‘hardworking taxpayers.’
  4. Don’t talk about ‘jobs.’ Talk about ‘careers.’
  5. Don’t say ‘government spending.’ Call it ‘waste.’
  6. Don’t ever say you’re willing to ‘compromise.’
  7. The three most important words you can say to an Occupier: ‘I get it.’ (then offer “Republican solutions” to the problems).
  8. Out: ‘Entrepreneur.’ In: ‘Job creator.’
  9. Don’t ever ask anyone to ‘sacrifice.’
  10. Always blame Washington.

The reason Luntz has been well-employed over the past two decades (he’s a frequent contributor to Fox News) is that these deceptive practices work. You can see Luntz’s effect on the right wing dialogue from the lowliest blogger, to talk radio, to the sheep-like cable news networks that march in lockstep with whatever the meme of the day/week/month is.

Of course, this is all in place of any real ideas to fix our nations problems. Those tired old chestnuts have been played out forever.  Witness the current slate of Republican presidential candidates for verification.

So get ready to play a game I have been at for years while watching/reading/listening to the news. See how long it takes for this utter bullshit to become the accepted framing for these issues.

And see how it stops actual discussion dead.

-Chris

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December 1, 2011 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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