As if we needed further proof of this, Frank Luntz, another doughy, middle-aged white guy, and the famous Republican propagandist/wordsmith (Goebbels would be proud) who infamously advises Republicans how to hide their true political actions in euphemisms (such as “the Clear Skies Act” for a bill actually favoring polluters, renaming “global warming” as “climate change” to make it less scary, calling ObamaCare “government takeover”) has finally spoken the truth — but only in secret.
In an article posted by Mother Jones, Luntz — every bit the Republican that Rove/Scalia/Cheney/Romney/Ryan is –admits that right-wing talk radio plays a big part in the partisanship that has divided this country since the 2000 (stolen) election. In a talk at his alma mater (Penn), Luntz thought he was off the record, but he wasn’t. A student (against Luntz’s wishes, so beware of some possible court action) recorded his comments to a question on political polarization.
Here’s his candid, unfiltered, no bullshit response to the kids:
And they [right-wing talk radio pundits] get great ratings, and they drive the message, and it’s really problematic. And this is not on the Democratic side. It’s only on the Republican side…[inaudible]. [Democrats have] got every other source of news on their side. And so that is a lot of what’s driving it. If you take—Marco Rubio’s getting his ass kicked. Who’s my Rubio fan here? We talked about it. He’s getting destroyed! By Mark Levin, by Rush Limbaugh, and a few others. He’s trying to find a legitimate, long-term effective solution to immigration that isn’t the traditional Republican approach, and talk radio is killing him. That’s what’s causing this thing underneath. And too many politicians in Washington are playing coy. (Emphasis mine.)
Straight from the horse’s ass’ mouth.
Here’s the link to the Mother Jones article:
To truly revel in Luntz’s soulless, greedy, corporate-gleaned weaselness, where he seems willing to sell future generations up-the-river on the environment for short term (Republican) gain, read this — one of his leaked wordsmithing memos that preaches how to propagandize the environment.
Here’s but a sample:
“Indeed, it can be helpful to think of environmental (and other) issues in terms of “story.”A compelling story, even if actually inaccurate, can be more emotionally compelling than a dry recitation of the truth.”
A study came out this week showing that despite the public being “divided” over global warming, the statistic that 97% of climate scientists are committed to the data that proves it’s human-caused is still accurate.
But this political division they talk about? Blame it on Luntz. It’s one of his tactics in this Goebbels-like memo:
Voters believe that there is no consensus about global warming within the scientific community…You need to continue to make the lack of scientific certainty a primary issue….
Wow. What a hero. Future generations should hold this corporate puppet up as the poster child for global warming obstructionism. The world burned while Luntz fiddled.
Yes, it’s important to follow Republican propagandists like Luntz. He once spoke at my alma mater’s Alumni Day a few years ago, which pissed me-off to no end. So I wrote the below email to the Chancellor:
As a proud, excited, and active UCLA alum, I am concerned and mystified by the baffling choice of having “Fox News guru” Frank Luntz speak at the upcoming UCLA Alumni Day “On Obama at Midterm.”
Look, I get it — college campuses should be open to all political viewpoints as an incubator for thought and action for young minds. I myself would never have become who I am today without the alternative, challenging viewpoints that I was exposed to during my days at UCLA (I’m looking at you Professor Wolfenstein!). And now as someone who considers himself a thoughtful liberal (to me it’s not a dirty word), I still want people who share Mr. Luntz’s mostly unpopular (look at the polls) ultra- conservative bent to be able to share their views on our prestigious campus, but in the proper environment and context, which an Alumni Day is most definitely not. Moreover, Mr. Luntz is neither even a UCLA alumnus, nor is he even a UCLA teacher!
And to call Mr. Luntz simply “a Fox News political guru” does that already skewed concept severe injustice. In the first place, in any common sense world Fox News could never be considered a high water mark for “fair and balanced”, non-partisan, objective journalistic instincts. Call it what it is: a place for the 10 million or so “angry conservatives,” “birthers”, and Obama-as-socialist haters, to get their oftentimes inaccurate, outright false and inflammatory “news.” By the network’s own estimate, Fox News has about 3 hours of “news” on their network each day, if that. The rest is right wing editorial content featuring such hate-filled political bomb-throwers as Glenn Beck.
But if Mr. Luntz’s connection to Fox News is in itself not enough of a detraction for UCLA to bring on campus as an Alumni Day speaker (of all things), which, after all, is a public-supported institution that might have the obligation to offer an alternative political viewpoint to Mr. Luntz, then Mr. Luntz’s mostly one-sided controversial positions should be. May I remind the UCLA Alumni Association that Mr. Luntz is not only a hard-right political commentator himself, but as the party’s virtual oracle, he also drives the very Republican intelligentsia and party/lobbying apparatus by his very words, deeds and actions. In the past year alone, Mr. Luntz has written memos laying out arguments for the destruction of both the health care and financial regulatory reform measures that have been used and quoted almost verbatim by the Republican party operatives who spread their violently anti-Obama philosophies. In addition, it was Mr. Luntz who also convinced the Bush Administration to re-frame the term “global warming” as “climate change” because it sounded less urgent, and would, thus, falsely dupe an American public – who polls show are concerned about the environment after all — into waiting to take action on our dire global environmental situation. (I won’t even get into his argument that the term “Orwellian,” a master-stroke of Orwellian double-speak in itself, is actually a good thing that means, roughly translated, to speak with absolute clarity.)
I wish to reiterate that, as an attorney, I am all for open debate in the marketplace of ideas and may the best arguments win. But to have Mr. Luntz speak at what should be a completely non-partisan day to celebrate our happy pride in all things UCLA, including its academics, sports, and its learned world-class scholarship, is misguided at best and taints the day at worst. At the very least, perhaps Mr. Luntz could be challenged in a debate or in rebuttal by another “political guru” with an alternative political viewpoint (and not from Fox News), like, say, Steve Clemons, who actually IS a UCLA alum!?
I question the misconceived reasoning behind this speaker choice on this day, and also question who made it and for what purpose. If I was already on the fence about attending this Alumni Day in the first place, mostly because I live out of the nearby region, I am really convinced to not attend now that Mr. Luntz is being included on the itinerary to spew his nonconstructive, divisive rhetoric.
- Secret Tape: Top GOP Consultant Luntz Calls Limbaugh “Problematic” (motherjones.com)
- David Corn’s Source Live-Tweeted Talk: Frank Luntz: Tough Guy, Until He’s Not! (riehlworldview.com)
- Limbaugh, Levin And The Future Of The GOP (dish.andrewsullivan.com)