Frank Luntz: Ha-ha, asshole!

Did anybody else hear Frank Luntz nearly shit a brick on All Things Considered this afternoon?

I only caught about 2/3 of the segment, and I can’t seem to find the audio, but here’s the summary:

Luntz was on with George Lakoff in a segment about American’s slowly blossoming cluefullness over the Iraq Occupation.

That’s right - “occupation.” Lakoff referred to it that way over and over and over again, and Luntz came as close to blowing a gasket as anybody ever gets on NPR save Bill O.

It was pretty funny coming from the guy responsible for “death tax,” “partial birth abortion,” “climate change,” “healthy forests,” and Social Security “personal accounts.”

Is it just me, or did Luntz actually seem scared of that word? Ocuppation. Occupation. Occupation.

Enjoy your own medicine, fucker.

Lame, I know. But these days, if you stick a straw in front of me, I’ll grasp at it.


A pollster. “Although Luntz later tried to distance himself from the Bush administration policy, it was his idea to discredit the idea of global warming science to keep the issue from influencing voters in the 2000 and 2004 US presidential elections.”

The audio of Luntz’s participation in today’s show can be found here.

I don’t think the whole segment is quite as dramatic as you implied in your OP, but there is a real disconnect in the way that the spinmeister Luntz is apparently so offended that his political opponents might use his own tactics against him.

He gets all offended by the term “occupation,” and yet is happy with the constant hammering of terms like “war on terror” and “cut and run.” He worries that rhetorical use of the term “offended” might work in the Democrats’ favor, ignoring the impact that Republican rhetoric has had in masking truth for the last five years.

He truly is one of the more disgraceful people inhabiting the American political landscape.

Frank Luntz & George Lakoff are the main linguists for the republican and democratic party respectively. They linguistically frame issues to make people take either the republican or democratic side.

On the issue of taxpayer money for illegals Luntz may say

“Do you support spending more money on illegal immigrants” and about 80% of people will say no.

Then Lakoff will ask “Do you support telling the children of immigrants that they are not allowed to go to school or turning immigrants away at hospitals” and 80% will say no even though they are the exact same issue worded differently.

I agree with black455. Although it may not have sounded dramatic, I did think Luntz was getting quite testy and sounding very petulant. For someone for whom crafting a message to manipulate others is their bread and butter, he got his ass handed to him. This was especially true in contrast to Lakoff’s calm and even responses. I was quite surprised, in fact.

Nobody even bothered to point out how Luntz had been trying to repeat the “cut and run” mantra himself only a moment before.

I thought Lakoff made a really good point. For three years, everybody’s been calling it “the war in Iraq”. If you talk about withdrawal, then you’re accused of wanting to “cut and run” in a “time of war”. But the actual war was over very quickly; since 2003 we’ve been conducting a military occupation of Iraq, which is exactly what we apparently had no coherent plan for. You never get to declare victory in an occupation.

[QUOTEHentor the Barbarian]
Nobody even bothered to point out how Luntz had been trying to repeat the “cut and run” mantra himself only a moment before
No, but this exchange at the end was pretty good:

Luntz: “Republicans have been on message, but no to the point of throwing the same word in virtually every sentence of every response in this interview”

[Apparently, Luntz has never heard a Scott McClellan press conference]

Lakoff: “Think of the words ‘war on terror.’ When you have heard ‘occupation’ as many times as you have heard ‘war on terror,’ the country will understand a truth.”

Another thing that really struck me about this interview is that it was 5 1/2 minutes long, yet they were just getting to the heart of the matter. I’d enjoy hearing the two of them go at it for another half hour or so.

Well, the difference between “occupation” and “war on terror” is that “occupation” is demonstrably true, and what we’ve been up to in Iraq has little to do with the war on terror. I think Luntz was upset because he recognized it as a meme he can’t easily deal with. It’s literally the sting of truth that made him so shrill.

:smiley: He shoots, he scores!