Propaganda Minister Luntz

Republican Minister of Propaganda, Frank Luntz, is advising his underlings in the party, and its official organ, <<Fox News>> to modify the language they use in discussing the #Occupy movement. The reason? The Republicans’ unifying theme: fear.

“I’m so scared of this anti-Wall Street effort. I’m frightened to death,” said Frank Luntz, a Republican strategist and one of the nation’s foremost experts on crafting the perfect political message. “They’re having an impact on what the American people think of capitalism.”

Luntz, of course, is being too clever with that. #Occupy isn’t opposed to capitalism; it’s opposed to a crony capitalism that’s arisen in this country thanks to the ultra-rich, their Washington lobbyists, and compliant, greedy pols. From Luntz’s drecking points memo:

1. Don’t say ‘capitalism.’

“I’m trying to get that word removed and we’re replacing it with either ‘economic freedom’ or ‘free market,’ ” Luntz said. “The public . . . still prefers capitalism to socialism, but they think capitalism is immoral. And if we’re seen as defenders of quote, Wall Street, end quote, we’ve got a problem.”

Interesting that, for all of their loud attacks against Obama’s brand of Kenyan socialism, the Republican pollster’s focus groups thinks capitalism is “immoral”.

2. Don’t say that the government ‘taxes the rich.’ Instead, tell them that the government ‘takes from the rich.’

“If you talk about raising taxes on the rich,” the public responds favorably, Luntz cautioned. But  “if you talk about government taking the money from hardworking Americans, the public says no.Taxing, the public will say yes.”

Government takes money from everybody.  It’s the price we pay for a civilized, Western, First-World society.

3. Republicans should forget about winning the battle over the ‘middle class.’ Call them ‘hardworking taxpayers.’

“They cannot win if the fight is on hardworking taxpayers. We can say we defend the ‘middle class’ and the public will say, I’m not sure about that. But defending ‘hardworking taxpayers’ and Republicans have the advantage.”

And with that, the Republicans acknowledge that they have abandoned the middle class altogether. It’s as if the United States wasn’t the embodiment of the oldest and most established anti-feudal bourgeois revolution(s) in history. (Plural because I’m including the Civil War as the second American bourgeois revolution).

4. Don’t talk about ‘jobs.’ Talk about ‘careers.’

“Everyone in this room talks about ‘jobs,'” Luntz said. “Watch this.”

He then asked everyone to raise their hand if they want a “job.” Few hands went up. Then he asked who wants a “career.” Almost every hand was raised.

“So why are we talking about jobs?”

Because you can’t have a career if you don’t have a job, and right now we have a jobs crisis. Mass layoffs and slow hiring lead to an unemployment malaise and record corporate profits. When those companies start realizing that unemployed people can’t buy their tchotchkes, they’ll find themselves in quite a pickle. The economy trickles up, not down.

5. Don’t say ‘government spending.’ Call it ‘waste.’

“It’s not about ‘government spending.’ It’s about ‘waste.’ That’s what makes people angry.”

Is it waste when those “Me Generation” boomers start whining about the government keeping its grubby hands off their Medicare?

6. Don’t ever say you’re willing to ‘compromise.’

“If you talk about ‘compromise,’ they’ll say you’re selling out. Your side doesn’t want you to ‘compromise.’ What you use in that to replace it with is ‘cooperation.’ It means the same thing. But cooperation means you stick to your principles but still get the job done. Compromise says that you’re selling out those principles.”

Of course not! The Republicans have shown us over the last 2 years that compromise is anathema to them. Why would we have two two-party deliberative legislatures if the Founding Fathers expected there to be “compromise”? That’s un-American treason, for God’s sake!

7. The three most important words you can say to an Occupier: ‘I get it.’

“First off, here are three words for you all: ‘I get it.’ . . . ‘I get that you’re angry. I get that you’ve seen inequality. I get that you want to fix the system.”

Then, he instructed, offer Republican solutions to the problem.

That’s what my tween girl says to me when she gets mouthy after getting in trouble. It sounds condescending and rude. Sort of like the contemporary Republican Party.

8. Out: ‘Entrepreneur.’ In: ‘Job creator.’

Use the phrases “small business owners” and “job creators” instead of “entrepreneurs” and “innovators.”

Entrepreneur is a French word. France is communist and permissive.

9. Don’t ever ask anyone to ‘sacrifice.’

“There isn’t an American today in November of 2011 who doesn’t think they’ve already sacrificed. If you tell them you want them to ‘sacrifice,’ they’re going to be be pretty angry at you. You talk about how ‘we’re all in this together.’ We either succeed together or we fail together.”

I don’t know how this jibes with the Republicans going out of their way to screw the middle class, “hardworking Americans of less means than Trump” but I’m sure they have it figured out.

10. Always blame Washington.

Tell them, “You shouldn’t be occupying Wall Street, you should be occupying Washington. You should occupy the White House because it’s the policies over the past few years that have created this problem.”

Actually, no. It’s the policies that have been bought off through lobbying by the wealthy that have created this problem. If Washington had balls, a moral compass, discipline, and a true desire to fix problems rather than just win elections, this would be moot. The solution isn’t to occupy the White House; the solution is to get money out of politics. Want to blame Washington? Blame the Supreme Court.


Don’t say ‘bonus!’

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.'”

Semantic newspeak. “Orwellian” doesn’t begin to describe the Luntz-Fox axis.


  • Speaking of speaking: I like the idea of speaking of that crowd as the Axis. Your last word is the best word.

  • Great post. I really hate Luntz and people like him.

  • Luntz makes Joseph Goebbels look like a lightweight. This latest batch of doublespeak should swell the ranks of ‘low information voters’ to achieve his ends.

  • The GOP has always been better at messeging than the Dems…..It is probably because their message is so narrow.

  • “Obama’s brand of Kenyan socialism”

    Either you meant “Kenyan”, and this is an admission that Obama is from Kenya in his heart – and cares nothing about the good of America. Or you meant “Keynesian” economics after John Maynard Keynes. Either way, this is a truly silly article and especially incongruous since you leftists have control of every TV station on the planet.

  • Shorter Patricia: I vastly prefer misleading propaganda — so long as it reinforces my world view — to sarcasm, which I clearly do not comprehend.

    Silly, indeed.

  • Shorter shorter Patricia: I choose to believe The Axis over what I see with my lying eyes.

  • Sorry, Luntz can’t hold a candle to Carville, Brazille and Begala as Goebbels-channeling propagandists during the Klinton years. You Dem/Libs have controlled the media and the political agenda in the US as long as I’ve been alive, and you still whine when someone disagrees. Quit yer bitchin’.

  • At least the Soviet Russian people knew damn well their propaganda was complete bullshit.

    In contrast, half the American population has a religious-like devotion to the web of lies that comprises popular opinion these days. Just about everything spewed forth from the lamsestream media lately qualifies as being some magnitude of Orwellian propaganda. “Freedom” means slavery to the system. “Democracy” means financier oligarchy with parliamentary paraphernalia for show. “Hard working” means wage slavery for the benefit of said oligarchs. “Taxpayer” means citizens who have no social obligation to the greater society than forking over a portion of their earnings once a year. “Washington” is a red herring meant to draw blame away from the private oligarchy. “Waste” means resources used for public good instead of further enrichment of said oligarchs. “Careers” are the jobs of the managerial caste, the only people that “matter” in this society besides said oligarchs.

  • “Death tax”, “ground zero mosque”, “socialism” etc etc. all buzz words for the benefit of the obedient low-information Limbaugh / Fox followers, to enable them to continue acting against their own interests for the benefit of the plutocrats.

    Watch for many of these new Luntz words and phrases to come from your right-wing friends and relatives, faithfully recited with sincerity and a straight face.

  • Still laughing about the Begala/Goebbels comparison.

  • “You Dem/Libs have controlled the media and the political agenda in the US as long as I’ve been alive, and you still whine when someone disagrees. Quit yer bitchin’.”

    @Jim – For years and years I have listened to Conservatives bitch about how we liberals control the media….I have two thoughts on it.

    First, I wonder why there isn’t more Conservative news outlets. All the conservatives bitch about it constantly, so there must be a market it for it. You all would jump all over a new venue…..and yet no businessmen will invest in it? I guess they recognize that the 3-4 million at peak viewers on FOX, just isn’t enough to build a model around.

    Secondly, there is no doubt about the power of the media to persuade….and yet the political pendulum swings back and forth from conservative to liberal with rock solid consistency. There hasn’t been a huge long stint of Democratic or Republican control in modern times. Longest stint in my lifetime was actually the GOP holding the White House for 3 terms in a row. And with the liberal media persuading people, how is that possible? The truth is that most media isn’t all that liberal, if you look at the news content and not the commentary. FOX and MSNBC aren’t really news stations as much as they are entertainment channels where we can watch larger than life cartoon characters toss verbal anvils on their opponents heads. If only they would add those cool sound effects like on the Roadrunner and Wyle E. Coyote cartoons.

    So, since it really has little effect on elections, this quote seems appropriate…….. “Quit, yer bitchin'”

  • So glad the career creators have this gifted wordsmith in their camp. While he’s splitting infinitives and parsing sentences the idiot cops around the country (Buffalo and Erie Co. Sheriffs excluded) are creating pictures worth a thousand Luntzwerds every time they clobber some little female sophomore at Berkley with a baton or share their food spray with the faces of kids at UC Davis. This revolution is not going to be stopped by Pasty Frank or Doughy Karl and their clever little anagrams. It’s waaay too late for that. But I am sure the Heritage Foundation, the American Enterprise Institute, plus O’Reilly and Hannity will be happy for the tip sheets so they won’t have to broadcast static over the airwaves. I heard Fat Ass signing off yesterday and he said Newt is now going to meet with Donald Trump. After all Bachman, Perry. Mittens and that guy who dropped out all met with him. Then he throws in, I am going to be playing golf with Trump in the next few weeks so don’t leave me out of it. Limbaugh and Trump playing golf. Wonder why they don’t just go for a run together ?

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