This is where Frank Luntz comes in. He uses focus groups and other kinds of market research to determine how the public feels about various issues, and more preciselyhow they react to specific words and phrasesthen he advises Republicans how to use those words to trigger the right emotions in the American public.
Mr. Luntzs work on environmental concerns is a perfect example of what he is doing for our government. Since gaining control of Congress in 1994, the Republicans have made a concerted effort to roll back all sorts of environmental standards and public health protections. Frank Luntz knows this is not popular with a majority of Americansso he advises:
If you want to lower the health standards of the Clean Air Act, you should call it The Clear Skies Initiative.
Become a champion of national parks and forests Preserving parks and open spaces is a winner.
Unite Americans by emphasizing our shared rights and beliefs: we all want to move towards a healthier, safer future; we all want/deserve clean air/water.
A compelling story, even if factually inaccurate, can be more emotionally compelling than a dry recitation of the truth... The facts are beside the point. It's all in how you frame your argument. --Frank Luntz, quoted in The Guardian, 3/4/03
Mr. Luntz calls it framing. Politicians call it spinning. The rest of the world just calls it lying. I think Samantha Bee of the Daily Show got it exactly right when she described Frank Luntzs work as a brilliant career spraying perfume on dog turds.
Because he is strictly a behind-the-scene advisor, it is impossible to say where Frank Luntzs work ends and Karl Roves begins; but together they have developed a propaganda machine that is reminiscent of Germany in the 1930s. I dont mean to imply that George W. Bush is the new Adolph Hitler. Hitler was an incredibly effective public speaker; and, fortunately for us, Bush can barely read a speech off a teleprompter. If Bush possessed Hitlers ability to inflame the publics passions, we would probably have Ann Coulter marching liberals into gas chambers by now. I am merely pointing out that the Bush Administrations use of lies and propaganda is similar to what happened in Hitlers Germany.
Through technical devices like the radio and the loudspeaker, eighty million people were deprived of independent thought. It was thereby possible to subject them to the will of one man. --Albert Speer, Hitlers Minister for Armaments, at his trial at Nuremberg
The Republicans and especially the neoconservative intellectuals realized that control of information or one might say replacing it with propaganda was the key to solidifying their political power within the United States. Thats why the conservatives have invested billions of dollars over the past quarter century in building their own potent media infrastructure, ranging from cable networks and major daily newspapers to AM talk radio and well-organized Internet bloggers. -- Robert Parry, Consortium News, 3/16/05
The leader of genius must have the ability to make different opponents appear as if they belonged to one category. --Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf
You're either with us, or you're with the terrorists. --George W. Bush
Propaganda must be limited to a few simple themes and these must be represented again and again. -- Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf
"There's a simple rule: You say it again, and you say it again, and you say it again, and you say it again, and you say it again, and then again and again and again --Frank Luntz, in a Frontline PBS interview, 11/9/04
See, in my line of work you got to keep repeating things over and over and over again for the truth to sink in, to kind of catapult the propaganda. --George W. Bush, 5/24/05
The great masses of people will more easily fall victims to a big lie than to a small one. Especially if it is repeated over and over. --Adolph Hitler, 1939
Weapons of mass destruction weapons of mass destruction weapons of mass destruction weapons of mass destruction --Every member of the Bush Administration, every day, for 15 months leading up to their war in Iraq
Dont think what happened in Germany cant happen here. It is already happening. Based on propaganda and outright lies, the Bush Administration has misused Americas military power to invade and occupy a nation that was no threat to us. America is holding hundreds of prisoners in a concentration camp at Guantanamo Bay and 40,000 more in various prisons in Iraq. Prisoners are routinely abused with the blessing of the highest levels of our government. Does this sound like the way things are supposed to be in America?
Where are the checks and balances of our government? Why havent our representatives in Congress done something to stop these outrages? The short answer is that the Republicans in Congress have steadfastly refused to allow any investigation into the high crimes and misdemeanors of George W. Bush.
Why is that? Are the Republicans in Congress so afraid of the vindictive Bush Administration that they dare not speak out? Do they really believe that Clintons lies about a sexual encounter are more worthy of impeachment than Bushs lies that took our nation into waror are they the shameless hypocrites that they appear to be?
Those who can make you believe absurdities; can make you commit atrocities--Voltaire, French author (1694 - 1778)