April 23, 2003 7:27 AM   Subscribe

Republican pollster Frank Luntz realized he had a problem. Many of his GOP clients had a consistently bad rap on the environment. Word on the street was they took in millions in contributions from polluting industries, and either sat idly by while environmental safeguards were weakened or, worse, led the charge to undermine decades of protections.

What to do? Instead of counseling his clients to take a principled stand against these polluting policies, Frank simply wrote a memo and invented LuntzSpeak - an exciting new way to put a positive spin on an abysmal environmental record.

Of course, this memo was supposed to be confidential. But lucky for us, Jennifer 8. Lee at the New York Times was given a copy by the Environmental Working Group. Now all of us can learn how to decode and use LuntzSpeak for ourselves!

Submitted in belated recognition of Earth Day. Hope you enjoy.
posted by nofundy (10 comments total)
I don’t have to remind you how often Republicans are depicted as cold, uncaring, ruthless, even downright anti-social. These attacks appeal to resentment and fear. Because they are primarily emotional in nature, they cannot be blunted with logic or statistics.

Thank you, Mr. Spock.
posted by xiffix at 8:08 AM on April 23, 2003

I'm not terribly impressed with the fairly slick 'luntzspeak' web site. Engaging in lots of speculative translation, it undermines the very argument it attempts to make. They'd heve been better off simply linking to the document itself.

Alas, one has to scroll down and look at the fine print before seeing the memo in question.
posted by aladfar at 8:24 AM on April 23, 2003

The memo itself (or at least the portions they highlighted) seemed like a fairly straightforward set of advice for campaigning strategy. Is it really news to anyone that when politicians campaign they want to do so in a way that the voters will respond to most positively? Why should the environment be any different, on either side of the political spectrum?
posted by Wingy at 8:32 AM on April 23, 2003

Gee, aladfar, I really loved the decoder ring myself!

I had absolutely no problem finding the link to the actual memo.
Got anything to say about the problem this web site addresses?
Want something a bit more meaty then?
Well allrighty, try the sue and settle approach to environmental regulations that Bush Inc. employs instead.
posted by nofundy at 8:32 AM on April 23, 2003

Oh, he's the MSNBC pollster guy with bad hair. This all makes sense now.
posted by machaus at 8:45 AM on April 23, 2003

"As Republicans, we have the the moral and rhetorical high ground when we talk about values, like freedom, responsibility, and accountability." (p. 136) Sheesh, even when he instructs his own team on how to talk an issue, Luntz's spin-button stays at the on position.
posted by win_k at 9:19 AM on April 23, 2003

I think of him as Opie's evil twin.
posted by y2karl at 9:20 AM on April 23, 2003

The owner of this page has won many impressive awards.
posted by swell at 10:12 AM on April 23, 2003

Wouldn't it be funny if like every other front page post was about how stupid and dishonest and money-grubbing liberal Democrats are?

Don't you see the double standard?
posted by hama7 at 12:29 AM on April 24, 2003

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