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View Diary: Interview Skills 101--Surviving the Fox Hunt (261 comments)

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  •  The greatest diary I read (4.00)
    all day...
    Just spectacular.  Thanks.
    •  All Day? (4.00)
      I've been here awhile... I'll raise you six months.

      Every modern advertiser but the Democrats knows it ultimately comes down to connecting an emotion with a logo.  So far we don't quite have either.

      I'd suggest 'We Lead You To The Manger' (with profuse apologies to the image host).

      It ain't Bill Clinton making me explain "erections lasting more than four hours" to my kids

      by Irfo on Mon May 09, 2005 at 08:33:27 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I'm so glad this diary... (4.00)
        Reiterates my point that religious opportunists such as James Dobson and Pat Robertson have perverted the true spirit of Christianity.


        •  ding (none)
          ... and we have a winner!
          •  What all of the above have said-WOW! (4.00)
            I read a NYTimes article some years ago about a workshop or school for Repub spokespeople.  The opening described a young man making a point.  He was stopped by the instructor, saying he was missing the most important thing--which, it turned out, was his sincerety "look."  It did not matter much what he said as long as he said it with utter sincerety.  It certainly did not matter if he believed what he was saying, as long as he looked "sincere."  It certainly doesn't matter if what is said is true.  

            (Bush tries to express this by wrinkling up forehead, I think--gives me a headache looking at him trying to be "sincere.")

            Part of the curriculum must be to continue speaking over anyone making a good point against them--Tony Blankley almost always tries to drown out Eleanor Clift's points on MacLaughlin Group. Pisses me off. (Which may also be an objective--I tend to change channels or turn off the TV when that happens....and the Repubs are speaking to the likes of me....)  

            I would suggest the Dems doing any "talk-over" must be "sincerely" polite while doing it.  Remember, IOKIYAR, but Dems are held to a higher standard.  Repubs are being "sincere," Dems will be called "shrill."

            But, wow, this diary certainly would help many of our Dem politicos who go on these programs.  Dems believe in the power of ideas, the power of rational argument; now, they need to discipline their presentations so that their ideas and arguments can get through.

            Thanks so much for this diary.  

            How will it be preserved for future reference?

        •  No, I think the point is... (none)
          The true spirit of Christianity has been perverted by that religious opportunists such as James Dobson and Pat Robertson.


          •  They're in it for the power, glory and money (none)
            3 things that mark them as anti-Christian.  That's why they love the old testament so much
          •  Passive verb use (none)
            Try this:

            Dobson and Robertson pervert true Christian spirit to their own bigoted ends.


            •  actually, passive verb was better.... (none)
              in this particular case.

              The goal is to make your real point as hard to find and disagree with as possible.  To slip it past The Right-Wing Reasoning Chip, so to speak.

              The trick to do that is called nominalization; essentially you want to turn the 'verby' part of a sentence into something 'nouny' and tack on a new verb to occupy your listener's RWR chip.

              If you try this version on people...

              "The perversion of the true spirit of Christianity by Dobson, Robertson, and other religious opportunists has been widely decried by moderate Evangelicals."

    'll find them arguing with you about who is and who is not a moderate Evangelical--while the whole perversion-by-opportunists series of presuppositions will slip right by.

              Hijack their frames! Cheap, easy, effective.

              by chriscol on Wed Jun 08, 2005 at 10:15:08 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

      •  I meant to say last night (4.00)
        That we have really been remiss on the level of making an emotional connection with our words.  We are good at making an intellectual connection, but then we are talking over the heads of the non-intellectuals.  To paraphase the famous Adlai Stevenson exchange, if we have the votes of all the thinking people in the country we will lose, because we need a majority.

        A minority of the electorate is capable of responding to an intellectual message, but everyone, including intellectuals, is capable of responding to the right emotional message.  Especially if that message connects to cherished values and a person's bedrock concept of what is True.  Just look at the emotion on this site every day!

        How can we harness this?  How can we catch this lightning in bottles?  Are our noses too far in the air to deign to look for common denominator messages both intellectuals and average Joes can relate to?

        Rs have been practicing this for twenty years and have beens sadly sucessful at selling the public a pack of lies in the process.  Call me naive, call me crazy, but I think we should try doing the same thing with the truth.

        Politics is like driving. To go backward, put it in R. To go forward, put it in D.

        by TrueBlueMajority on Tue May 10, 2005 at 08:56:29 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Political Communication and the Triune Brain (none)
          TrueBlueMajority -- this essay is THE BEST commentary on political communication I've ever read. Although it deals with responding to Faux News dittoheads as a point of departure, it is the essential lesson of political communication Democrats need to learn.

          Paul MacLean's theory of the Triune Brain can be very helpful in understanding the political communication challenges we face. The theory holds that the human brain is made up of three evolutionary parts: the Reptilian, the Mammalian, and the Human. The three parts interact, but each has it's own primary function -- the reptilian is instinctive and survival oriented; the human part is the cerebral cortex, which is the thought process and other higher brain functions.

          The importance of this, is that people don't make voting decisions on the issues -- it is their EMOTIONAL RESPONSE to issues that determine their choices.

          In fact, if you can push the emotional hot buttons, the issues become irrelevant. That's why Frank Luntz has been so successful, polling and programming the GOP to use emotionally charged words.

          An example -- when asked, most people will say they want fuel efficient cars. These same people then go out and buy an SUV. Why? The logical thought process says to buy a high MPG car, but the gut level reptilian brain emotional response is power, strength, and security -- which leads to the SUV buying decision.

          Bottom Line -- the emotional trumps the analytical, every time.

          This is why the fear response led Security Moms to vote for Bush -- which was entirely predictable, since Kerry made no effort to Swift Boat Bush's credibility as a strong wartime leader. Game over, Bush won.

          Lakoff talks about this, using the Pro-Choice and Pro-Life constructs as models. Choice is a consumer value; Life is a moral value. Consumerism is trumped by Morality -- advantage to the other side.

          Democrats lose arguments because they rely on issues and analysis, instead of emotion and passion -- Republicans win, because they go straight for the hot button emotional responses.

          Another way of looking at it is through the lens of Aristotelian communication theory -- Ethos; Pathos; Logos. These have been discussed at They correspond to modern marketing techniques of What; Why; How.

          Ethos = What -- What are your core principles?

          Pathos = Why -- Real World examples, that reinforce your Ethos.

          Logos = How -- The logical conclusions that naturally flow from the What and Why of your core beliefs.

          Those principles, in that order.

          As Democrats, We Believe in Liberty and Justice for All --

          The GOP believes in liberty for corporations, and justice for those who can afford it --

          •  ethos/pathos/logos, amen! (none)
            I have commented on the ethos/pathos/logos triangle many times.

            Here's one summary restated from a February post responding to a comment about "narrative of the mind" vs. "narrative of the heart":

            Ethos--first they have to trust you: either because of past trustworthiness, because of your role (pastor, president, doctor), or because other people they already trust are willing to vouch for you.  If you don't have their trust, you are stopped at square one.

            Pathos--you must make an emotional connection: push emotional buttons with the narrative of the heart.  But if they don't trust you, their emotions will not engage.

            Logos--this is the narrative of the mind, but it goes in one ear and out the other unless they trust you and have made an emotional connection with you.

            bottom line:  Dems have got to stop nominating logos-heavy candidates and giving logos-heavy TV interviews.  Even our occasionally strong attempts at pathos don't work because Joe Redvoter does not trust us.

            Whatever else establishment Dems might say about Howard Dean, he is pushing emotional buttons and getting an emotional response.  He is going to the heartland, letting people who almost never get to see a real live Democrat meet him and trust him.

            Whatever else Republicans may say about Dean, they fear any Democrat who has the potential to make an emotional connection with the people.  That is why they attack his trustworthiness, so that his emotional message will be muted.

            Politics is like driving. To go backward, put it in R. To go forward, put it in D.

            by TrueBlueMajority on Thu Jun 09, 2005 at 01:12:00 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  Only one thing missing: (4.00)
      Practice. A live FOX interview--or more practically, for most of us, a call-in radio show--is not the time to try these tactics for the first time. Corporate CEOs hire expensive consultants to play hostile journalists, like personal trainers teach their clients how to box. We have to do exactly the same thing.

      Practice, practice, practice.

      •  I've already suggested that (none)
        We did a Framing Workshop here that was phenomenal (80 people turned out!) and I've already forwarded this as a suggestion for our next one.

        You are right on the money - we practice this in a controlled and friendly setting and we are going to make waves on the air.

      •  Practice works!!! (none)
        When I worked for an executive marketing company we helped the people we were working with develop stories that would illustrate that not only were they familiar with the responsibilities of a job they are interviewing but had successfully dealt with that issue. we had them practice these stories so that they could respond to questions in a concise and confident manner. It always works. People got positions!!! These are just good marketing techniques. It is not deceitful. Would you expect a concert violinist to play at Carnegie without having practiced the piece many times? Athletes practice all the time and have coaches who assist them in refining their technique.

        In thinking about the stories our executives prepared they always informed us that it gave them insight into their skills and into the complexities of the positions they were interviewing for. They reported that it assisted them in getting a faster start in the job after they began. Marketing is only a bad thing if you are trying to deceive someone. Keeping on message is effective and the best way to communicate. As a parent I did not ask my children what they wanted to wear that day (early ages) but whether they wanted to wear the blue shirt or the red shirt. This gave them practice in decision making and gave them a sense of control.

        This post is one of the best I have encountered since the Bush debacle began. We should proceed in the following ways: decide what our goals are, create the messages to communicate those goals, practice the messages and then deliveer them. Because we are truthful we will be effective.

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