Skip to main content

From the Department of Telling You What You Already Know, I wanted to flag this particular excerpt from PBS Frontline's terrific piece on global warming. Reporter Deborah Amos interviews, among others, top Republican pollster Frank Luntz about his famous memo in the mid-1990s that told Republicans to deliberately distort scientific facts about global warming. Frontline notes that the memo is still being used by ExxonMobil as a way to build Republican congressional opposition to measures that would curtail global warming.

So what does Luntz have to say for himself? Well, he both admits his memo advocates distorting scientific data, and then he goes on to effusively brag about his talent for coming up with language that makes brazen lies seem mildly truthful (I would call him an expert in "truthiness" but "truthiness" implies that what is being said has a grain of actual truth - Luntz takes total lies and only makes them seem like they vaguely relate to the truth).

Here's the relevant quote from Luntz:

"Look, you want me to say it? It was a great memo. It was great language. I busted my ass for that memo. I have spent many sleepless nights going over focus group tapes, writing exercises, trying to figure out what language would work. And in the end, for that time, I think I found good language."

I guess Luntz gets a shred of credit for being so honest about being a paid liar (is telling the truth about lying an oxymoron?). At the very least, he went on television to admit that he is a specialist in lying. That explains why he keeps getting hired by Republican politicians and corporate PR departments. But it doesn't explain why Beltway reporters constantly quote him as some sort of credible voice on the issues of the day.

Originally posted to davidsirota on Wed Apr 25, 2007 at 05:32 AM PDT.

Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Mary, racerx, wozzle, Sharon, Alumbrados, Marek, SteveLCo, Maccabee, copithorne, Julian, Inky, mtnbkreric, alyosha, teacherken, iowaboy, yerioy, Gator, cosbo, maynard, PeterHug, krwada, Shockwave, Jambro, Sherri in TX, m maddog, Wintermute, SanJoseLady, genethefiend, democat, shayera, Stein, John Campanelli, ThirstyGator, HootieMcBoob, Mumon, frisco, zic, bumblebums, exNYinTX, Poika, zeitshabba, ralphie, sardonyx, Eternal Hope, RubDMC, Cyberactor, JP Stormcrow, koz, JSCram3254, skrymir, Cautiously Optimistic, rebop, nyceve, rhp, OCD, Jeffrey Feldman, awakentech, biscobosco, peace voter, Geonomist, mrblifil, vmibran, josephk, thingamabob, rioduran, Alna Dem, dksbook, hopesprings, Moody Loner, danthrax, TexDem, oldjohnbrown, Dallasdoc, American Zapatista, missliberties, bogdanmi, MKS, MA Liberal, PaulVA, mcfly, dnn, Eddie Haskell, lcrp, 313to212, Dood Abides, Pohjola, bwintx, colorless green ideas, YetiMonk, kd texan, wezelboy, BigBite, eigenman, thereisnospoon, drewvsea, kevsterwj, Gowrie Gal, sxwarren, trueblue illinois, Fabian, chumley, Bluesee, marina, pattyp, DianeNYS, Alexander G Rubio, enough, LarisaW, ek hornbeck, OpherGopher, PBen, Militarytracy, monsterofNone, ThunderHawk13, Brooke In Seattle, thefos, boofdah, eru, Mz Kleen, buckeyedem08, katymine, Frank Palmer, Count Imbroglio, cspivey, annefrank, BobOak, blue jersey mom, SheriffBart, illyia, Shotput8, wiscmass, bookwoman, hcc in VA, Dania Audax, soyinkafan, debedb, Mehitabel9, SSMir, makeitstop, occams hatchet, kovie, Shirley P, redstar, Do Tell, kraant, Keone Michaels, vigilant meerkat, BlueInARedState, DC Scott, Yellow Canary, glamberson, theyrereal, rhetoricus, Wary, srvaughn, greenearth, Irishkorean, Tanya, hypersphere01, real world chick, MO Blue, CTLiberal, bleeding heart, Preston S, nowheredesign, Dinclusin, Andy30tx, Dyana, Persiflage, BB10, fiddlingnero, means are the ends, MarketTrustee, liberalpercy, shaharazade, Snarcalita, matx, coolsub, slksfca, mapman, Aaa T Tudeattack, PatriciaVa, DBunn, goon 01, subav8r, ignatz uk, Ken in MN, Cronesense, Loudoun County Dem, Opinionated Ed, Wide Awake in NJ, kath25, sfbob, drchelo, Sean in Motion, bnasley, College Progressive, World Patriot, pioneer111, JML9999, Hens Teeth, mall teacher, JoeW, RandomSequence, Wes Opinion, okamichan13, alasmoses, Jocelyn

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site