Before He Talks to Council, Meet Frank Luntz



Perhaps by now you've seen Rudy Bush's item about Frank Luntz, one of two speakers lined up to address the city council at its Arboretum retreat today. Among pols and media folks, Luntz is a pretty well-known guy -- after all, he's the man who, in 2003, told George W. Bush to start referring to "global warming" as "climate change." And as the Columbia Journalism Review noted only last December: "Luntz has had a long career fashioning language that helps his Republican clients. In the mid-1990s, during the first attempt to privatize Medicare, he told them to use the words 'saving,' 'preserving,' and 'strengthening' Medicare -- words we hear today when the subject comes up."

The city's coughing up $15,000 to pay for Luntz's visit, at Mayor Mike Rawlings's request; an anonymous donor's paying the other $15,000. I asked the mayor's chief of staff, Paula Blackmon, how that's possible: "Logistically, they either pay the general fund or the speaker himself." Well, that's not really what I meant. But, ya know, ethics reforms are right around the corner, so they say.

Anyway, Anna's going to beat the retreat today, because who doesn't want to spend a 72-degree day at the Degolyer Estate? She'll recap Luntz's remarks later. Till then, here's one of myriad intriguing clips featuring Luntz as he explains himself to Katie Couric, who manages to refer to the creator of PolitiFact's 2010 Lie of the Year as a "tool."

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24 comments
Grumpy Demo
Grumpy Demo

The bad news?

This tells you everything you need to know about the new Mayor's commitment to ethnics reform.  

The good news?

I expect the quantity and quality of the lies coming from the City Council and Mayor's Office to be significantly improved for 2012.

The quantity and quality of service and ethical behavior, not so much.

Pizzapizza
Pizzapizza

The Mayor is a rank amatuer who thinks he can spin his way out of trouble. He has already screwed up with his promise not to let his political consultants lobby and has screwed over the business community and the southern sector. Way to go.   

Robert Wilonsky
Robert Wilonsky

Anna just called to recap; her item'll run first thing in the morning. Sounds like the Friends of Unfair Park nailed it.

Mister_Mean
Mister_Mean

Well as the city has shown us time and time again that it is only tax dollars and there is always more to squander in an unlimited supply (the taxpayer).

Randy S
Randy S

Wow! Tone deaf, anyone?

Who in the world thought it was a good idea to spend this kind of $$$ to bring ANYONE in to speak? Much less Luntz. 

Embarrassing.

Words Mean What I Want Them To
Words Mean What I Want Them To

I'm still hopeful Luntz will debate Hector Flores and Jesse Diaz over whether Mario Batali is a Latino or an Anglo so we can use the outcome to settle this redistricting thing.

Brenda Marks
Brenda Marks

I'm baffled at this, at best.  I'd rather take that $15,000 out of the general fund in stacks of $50 bills and hand them out to homeless people around City Hall.  Better use of the money.  I guess Luntz is going to teach them his latest favorite words (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/... and those favorite words are going to be used to spin every single controversial thing that comes up over the next 12 months.  Excellent.  Can't wait.

mynameisURL
mynameisURL

This man is a cancerous lesion on the body politic.

Harvey
Harvey

I'm concerned about what they're trying to learn from this guy.  How to manipulate the weak-minded to do your bidding?  I should've seen this coming since Mayor Mike changed the Southern Sector into Southern Dallas.  I wonder what the PM (politically-manipulative) name for gerrymander is?

OakParkStudio
OakParkStudio

Any regular viewer of FOX NEWS and Sean Hannity is very, very familiar with this Frank Luntz.

Last night he was given half of Sean Hannity's show to recap the Republican Debate with his usual "focus group."

This is very troubling for Dallas.

Why are we paying any money to a gentleman who is very well known as a shill for the GOP and clearly injecting partisan politics into his "scientific process"?

Mike Rawlings + Citizens Council = A Visit By Frank Luntz.

Go Figure.

Darrd2010
Darrd2010

Sad. Especially since I sent this link:http://www.chicagoideas.com/two weeks ago to the mayor thinking how cool would it be to send two council members to Chicago to see how this thing works and maybe apply it to Dallas. You know, big picture ideas. It would have cost less than $15,000. So instead, he gets all hot and bothered by this guy?It appears with all that's on their plate, the mayor and council are going to need lessons in spinning the chaos enveloping Dallas City Hall. Shades of Marie Antoinette. Cake, anyone?

480 hour comp guy
480 hour comp guy

This is not surprising, cut minimum staffing for fire dispatch and making 40 hour Police and Fire work for comp time instead of paying money, then denying the time off you have earned.  Over 12,000 hours of Comp Time owed and they have the audacity to spend money on this.

Unbelievable

Suhm has created a Ponzi scheme on the backs of DPD and DFD.

DallasDolly
DallasDolly

You elected an ad guy Mayor. No substance, just spin. Is anyone really surprised?

Augie
Augie

Luntz is one of founding fathers of the Rove clan.  These architects of the current state of politics have ushered in an era where people no longer rise to the top based on their merits to become national politicians, but instead are puppets who are created from the mind of these un-electable men, they do what they are told, they use the words they are told to use, and ultimately their only skill is to get out in front of a prevailing wind. The state of political leadership is as dire and frightening as it has ever been in my lifetime and we have men like Luntz to thank as he teaches our politicians to use reptilian words that tap into folks at the id level and circumvent any intellectual discussion of issues.  In short, politics is all about the language of the gut and nothing about who has better ideas that might work to solve our very real problems.   

M Streeter
M Streeter

Luntz also advises using "Founding Fathers' fur" rather than "bad toupee."

MattL1
MattL1

They're bringing in THAT Frank Luntz?  And they're, or should I say we're, paying him?  Fantastic.  I'd rather they give the money to a consultant to study the feasibility of a Ferris wheel in the middle of the damn river.

MattL1
MattL1

See what you did there?  Positive spin.  The city should pay you 30 grand to give a presentation.

Yep
Yep

Yeah, he's had a horrific start to his term. I hesitate to say he can only go up from here!!!

OakParkStudio
OakParkStudio

I did.

I got Mayor Mike.

Must be something wrong with my voting machine.

ANS
ANS

 "I wonder what the PM (politically-manipulative) name for gerrymander is?" Or lie, steal and cheat. At least we know they will learn 4 new words to be better "spin-meister's!!! 

Cynical Citizen
Cynical Citizen

I agree with most of what you say here but don't blame the men like Luntz.  The electorate by and large doesn't have the attention span or want to take the time to think through issues.  They don't respond to much other than catch phrases.  

Hope  and Change is a prime example.  People laughed and the popular medis scorned Perot's charts, Newt's esoteria, W's SS plan and even Bill Clinton's attempts communicate details of a program or policy beyond a sound byte.  I've never seen a Democratic candidate try and explain anything.  They just call names and evoke ugly scenarios.  Why? because it's always worked for them.  They have ideas many of which I'm sure are good ones but they have established cliches that their various constiuents have bought into and just use them like a mantra over and over.  It becomes part of the culture and is effective.

It's what you need to do win an election and someone unwilling to play the game will lose.Take Dallas elections for example.  The first one to hire the consultants with a history of success in delivering the South Dallas vote usually wil win the election.  Ideas, platforms,and intellectual qualities may help a canditate to raise needed money but it's the spinners, wordsmiths and savvy operatives that win the day at the polls.

Don't shoot these guys.  The process kind of works because all of that help costs moneyand the canditates that have nothing aren't going to raise enough.  I hope anyway.

  

engmofo
engmofo

Totally feasible,extra revenue could be raised by charging for the solar powered water taxi rides,to & from the wheel itself. That will be $50,000 please…

MattL1
MattL1

Sure.  I'll just pull that out of the pothole-fixing money.

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