frank luntz

Sun, 2014-01-12 06:00Jim Hoggan
Jim Hoggan's picture

Recommended Reading: The Agony of Frank Luntz in The Atlantic

This is a worthwhile read about a morally confused guy who would, if he continues to do what he does so well, make the problem he is distressed about worse. He seems unable to see his own hand in all of this polarization and promotion of goofy ideas.

I suspect that most of us looking at what Luntz has done would say finding cracks in public thinking and figuring out how to use them to get people elected is going to take us down a dark road.

With his advice to Republicans in 2002, Luntz turned climate science into one of the most partisan issues in American politics.

“The scientific debate is closing [against us] but not yet closed. There is still a window of opportunity to challenge the science. Voters believe that there is no consensus about global warming within the scientific community. Should the public come to believe that the scientific issues are settled, their views about global warming will change accordingly. Therefore, you need to continue to make the lack of scientific certainty a primary issue in the debate.”

The public was mistaken about this and Luntz either knew or should have known they were mistaken.

He knows there is something wrong but doesn't know it is him.

Head over to The Atlantic to read The Agony of Frank Luntz.

Thu, 2013-06-06 05:00Graham Readfearn
Graham Readfearn's picture

The Campaigns That Tried To Break The Climate Science Consensus

So just in case anyone wasn’t sure, a major study of almost 12,000 scientific papers on global warming between 1991 and 2011 finds less than one per cent disagree that humans are the main cause.

Published in the journal Environmental Research Letters, the study led by John Cook, the Australia-based founder of Skeptical Science, confirms the debate about the causes of global warming had all but vanished in the scientific literature by the early 1990s. Almost all the research says it’s mostly caused by humans.

For any followers of climate science in journals (the place where it actually matters) the finding wasn’t really news at all.

Yet survey after survey finds the public still thinks scientists are arguing over the causes of global warming and the media continues to attempt to resuscitate long-dead ideas.

Does it matter that people have a clear understanding of the main thrust of the science? A 2012 study in the journal Nature Climate Change found that people were more likely to accept human-caused global warming if they were informed that scientists were in broad agreement (which we know they are).

For decades, fossil fuel-funded groups, free market think tanks (some of which also qualify as fossil fuel funded groups) and the fossil fuel industry itself have known the importance of the public’s understanding of the state of climate science. A public that understands the state of the science is more likely to want something done about climate change. Doing something, means using a lot less fossil fuel.

But who wanted to tell the public that a consensus didn’t exist? Here are just some of the campaigns run over the years showing how breaking the consensus in the eyes of the public was a key strategy.

Mon, 2010-04-05 09:08Jim Hoggan
Jim Hoggan's picture

The Smoking Guns and Blue Dress Moments of Climategate

In the days and weeks following the theft of climate scientists’ emails from the University of East Anglia’s Climatic Research Unit in November, climate change skeptics and deniers flooded the blogosphere and mainstream press with reactions suggesting that the ‘scandal’ had proven global warming was a myth. 

In many instances, the reactions sounded like a choreographed choir singing from the same sheet of talking points, or at least the same sheet of of well-worn memes and cliches, like ‘smoking gun’ and ‘final nail in the coffin.’

The Desmog team took a look at several unique phrases that flew around the denier echo chamber in the aftermath of the CRU email hack, and how those memes were often adopted by the mainstream media as a result.  Here is a sampling of what we identified:

Fri, 2009-11-06 04:43Kevin Grandia
Kevin Grandia's picture

What Would Frank Luntz Do with the Copenhagen Climate Treaty?

When I’m trying to unravel public relations spin, I frequently find myself asking WWFLD (What Would Frank Luntz Do)?

As you’ll recall Frank Luntz is a chief Republican spin-doctor famous for his memo on climate change.

We have seen a lot of spindoctoring at the Barcelona climate talks underway this week in the run-up to the Copenhagen climate treaty summit to be held in mid-December.

As I’ve pointed out in previous posts, the most egregious spin has been the attempts by politicians to re-frame a successful outcome in Copenhagen as being a “politically binding” deal as opposed to a “legally binding” one.

“Politically binding” is great Luntz-speak. The term looks impressive, but is completely meaningless.

So WWFLD?My guess is that his communications memo would look something like this:


MEMO: Copenhagen Agreement “legally binding” language recommendation

Situational Analysis:


There is heavy pressure on the United States and other countries like the EU, Denmark, Canada and Australia to deliver a “legally binding” agreement at the upcoming UNFCCC summit in Copenhagen, Denmark scheduled for mid-December.

Wed, 2009-10-28 10:32Richard Littlemore
Richard Littlemore's picture

Frank Luntz: Can you trust this man?

Hint: No

It would be easier to dislike, distrust and dismiss Republican pollster Frank Luntz if not for the evident quality of his work. But the most recent leaked example of that work shows again both his capacity for intellectual excellence and his willingness to rank tactical advantage above forthrightness.

Luntz achieved fame in the environmental community when someone leaked a 2002 report that he prepared for the Republican party. Although he has since backed away from the odious positions in that document, he was not shy at the time about instructing his political masters on how most effectively to continue denying the truth of climate change.

In the current example, Luntz is updating his “Global Language Dictionary” for the Isreal Project. There is nothing climate related in the content, but there are many lessons for any student of linguistic manipulation.

Tue, 2007-04-17 22:46Kevin Grandia
Kevin Grandia's picture

The Frank Luntz Mea Culpa

“My own beliefs have changed from when I was tasked with that project,” and “today I would not have that paragraph in a document about the environment.”

And with those words (and a couple more) Frank Luntz, considered by many (including DSBlog) to be one of the godfather's of the PR spin machine attacking the science of climate change, offers up his most frank admission of error to date. Here's the clip:

 

Subscribe to frank luntz