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Frank Luntz

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Luntz is a master debater.
Parroting squawkbox
Icon pundit.svg
And a dirty dozen more
The disheveled appearance, the sardonic wit, all add up to a sort of tilting against the establishment, an insistence that it listen to the Real People [...] Having once thought elites needed to listen to regular people, he now wants the people to learn from their moneyed betters.
—Molly Ball[1]

Frank Luntz is a Republican spin doctor, push pollster, and heir apparent to Edward Bernays. If you hear some new, conservatively correct, political buzzword or meme on Fox News, you can bet that Luntz cooked it up in a focus group last month.

Luntz is often invited on Faux as an "analyst" or "opinion pollster." Other stations have been increasingly loath to invite him on shows due to his reputation as a GOP shill. He has also been reprimanded by the American Association for Public Opinion Research after refusing to release data and methodology.[2]


Luntz is an expert framer; here are some of his greatest hits:

Global warming memo[edit]

The most notorious of Luntz's memos focused on global warming denial in which he urged Republicans to use only the term "climate change" as it was less threatening than "global warming." Luntz further explains how to bullshit:

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.[12]

He has since distanced himself from the memo and claims to accept the science behind global warming.[13]

Orwell rolls in his grave[edit]

In an interview on NPR, Luntz permanently upped the irony bar for future shysters by saying:

To be 'Orwellian' is to speak with absolute clarity, to be succinct, to explain what the event is, to talk about what triggers something happening… and to do so without any pejorative whatsoever.[14]

Penn & Teller[edit]

Penn & Teller: Bullshit! did an episode showing how statistics and polls were abused in the media. A large chunk of the episode centers on Luntz. P&T claim that they got 24% of people they polled to pledge to say "Fuck you, Frank!" every time they saw a pie chart.[15]

External links[edit]