Sunday, February 27, 2005


Enquirer - Frank Luntz hired as new editorial writer?

Cincinnati Enquirer news story 2/24/05:
Pension-reform idea a tough sell
Cincinnati Enquirer editorial 2/27/05:
Deputy Commissioner of Social Security James B. Lockhart III toured Greater Cincinnati on Wednesday with U.S. Rep Rob Portman, R-Terrace Park, not necessarily to sell a new plan for Social Security
Apparently honchos Margaret Buchanan and Tom Callinan forgot to send the message down the line that the Enquirer's new spin on Social Security is that the Republicans' town meetings aren't about selling the Bush plan, they are about gathering information. "Sell" is tired, "information and non-partisanship" are wired.

For example, the Enquirer further editorializes:
Social Security is no partisan issue.
Tell that to Karl Rove, Charles Givens and the their merry band who are trying to lay waste to AARP. This doubletalk of stressing that this is not a partisan issue while saying nothing of the Republican-orchestrated attacks on their political opposition sounds like the Enquirer stole a page from the Frank Luntz "How to Speak Republican" book.

No, wait a sec, IT IS from the Luntz's briefing book. Literally.

From Tab 7, page 1 we find his "The Social Security 10-Step Language Ladder." It's his step-by-step coaching guide for Republicans about how to "talking up" the Social Security issue. "Ladder". "Talking up." Get it? We bet he's a hoot at bachelor parties!

And, lo and behold, in his ladder, there is Luntz's talking point #7 that apparently jumped out at the Enquirer editorial writers:
Improving our Social Security system CANNOT be a partisan issue. We must all work together to put partisan bickering behind us.
And they were also touched by talking point #10:
I ask you to focus on the facts. Study the issue and then make up your own mind . . . the more you know the better off we'll be.
Aw, hell, they fell in love with #4 and #5, too.

Now, editorial-wise, this unbelieveable crap. We've grown to expect cesspools like the Wall Street Journal's editorial page to literally tow the line, but most dailies try to screen out the fey editorials in favor of op-ed coverage where readers, in theory, know they are being spoon-fed crap.

The Enquire is tiptoeing the plagiarism line here. Plagiarism is bad enough, but partisan plagiarism should be a career-ending move in the world of journalism.


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