Monday, June 20, 2005

''Frame Up? Dems, Dean Hit in Message War''

"Interesting analysis from ABC News, including a weigh-in from George Lakoff. Frame Up? Dems, Dean Hit in Message War (ABC News) - Analysts: GOP Scores as Howard Dean Gets 'Blunt':

"The Republicans are attacking Howard Dean more than Howard Dean is attacking Republicans — but the way the stories are being handled in the news media, everybody is assuming the opposite," said Anthony Pratkanis, co-author of "Age of Propaganda: The Everyday Use and Abuse of Persuasion," and a psychology professor at the University of California-Santa Cruz.
'Republican Message Machine'
Experts on propaganda and political branding declared Republicans the winners of the dust-up over Dean's comments, calling Dean's attacks imprecise, poorly targeted and open to mischaracterization (Dean was forced to clarify several remarks once they were reported).

The result is little surprise to George Lakoff, a linguistics and cognitive science professor at the University of California-Berkeley, who said "the Republican message machine" has been far more effective than Democrats in recent years at framing the opposing party through disciplined message management, repetition of phrases and other techniques. Democrats, he said, can't currently match the GOP's level of organization. "The reason for this [Dean flap] is that you have Republican media people putting this stuff out — combing through the speeches, taking out a quote and taking them out of context," said Lakoff, a self-styled "progressive" Democrat who was in the audience for Dean's "honest living" remark and feels it got mischaracterized in the media. Whether the Dean controversy was fueled by Republicans framing Dean's comments or by the comments themselves, the attention paid to it may have revived a media portrayal of Howard Dean as a loose cannon, at a time of falling poll numbers for President Bush and the Republican agenda. In other words, Pratkanis said, just as they stumbled, Republicans may have pitched a psychological message to future voters that, "We're all that keeps you from Howard Dean."

The take-away for me is not that Dean should shut up per se, but that Democrats need to get on message and get some discipline--that, and George Soros needs to buy a couple of networks. Boy, wouldn't that be refreshing."-from the post on, based on the post from ABC News.

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