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Saturday, April 27, 2013

Frank Luntz shocked to learn that public speaking is public

Political Wire: After his comments critical of Rush Limbaugh were secretly taped by a University of Pennsylvania student, GOP strategist Frank Luntz told the Daily Pennsylvanian that “he would never return to speak after this incident, and would discourage others from speaking here.”

Said Luntz: “I can’t imagine a speaker coming to Penn and being so open. I can’t imagine a speaker coming to Penn and being so candid. Frankly, I think it’ll have a chilling effect on whether speakers do or don’t come. I wish it didn’t.”
In case you missed the story, the Republican pollster and spin doctor spoke to students at the University of Pennsylvania and told them that talk radio loudmouths like Rush Limbaugh and Mark Levin were “problematic” for the Republican Party’s rebranding effort and partly responsible for the partisan divide (if you ask me, “partly” would mean at least half here).

So yes, Imagine someone who was invited to speak to a crowd of students actually saying things those students wouldn’t hear otherwise — inconceivable! Luntz said his comments were “off the record,” but he was basically speaking to a random group of strangers on a college campus. Why would he assume they were his secret-sharing besties? And it’s hard to figure out how “public speaking” and “off the record” can possibly go together. Luntz screwed up, embarrassed himself and the talk radio blowhard industry, and now he’s blaming someone else, because that’s the conservative ideal of “personal responsibility.” He even said he’d be ending a scholarship in his father’s name, because punishing the school for his own inability to keep his yap shut is also an example of Republican “personal responsibility.”

Interestingly, this story originated with David Corn, who seems to be the go-to guy for leaking recordings on the left. It was Corn who released Mitt Romney’s 47% speech and Mitch McConnell’s plans to smear Ashley Judd. Two out of three of these recordings involved someone saying something in public and later freaking out that the comments were made public.

The moral of this story is that, if you’ve got a big secret, don’t put it in a speech and set it free into the world.

[photo by visual.dichotomy]

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