frank luntz: attacked by male models

Over the past year or so, I’ve written about Republican message-guru, Frank Luntz, a number of times. I thought that I knew him pretty well, but apparently there was a secret he was hiding… He’s been suckeling at the Reality TV teat… Here’s a a letter that I just received from a thirteen year-old Crimewave reader by the name of Stephanie Green:

I don’t know if you’ve heard of the show Mr. Romance. It is on O!, I believe, or one of the other Lifetime TV for Women type affiliates. It is hosted by Fabio and it is basically a reality show competition where a bunch of guys are trained to be romance novel cover models and then there will be a pageant at the end. It is vaguely amusing. Anyway, the reason I bring it up is because our friend Frank Luntz was on last week. He was hosting a focus group to rate the different studs and their various qualities, which was one of the challenges on the show. The last time I saw him on tv he was doing something similar on the show American Candidate, which was on Showtime. That one was about a bunch of people in a contest where they were “running for president.” Basically they’d give speeches and do different campaign things in various towns and in each place, people would vote for who they thought was “most presidential.” That was actually a good show, I thought. But he did a focus group for them, too. The Fabio one amused me, though. Because at least American Candidate was a pretty serious-minded show and politically-related. Mr. Romance, however, is neither. So I thought his presence there was funny. On American Candidate you see which of the contestants took Luntz’s advice and changed their image or even their message to win the challenge. It was slimy. But on Mr. Romance, all of the guys hated Luntz and some of them even yelled at him. Granted, he was just telling them what the focus group said about them, and they didn’t seem to get that it wasn’t actually his own opinion of them. But still, it amused me to see Luntz getting yelled at and told he was just talking bullshit by shirtless, glistening men who could clearly kick his ass.

Anyone who can get me footage of Luntz being yelled at by male models will win a “mystery bag”!

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  1. Posted April 20, 2005 at 7:26 am | Permalink

    She’s 13? Awfully erudite for 13. I wish my 14 year old niece thought or said or wrote like that!

  2. be OH be
    Posted April 20, 2005 at 8:40 am | Permalink

    Did anyone happen to catch Luntz on The Daily Show last night? Samantha Bee was getting his opinion on obfuscation best practices.

    I could hardly believe he agreed to an interview with that show.

  3. Kristin
    Posted April 20, 2005 at 9:12 am | Permalink

    He was really good at obfuscation. And proud of his talent. I think it is fodder for a new board game.

  4. Tony Buttons
    Posted April 20, 2005 at 10:15 am | Permalink

    Any idea where I might be able to find his Daily Show appearance online? I just checked One Good Move and didn’t see it. Are there other sites that regularly archive Daily Show clips?

  5. Edwardo
    Posted April 20, 2005 at 12:12 pm | Permalink

    The Samantha B piece can be found at the Crooks and Liars site. You can get it here-

  6. Posted April 20, 2005 at 3:59 pm | Permalink

    We’ve documented some Luntzisms on a blog we’ve developed that is designed as a sort of “countermemo.” Check out our suggestions at

    D & C

  7. [steph]
    Posted April 20, 2005 at 4:37 pm | Permalink

    Okay now, Mark. I’m glad you enjoyed my reportage on the Luntz sightings, but I have to say, you are living in the past, my friend. I was thirteen when I first wrote you a letter asking for a copy of Crimewave to use for my 8th grade class project on zines. It may seem like only yesterday, but in fact that was 8 years ago and I am 21 now.

    It was a good year, 1998ish, though 13 was not an especially fun age. Remember, we wrote to each other on paper letters, and I searched for a Crimewave website using Prodigy. No such website existed.

    Anyway, back to the future. I deleted that episode of Mr. Romance, but I will try to tivo it for you. If you know anyone who has digital cable, I believe Oh! is running a marathon of the show this weekend leading up to the big pageant explosion. And you might want to check out American Candidate. That show was good and I think its on DVD now…


  8. mark
    Posted April 20, 2005 at 8:59 pm | Permalink

    You will always be that precocious little kid to us, Steph… no matter how many grown-up reality television shows you appear on. (Speaking of which, you never wrote to tell me how the audition went. If you get in, you have to promise to call me, crying your eyes out, at least once.Those are always great scenes.)

    And thanks for the Luntz links. That Daily Show piece is great… I’ll try to get a post up on the front page.

  9. Jim
    Posted April 21, 2005 at 7:56 am | Permalink

    The Samantha Bee piece is now up on the Comedy Central site:

    What was Luntz was thinking when he agreed to that interview?

  10. [steph]
    Posted April 25, 2005 at 11:45 am | Permalink

    I will tell you all about it when I finish my final project stuff for class (should be soon).

    And Justin has pointed out that I should be very flattered that your readers think I write well for a thirteen year old.


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