Republican consultant Frank Luntz is about to find himself in hot water within the conservative circle. Yesterday, Mother Jones posted the full narrative (written and video) of Luntz criticizing today’s mainstream conservative talk radio hosts while speaking to Republican students at the University of Pittsburgh on Monday. Luntz made his off the record comments after assurance he would not be recorded. In today’s world, he should have known better.
In line with what Luntz has said or written in the past, he believes much of the polarizing talk by conservative talkers such as Rush Limbaugh or Mark Levin are “problematic” for the party’s long-term success. Luntz realizes that conservatives are on the losing battle of specific issues, such as immigration reform or birth control. Conservative talkers opposing such issues is counterproductive if independents or anyone else in the middle vote against Republicans in the future.
Unfortunately, conservative talk radio is no different than prime time cable news on the Fox News Channel — same thing on the opposite end of the spectrum with MSNBC and the abundance of progressive content. It’s all about making money. Political news and discussion is practically entertainment. The people who watch or listen to such polarizing coverage seemingly enjoy getting riled up. So the media companies and their hosts tell them exactly what they want to hear.
Luntz of course will be vilified by the conservative media as a traitor, I’m sure under the premise that he is willing to compromise conservative principles in order to achieve his own individual agenda (whatever that may be — I’m sure they’ll think of something).
As long as there is money to be made in the political news entertainment field, people like Limbaugh or Levin have no reason to change their dialogue.