Frequent Fox News guest and "word doctor" Frank Luntz has reportedly advised the Republican Governors Association on how to discuss taxes and the Occupy protests, using phrases like "government taking from the rich" and urging protesters to "occupy the White House." This language is nothing new to Luntz's regular Fox hosts, who adopted the Luntz-approved language weeks ago.
Luntzspeak: Don't Say Taxes, Say Government Is "Taking" From The Rich
Luntz: Don't Talk About The Government "Raising Taxes On The Rich." Addressing the Republican Governors Association annual meeting, Luntz reportedly urged GOP officials to avoid saying "taxes on the rich." Yahoo News' Chris Moody reported:
"If you talk about raising taxes on the rich," the public responds favorably, Luntz cautioned. But "if you talk about government taking the money from hardworking Americans, the public says no. Taxing, the public will say yes." [Yahoo News, 12/1/11]
Fox Regularly Uses Luntz-Approved Tax Rhetoric
Sean Hannity: Liberals "Will Empower Their Government To Take It From The Greedy Rich." While discussing Occupy Wall Street protests, Sean Hannity said the protesters wanted to empower the government to take from the rich:
HANNITY: Look at these pictures. This is the heart and soul of modern liberalism and I would argue the decline of America that people feel they have the right to other people's money and they will empower their government to take it from the greedy rich, a narrative that the president himself started. [Fox News, Hannity, 11/15/11, via Nexis]
Hannity: Occupy Protesters "Empower The Government To Take Everybody's Money And Redistribute It." Claiming that the Occupy movement lacks precise demands, Hannity argued that the protesters want government to "take everybody's money and redistribute it":
HANNITY: If there's one, I guess, common theme that runs through I guess the narrative that they are advancing down there is that, they hate corporations, they hate capitalism, and in the end, ultimately, they want statism over free markets. So, they really don't like freedom. But they empower the government to take everybody's money and redistribute it into programs they want, right? [Fox News, Hannity, 10/3/11, via Nexis]
Hannity: Occupy Protesters Are "Begging The Government To Take Other People's Money." Discussing the Occupy Wall Street protesters, Hannity said protesters are "begging the government to take other people's money":
HANNITY: If they wouldn't stay up all night making signs and staying down there for weeks, they could actually be working instead of begging the government to take other people's money. It's an interesting concept. I'll go down there and lecture them. I'll give a speech. [Fox News, Hannity, 9/30/11, via Nexis]
Stuart Varney: Occupy Protesters "Want To Take It Off Those Who Are Successful." Fox Business host Stuart Varney said Occupy protesters have the "entitlement mentality" and claimed:
VARNEY: These people could just as well be in London protesting their cuts there, they could be in Athens, protesting austerity, they could be in Rome. They are just like Europeans. They have the entitlement mentality. They want to take it off those who are successful and have it and spread it around in the hope that somehow it. [Fox News, Hannity, 11/15/11, via Nexis]
Bill O'Reilly: The "Income Equality Group" Wants "Governments Around The World To Take Money Away From The Affluent." Fox News' Bill O'Reilly said Occupy protesters want government to take money from the affluent:
O'REILLY: Now, the President's use of the word justice is interesting. What's the definition of justice? Some folks believe that it's making sure everybody has the same amount of money. That's the income equality group. They want governments around the world to take money away from the affluent and business and give it to the quote, unquote, "people." [Fox News, The O'Reilly Factor, 10/17/11, via Nexis]
O'Reilly: Occupy Groups "Want The Government To Take Money Away From The Affluent And Give It To Them." O'Reilly also said:
O'REILLY: But again, what do these people want? The common thread seems to be income equality. Groups like the Working Families Party and the Strong Economy for all Coalition are basically socialistic outfits. They want the government to take money away from the affluent and give it to them. Nice deal if you can get it. And you can get it in places like Cuba and Zimbabwe. [Fox News, The O'Reilly Factor, 10/5/11, via Nexis]
Luntzspeak: Say, "You Should Occupy The White House"
Luntz: "Tell Them, 'You Shouldn't Be Occupying Wall Street, You Should Be Occupying Washington.' " During his session with RGA, Luntz reportedly stated:
Tell them, "You shouldn't be occupying Wall Street, you should be occupying Washington. You should occupy the White House because it's the policies over the past few years that have created this problem." [Yahoo News, 12/1/11]
Fox: "Why Don't They Protest In Front Of The White House?"
Hannity: "Why Don't They Protest In Front Of The White House?" Discussing the Occupy protests, Hannity asked: "Why don't they protest in front of the White House? [Fox News, Hannity, 10/14/11, via Nexis]
O'Reilly: Occupy Protests "Would Be In Front Of The White House" If They Were Against Crony Capitalism. O'Reilly questioned the Occupy movement's motives, saying if it were "a spontaneous demonstration against crony capitalism," protesters would be outside the White House:
O'REILLY: OK. Crony capitalism, that's interesting. Then why aren't they in Lafayette Park across the street from the White House? Just today --
CAROLINE HELDMAN: I would agree.
O'REILLY: -- just today the White House issued a statement, Leslie that said they are now investigating the Solyndra crony capitalism case. And you know why? Because a congressional committee is going to issue subpoenas next week to the White House to show why they wasted half a billion of taxpayer dollars in Solyndra.
So this is far more. This isn't a spontaneous demonstration against crony capitalism. If it were, they would be in front of the White House. [Fox News, The O'Reilly Factor, 10/28/11, via Nexis]
Eric Bolling: The "Real Place To Occupy" Is The White House. Fox News host Eric Bolling pointed to protesters disrupting a speech President Obama gave in New Hampshire and claimed that it showed that Occupy protesters "finally found the real place to occupy" -- "the White House":
BOLLING: They finally woke up and realize everything you're against, corporate greed and all that, cronyism, is going on from the White House directly to all the Obama cronies, whether it's the congress people who are trading illegally or all the transfers of payment of our money to green energy program that aren't working. That's what you need to occupy. Good job.
BOLLING: They found the real place to occupy. It's the White House. [Fox News, The Five, 11/22/11, via Nexis]
Bolling: Protesters Should Be "Marching On The Capitol Or The White House." Complaining that Occupy protesters were marching on the Chamber of Commerce, Bolling claimed:
BOLLING: Occupy Wall Street now occupying D.C., the anti-capitalist demonstration spreading beyond New York, but instead of marching on the Capitol or the White House, they are descending on the Chamber of Commerce. [Fox News, Your World with Neil Cavuto, 10/6/11, via Nexis]
Luntz Regularly Teams Up With Fox To Promote And Test Conservative Messages
After Luntz Appearance, Fox Exec Bill Sammon Directed News Staff Not To Use Phrase "Public Option." At the height of the health care reform debate in 2009, Fox News Washington managing editor Bill Sammon sent a memo to Fox News journalists directing them not to use the phrase "public option," but rather "government option" and similar phrases. Sammon's directive echoed advice from Luntz on how the GOP could turn public opinion against Democrats' reform efforts. [Media Matters, 3/29/11]
Luntz Chided Fox News Focus Group For Saying They Would Vote Against GOP. Conducting a focus group on Hannity's Fox News show, Luntz discussed the debate over raising the national debt limit, asking whether voters would vote against Republicans if they voted to raise the debt ceiling. After several members of Luntz's focus group panel raised their hands to indicate that they would vote "as a protest" against Republicans who "cast a vote to raise the debt ceiling," Luntz chided them: Oh come on. Seriously?" [Fox News, Hannity, 7/13/11, via Media Matters]
Luntz Asked GOP Focus Group If Obama Is A Socialist; Group -- And Hannity -- Said Yes. In May, Luntz went on Hannity to speak with a focus group about a GOP debate. He asked focus group members if they believed that Obama was a socialist. Hannity agreed with the group that Obama met "the dictionary definition of what a socialist is." [Fox News, Hannity, 5/5/11]