Frank Luntz Goes Political

Frank Luntz HollywoodRemember that story about Frank Luntz giving up politics for Hollywood?

In truth, though I passed it along last April after seeing it in The Wrap, I’d largely forgotten about it and didn’t think anything was unusual when I kept seeing Luntz show up as a political pollster.

Jay Rosen?   Not so much.   He takes to the pixels of LA Observed and points out that Sharon Waxman, the magazine’s founder as well as the reporter on the story in question, should have followed up.

Clearly the man who told The Wrap that he didn’t like what politics had become had become disenchanted with his change of heart and changed it back almost instantly. And completely, since he is doing today exactly what’s he always done, making his savvy contribution to a divisive political climate. Which raises the question of whether he ever changed a thing. But this is not a question that interests The Wrap, which I think is weird… and bad practice for a news site.

Now I don’t know this, but it certainly appears to me that Sharon Waxman got punked by Frank Luntz, who used her to market himself to potential clients in Hollywood not known for their sympathy with his political achievements. What might make him more palatable to Hollywood liberals? A story about giving up politics, just to get him in the door. A change of heart about contributing to a “divisive” political climate. From there his natural gifts would shine. Waxman was the vehicle for this little charade, it seems to me.

The nature of gossip journalism — and to a lesser extent political punditry — is fire and forget.  People proudly recall the scoops they got right and quietly forget the ones they get wrong.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Highlander says:

    Hey…a political hustler by definition has to hustle. Otherwise his rice bowel slowly empties.