Cue the Republican outrage. Amirite?
- action Yesterday, Mother Jones released secretly-recorded audio of GOP strategist Frank Luntz criticizing right-wing talk show hosts during a talk with College Republicans at the University of Pennsylvania. “They get great ratings, and they drive the message, and it’s really problematic. And this is not on the Democratic side. It’s only on the Republican side,” Luntz said.
- reaction “I’m very disappointed that at Penn, [the] trust between students and speaker is gone,” said Luntz, an former student and professor at the school, after the release of the audio. ”Call me naive, but I thought it was possible to have an open, honest conversation about American politics and not make it a national conversation.”
- rebuttal “The Penn environment should be one in which people are encouraged and expected to speak unencumbered by self-interest,” wrote Aakash Abbi, the student who recorded the speech. ”If influential GOP figures like Frank Luntz truly believe that the party’s media kingmakers harm the national interest but refuse to say so for fear of backlash, they knowingly work against the spirit of open and honest debate.”
There’s also a question of journalistic ethics. Luntz requested that the remarks remain off the record; while a journalist who was in the room verbally agreed to this request, Abbi (who isn’t a journalist) and Mother Jones (who wasn’t present) did not. So are they still bound by it? Does a request to remain off the record amount to a decree, or must it be agreed to? Regardless of where you stand, it’s a fuzzy area. Meanwhile, Luntz has withdrawn a scholarship in his father’s name since the remarks leaked.
Profiles in lack of courage.
The Senate rejected a bipartisan deal to expand gun background checks, as it began voting on a host of amendments to a measure aimed at curbing gun violence.
Leader of an opposition research meeting held with MITCH McCONNELL (R - Kentucky), about McConnell’s prospective opponent, actress Ashley Judd; she would later announce she would not run for McConnell’s Senate seat.
Listen to the whole recording, obtained by Mother Jones, and hear a gleeful, cackling Republican political teardown operation in all its sickening glory.
The best of the worst of all worlds.
Yes, the Republican National Committee really did conduct this survey, and according to Cindy McCain, Reince Priebus himself will be releasing the results in two weeks.
So Christmas is in two weeks. Got it.
HERP, MEET DERP This file photo of New York City GOP Councilman Daniel Halloran seems to say it all. Halloran, Democratic state senator Malcolm Smith and four other people were arrested on bribery charges, related to Smith’s efforts to land a ballot spot in the 2013 NYC mayoral race. (Photo: Suzanne DeChillo / The New York Times)