Battlepanda: Framing in action


Always trying to figure things out with the minimum of bullshit and the maximum of belligerence.

Saturday, April 30, 2005

Framing in action

Oh, if only this were a real CNN transcript.
WOODRUFF: Senator, now that the president has laid out his plan, or more of his plan on Social Security, isn't it incumbent on the Democrats to do more than just say no to everything?

SCHUMER: Well, so far the President seems to be endangering the retirement stability that so many American families have come to rely on. We can’t support the current policy proposals from the president because we want to preserve this important resource for families.

WOODRUFF: But isn’t that like just saying no and not coming up with an alternative?

SCHUMER: Judy, you have to understand, American families are being squeezed all the time by the Republicans, in education, in health care, and now in retirement security. We want to make sure families have the resources to confront the challenges of the future. And that is why we take this position, because we are the party of family resources.

WOODRUFF: He said I'm willing to listen to good ideas from either party. The American people look at this and they see the Democrats not even willing to come halfway. Not even willing to engage in a conversation. Why couldn't that come back to hurt the Democrats?

SCHUMER: What, defending the resources American families need to succeed? I think the American people know better then that, Judy. [Sub-text: How stupid are you Judy?
This hypothetical dialog (from The Jewish Blog) really drove home the importance of framing in today's TV-based politics. Notice how bizarro-world Schmer is able to bring the topic back to something good about the Democratic party whatever Woodruff is actually asking. It's a way of being on the offensive while you're on the defensive. Instead, the real-world Schmer is reduced to twisting in the wind.