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Submitted by Anonymous on
Framing effects were in full force for the Pete Peterson sponsored "America Speaks" forum. I haven't seen the final tally of participant views, nor a writeup of the items which the participants brought to the table (which includes the options that the not brough to the table by the organizers). Can you compare the data from the participants vs the write-up from the Peterson sponsored groups pushing entitlement cutbacks as the solution for the 'deficit problem'? What is the response of the academics to the charges that Eskrow makes, "Fung is an advisor to AmericaSpeaks, which makes his defensive piece understandable but does not render it accurate. Carolyn Lukensmeyer, the head of AmericaSpeaks, presented a report and testimony to the Deficit Commission yesterday. Despite the participants' largely progressive recommendations, Dr. Lukensmeyer's report tried very hard to retrofit their conclusions to fir the organizers' political biases. Dr. Lukensmeyer, Professor Fung and other Democratic or liberal/centrist participants in that event represent the "bipartisan" adoption of the conservative premise that Social Security is part of our deficit problem. They helped design a program which tried to manipulate the debate, based on that and other skewed assumptions. " "Archon Fung and Carolyn Lukensmeyer should be complimented for their interest in exploring the new field of "public deliberation," which investigates new models for participatory democracy. I share their enthusiasm for its potential. But intellectual fascination does not exempt one from other forms of rigor...intellectual enthusiasm has subtly clouded their judgment about the political calculus used in designing and funding their work." The academic portion of the work on public deliberation should not be looked at in isolation. The America Speaks process is teamed with media manipulation (see Fiscal Times), think tank capture (Concord Coalition, and other deficit hawk orgs, e.g ...Responsible Budget). The purpose of the deliberation viewed by academics is to see if it produces an outcome more in line with public desires. The purpose of the deliberative exercise from the organizers is to produce a report that supports the *organizers* viewpoints -- and which can then be echoed through the media as 'the public wants'. They got lots of data from the exercise, but they also got the press releases that they wrote to support the position preferred by the organization picking up the tab.