The Framing Wars – Language and Substance in Debate

I just read a must-read article called The Framing Wars, the cover story in yesterday’s NYTimes Magazine. It is an enormously informative, entertaining, and instructive piece that looks inside the Democratic struggle to match the art that Republicans have mastered: using language to frame the debate to suit one’s point of view. The excellent writer Matt Bai implicitly makes points about the rhetorical devices of framing (and the associated cognitive/emotional causes of how we pick which side of the debate to be on) that appeal to anyone who spends some portion of their day trying to convince someone of something. It’s long, so print and read (even if you’re squeezed tight into a train, like I was). I find these longer, quasi-news/quasi-analysis pieces so much stronger than the daily he-said she-said politics coverage of most rags – especially since the writer isn’t afraid to bring his or her own voice and opinion into the piece.

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