"A talking point is a neologism for an idea which may or may not be factual, usually compiled in a short list with summaries of a speaker's agenda for public or private engagements. Public relations professionals, for example, sometimes prepare "talking points memos" for their clients to help them more effectively conform public presentations with this advice.
A political think tank will strategize the most effective informational attack on a target topic and launch talking points from media personalities to saturate discourse in order to frame a debate in their favor, standardizing the responses of sympathizers to their unique cause while simultaneously co-opting the language used by those discussing the specific subject. When used politically in this way, the typical purpose of a talking point is to propagandize, specifically using the technique of argumentum ad nauseam, i.e. continuous repetition within media outlets until accepted as fact. "
Highlighted comments scare me.
Got this definition from, where else, Wikipedia. I was wondering why politicians and news outlets all get caught on these phrases and sayings, "death- panels", "weapons of mass destruction", and "the bridge to nowhere" to name a few. I always feel smothered with a facade of what a politician wants me to think is really happening with an issue when I hear these talking points. Every time I hear a politician sticking to his/her talking points I feel like a child being misguided by my parent because they think I can't understand the issue myself and their synthesis is in my best interest. I would love to be able to formulate my own opinion about all these issues but the fact that everyone uses these talking points makes it very difficult to get truthful information. On Thursday's The Daily Show, Jon Stewart talks to Democratic Congressman James Clyburn of South Carolina about this very topic. He asks an amazing question, 'At lunch do the talking points stop and people talk normally? After the cameras are off and the doors are closed do the talking points stop?'
Lots of people, young and old, know this is happening and it is likely the cause for all the apathy towards just about everything political. In my opinion right now, the only political show worth watching is The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. I know what category this puts me in. But I appreciate his sense of humor, his disapproval of the contradictions and idiocy, and his general clear headedness. I think he presents a balanced perspective, but yes, leans way left. If Obama, or another democrat, really botched something up he would let you know.
Back to Talking Points, I use them too. In fact, if I hear a fact that I find particularly interesting I have been known to repeat it again, even if I can't remember the details. Lots of folks will make sure they get things right with Talking Points, but not me. I go for the gist. So, I can understand why they are used. I feel like sitting down in a room and talking freely is more what I want to see of my elected representatives. Also I do read the Talking Points Memo blog. I feel like TPM is generally on to something. If there is a happening, they will generally have a good take in it.
So politicians, have another one of those summits. And please, leave behind the Talking Points.