Frameshop’s “Frame Work”

The Failure Interview: Jeffrey Feldman, editor of Frameshop.

Frameshop’s “Frame Work”

Jeffrey Feldman, editor of Frameshop.

For decades America’s political discourse has been shaped by the conservative movement and right-wing media. But in recent years, progressives have begun fighting back, working to frame the political debate on their own terms.

Jeffrey Feldman, editor of Frameshop has been doing his part, using his training as a cultural anthropologist to help progressives identify the “frames” of conservative arguments. In his new book, “Framing the Debate: Famous Presidential Speeches and How Progressives Can Use Them to Change the Conversation and Win Elections” (ig publishing), Feldman uses 15 presidential speeches to illustrate how framing techniques can be learned and applied to promote a progressive worldview.

Failure recently sat down with Feldman to discuss how he reverse-engineers conservative messaging, and how he manages to avoid becoming cynical, even as he reviews virtually every word uttered by President Bush and Vice-President Cheney.

How did you get the idea to write “Framing the Debate”?
I knew I wanted to write a book after I had been blogging at Frameshop for about a year. I had this series of essays in which I was analyzing the media, using framing tools that I had adapted from my own background as an anthropologist, as well as words and tools from George Lakoff’s work. While blogging was getting me into the debate and into the media, I knew that I needed to write a book in order to push things out to a broader audience.

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