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Office Hours with Karpf and Loge

Office Hours with Karpf and Loge

By Peter Loge

Strategic political communication hot takes with footnotes. Every episode Dave Karpf, PhD and Peter Loge look at communication campaigns in the news, explain what’s working and what’s not, and how to make it all better.

Karpf and Loge are George Washington University associate professors who think they’re smarter and funnier than they really are. Karpf is the author of several books on digital politics and once sort of accidentally made Bret Stephens cry. Loge has spent 30 years working in politics and strategic communication and is unreasonably proud of getting a 10/10 on RoomRater.
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America's political trailer park of doom

Office Hours with Karpf and LogeMay 10, 2022

00:00
36:50
Musk, COVID lessons and Trump 2024 is Slim Shady 2002 and more

Musk, COVID lessons and Trump 2024 is Slim Shady 2002 and more

On a post-season pre-summer school bonus episode Karpf and Loge talk Musk, comms lessons learned from the US COVID response, CNN, Trump channeling Eminem's 2002 hit "Without Me," and political attacks and political narratives.

May 17, 202331:57
There's a writers' strike, and it shows. Plus AI "news" and porn in Utah.

There's a writers' strike, and it shows. Plus AI "news" and porn in Utah.

Karpf and Loge talk about the comms and content of the writers' strike, AI generated "news" sites, partisan "news" and the endless gunk it's creating, and PornHub versus Utah in a debate no one wants to admit they have a stake in.

May 03, 202337:00
Emergency Pod: Tucker, Twitter, DeSantis, AI and Taco Bell

Emergency Pod: Tucker, Twitter, DeSantis, AI and Taco Bell

On an emergency podcast Karpf and Loge talk Tucker Carlson and Fox, Twitter blue check mayhem, Disney suing DeSantis, an RNC AI stunt, and a strat comms lesson from cheese in Taco Bell products. It's been quite a 72 hours.

Apr 27, 202324:51
Structural power matters, tips for policy comms, and Musk continues to be Musk

Structural power matters, tips for policy comms, and Musk continues to be Musk

Karpf and Loge discuss the importance of structure and power in policy change and elections, and the limits of comms given power and structural constraints. Plus we offer tips for people doing policy comms, and Karpf points out one more way in which Elon Musk, Elon Musks.

Apr 19, 202339:31
Trump, Musk and DeSantis' strategic comms failures, colleges as rhetorical constructions, mammoth meatballs & more...

Trump, Musk and DeSantis' strategic comms failures, colleges as rhetorical constructions, mammoth meatballs & more...

The politics of Trump haven't changed, but he's a pundit employment machine; Musk and DeSantis continue to fail to think "what now, what next, then what?"; colleges as rhetorical constructions to attract students and raise money; a meatball made of extinct woolly mammoth DNA; and an old WWII fort off the English coast that claims to be a country, is half the size of a soccer field, and has its own national soccer team. 

Apr 05, 202333:07
Trump, Silicon Valley Bank and other failures

Trump, Silicon Valley Bank and other failures

If Trump is arrested most voters will say 'I told you so,' but that doesn't make getting indicted a sound political strategy. The argument for what the failure of Silicon Valley Bank means is underway and will determine what, if anything, happens as a result. Plus ChatGPT makes up stuff that makes Dave sound smart.

Mar 22, 202338:21
ChatGPT, strategic limits of word choice, and a bunch of random stuff

ChatGPT, strategic limits of word choice, and a bunch of random stuff

ChatGPT for strategic communication, language choice involves strategic and ethical choices, plus ranting about CPAC, doomsaying is bad, comedy is good, Jurassic moths and invisible asteroids.

Mar 08, 202334:50
Aliens, Nikki Haley, the State of the Union, and Elon Musk doing Elon Musk things.

Aliens, Nikki Haley, the State of the Union, and Elon Musk doing Elon Musk things.

Nikki Haley is running for President, the State of the Union is a strategic comms circus, Elon Musk is doing Elon Musk things, and if they're actually space aliens and not spy balloons the timing is super inconvenient.

Feb 15, 202333:31
Trump, protests, Reading FC and a touch of the 'rona.

Trump, protests, Reading FC and a touch of the 'rona.

Karpf and Loge talk Trump being allowed back on Facebook and what the Republican primary looks like, strategic comms and protests, and the English football (soccer) team Reading FC raising awareness about climate change. Plus fan mail from dog walkers, and Loge finally has COVID making the random rants even more random than usual.

Feb 01, 202333:52
Still ranting into the void - Chat GPT, Debt Ceiling, Political Scandals and Footnotes.
Jan 18, 202333:20
Live Holiday Extravaganza with Special Guest Sarah Isgur

Live Holiday Extravaganza with Special Guest Sarah Isgur

Political analyst and former Republican strategist Sarah Isgur joins Karpf, Loge and a live studio audience to talk Senator Sinema and Republicans in 2024. Against his wishes we sing "Happy Birthday" to Dave Karpf.

Dec 14, 202241:25
This post-election optimism feels weird. Plus Elon Musk.

This post-election optimism feels weird. Plus Elon Musk.

In the final episode of season three, Karpf rants about Elon Musk (of course) and Karpf and Loge talk about why the story of the midterms matters for 2024. They agree that the story should be that voters like democracy and rights - and will punish people who threaten to take away either.

Nov 16, 202233:48
Monet and climate activists, the midterms, and the World Cup

Monet and climate activists, the midterms, and the World Cup

Why climate activists are good for companies that provide security to art galleries, why the mid-terms look like they'll be unsurprising and possibly terrifying, and Karpf and Loge want your take on how advocates can use next month's men's World Cup in Qatar to make the world a better place.

Oct 27, 202233:56
Biden's good October, midterms, disaster politics, and praise for Nyquil

Biden's good October, midterms, disaster politics, and praise for Nyquil

Karpf gloats about being right about Biden and marijuana, messaging and the midterm elections, and what DeSantis got right about disaster politics and why that's bad for democracy. Plus challenges to the space time continuum and we pitch Nyquil to sponsor us.

Oct 12, 202231:35
The federal budget, Matt Gaetz, midterm elections, and three is a magic number

The federal budget, Matt Gaetz, midterm elections, and three is a magic number

The absurdity of the annual fake budget crisis, the bad news that is Matt Gaetz, midterm election narratives, Nyquil chicken, and Loge still insists this is a dog walk podcast.

Sep 28, 202233:16
Biden defends democracy, CNN flails and Schedule F would be bad

Biden defends democracy, CNN flails and Schedule F would be bad

The timing of Biden's address on democracy, CNN needs to stop chasing shiny objects and start defending democracy, and the comms challenge of protecting the civil service from political patronage. Plus Loge gets Karpf to agree to watch a show about soccer.

Sep 14, 202234:15
Dark Brandon, student loans and the mid-terms

Dark Brandon, student loans and the mid-terms

Comms lessons from the student loan relief win, and ideas for how Democrats should message student loans and the 2022 mid-term elections. Loge ideas for sayings that should be on coffee mugs and Karpf continues to mock Musk.

Aug 31, 202233:17
The Inflation Reduction Act and Mar a What a Mess

The Inflation Reduction Act and Mar a What a Mess

Comms lessons from the Inflation Reduction Act and what activists should do next, and the hot mess and comms challenges of the Trump investigation(s). Plus Loge worries about five foot bats and warns about Donald Trump shaped MDMA and Dave Karpf is troublingly hopeful.

Aug 17, 202233:10
Yang is a goof, WinRed is awful and Manchin is the good guy

Yang is a goof, WinRed is awful and Manchin is the good guy

Karpf praises Sen. Manchin and is troublingly optimistic, why the Forward party as a third party is a dumb idea, the Republican fundraising platform WinRed continues to be terrible and what comms professionals can learn from all of it. Plus Karpf wears a meta Mountain Goats t-shirt, Loge praises the English women's national soccer team and warns about holes ocean floor.

Aug 02, 202234:25
Kavanaugh steak-out and gluing yourself to paintings — then what?

Kavanaugh steak-out and gluing yourself to paintings — then what?

What is the strategic communications value of attention-getting stunts? How can communications professionals build on actions like disrupting Supreme Court Justices eating dinner and activists gluing themselves to paintings? Plus Karpf still has opinions about Elon Musk and Loge is aghast Karpf has never seen the Rockford Files.

Jul 19, 202233:21
Everything is bad, but we have some ideas.

Everything is bad, but we have some ideas.

Ultra-conservative elites in Congress and the Supreme Court are ignoring the will of the people and threatening democracy. Advocates should remind state, local and national leaders that the right to privacy and children's safety matter more than what Tucker Carlson says. Plus self-repairing robot fish with lasers.

Jul 05, 202230:31
What are words for?

What are words for?

"Do you hear me/do you care?" - Missing persons. In this episode we talk guns, the January 6th Commission, the Supreme Court weakening the administrative state, and plug the legendary new wave band Missing Person's "Words" video.

Jun 21, 202234:44
Can comms solve guns?

Can comms solve guns?

In the first episode of season two, Karpf and Loge talk about what it would take to pass meaningful, or any, gun control legislation. Plus it's good news the White House is paying its interns, but the rest of the news is bad and Paris Hilton wants to be Queen of the Metaverse.

Links to support for Karpf and Loge’s arguments (and links to other miscellany) are below.

Guns
A mass shootings
database.

Karpf’s Substack piece on the gun debate.

Loge’s Medium piece on the gun debate.

The N.R.A.s Lobbyist Behind Florida’s Pro-Gun Policies from The New Yorker.

Polling can be misleading and a critique of that position.

A Republican Congressman in New York who supported assault weapon ban is being chased out of Congress (NYT).

A thoughtful “yes/and” take by Isaac Saul.

Not Guns

The White House is paying interns — this is a big deal.

DeSantis vs the Special Olympics. Having successfully raised taxes on Florida homeowners by beating a pretend mouse, the Florida governor bravely put kids’ health at risk by tackling the Special Olympics.

Christian Pulisic on US fans and here ($80 tickets didn’t help). His comments pale in comparison to French officials and UEFA after the Champions League final.

The House January 6 Commission hearings are starting(Just Security).

Paris Hilton wants to be the queen of the metaverse.

Jun 07, 202233:04
Facebook's Textbook Advocacy
May 24, 202234:39
America's political trailer park of doom

America's political trailer park of doom

Dave Karpf and Peter Loge talk about responding to the Supreme Court probably overturning Roe v. Wade and America's political trailer park of doom. Plus Loge urges journalists to ignore the squirrels, and Karpf mocks Loge for still having an AOL account. 


Footnotes: Links to some of what we referenced in the podcast, and to other readings our listeners might find interesting.

Abortion
Liberate Abortion has links to ways to promote and protect women’s rights locally and nationally.

The Stanford Social Innovation Review has a terrific piece worth checking out – How Should the Social Sector Respond to an Abortion Upheaval?

Decoding Abortion Rhetoric by Celeste Condit is an important scholarly work on abortion politics. Her work is worth checking out in general.

Advice for advocates
Give people specific ways to help, and ask what now, what next, what then. On Medium (because Karpf shamed me about my own blog).

Protest
The Myth of the Silent Majority – Americans have learned the wrong lessons about the political consequences of protest by Daniel Q. Gillian. His book The Loud Minority: Why Protests Matter in American Democracy is also terrific.

Why Civil Resistance Works: The strategic logic of non-violent protest by Erica Chenoweth and Maria Stephan makes a compelling case for the power of non-violent protest. A shorter version from International Security is here.

Minority Rule
Republicans represent a minority of Americans
The Republican candidate for President has received a majority of votes only once since 1988 (Bush in 2004, 50.7%)

Bailing Out
For those tired of living in America’s political trailer park of doom, here are homes for sale along Italy’s Amalfi Coast. The politics might be terrible, but the views are lovely and the wine is very good.

May 10, 202236:50
Earth Day messaging and the Florida kerfuffle
Apr 26, 202235:13
Does is matter how Democrats talk about the economy?

Does is matter how Democrats talk about the economy?

Karpf and Loge talk about how Democrats should talk about the economy and inflation, and the limits even the best messaging has on who people vote for. Loge warns against releasing 66-million-year-old space spores and makes a pitch for a crypto company sponsor the pod (if they pay in cash).

Apr 12, 202235:08
Strategic Comms and Judge Jackson

Strategic Comms and Judge Jackson

In this episode Dave Karpf and Peter Loge talk about the strategic communications around Judge Jackson's Supreme Court confirmation hearing, and Karpf both warns about the “shadow docket” and makes a play for a mattress sponsor.

Footnotes – Some of the sources we referenced in the discussion.

The Pew Research Center on public opinion of the Supreme Cour

Professor Rachel Shelden in the Washington Post – “The Supreme Court used to be openly political

Ilya Shapiro for the Cato Institute – “Just Accept It: The Supreme Court Has Always Been Political

Robert Dahl “The Concept of Power

Paul Waldman and Greg Sargent in the Washington Post – “The Supreme Court isn’t bothering to hide its designs on our democracy” (discusses the “shadow docket”

SCOTUS Blog forum on “the shadow docket

Remembering Stephen Wilhite, inventor of the GIF, and John Roach who brought the TRS-80 to market.

Predictions:

Dave and Peter: The US Senate will confirm Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson as the first Black woman to the US Supreme Court.

Dave: The story over the next two weeks will be the economy.

Peter: The US men’s national team will qualify for the World Cup.

Mar 29, 202236:17
Introducing: Office Hours with Karpf and Loge

Introducing: Office Hours with Karpf and Loge

In this episode Dave Karpf and Peter Loge talk about how to talk about something other than Ukraine and the mask as the message. Their hot takes are supported by the following footnotes:


New Yorker review of Philip Tetlock's Expert Political Judgment: How Good Is It? How Can We Know? "Human beings who spend their lives studying the state of the world, in other words, are poorer forecasters than dart-throwing monkeys..."

KidSave in Ukraine

Airbnb offering free short term housing, and people paying for Airbnbs they won't use

The Black Box Society: The Secret Algorithms That Control Money and Information by Frank Pasquale

"Snazzy solidarity: is celebrity and fashion support for Ukraine crass?" The Guardian

Stealth Democracy by John R. Hibbing and Elizabeth Theiss-Morse

Counties that went for Trump in 2016 had lower levels of mask wearing - National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI)

The shifting politics of mask mandates - The Washington Post

Axios-Ipsos poll: Media habits defined the COVID culture war, Axios - "By the end of last month, just 16% of those who said they get most of their news from Fox or other conservative outlets still said they trust the CDC, compared to 77% of those who favor network news and major national newspapers and 87% of those who primarily watch CNN or MSNBC."

Follow and connect with us on Twitter: @davekarpf and @ploge

Mar 15, 202232:30