THE BLOG
05/13/2013 11:57 am ET | Updated Jul 13, 2013

Missing the Point of Talking Points

The kerfuffle about whether those talking points about Benghazi were politicized misses an important point:

Talking points are supposed to be political.

I've prepared kajillions of talking points for politicians, government officials and executives who need language that articulates their views in the best possible light. Consider it advertising in the form of speech.

Talking points are not intelligence briefings. They are not objective analysis. They are what you have in front of you when you're answering questions from the press or at a hearing and you want to get your point across.

In short, they are spin.

So, is it a scandal that communications professionals in the State Department or White House looked at draft talking points -- prepared, it's important to note, not by other communications professionals but by bureaucrats--and scrub them for emphasis?

The White House should propose a trade to Congressional Republicans. Mutual rhetorical disarmament. We'll shut down our communications office if you will. Put your guys in front of the camera with no notes, no preparation, no guidance. You'll be begging for your talking points before the next time you can say, "Jon Stewart."