ANWR - A Luntzian Acronym

[Letter to Andrew Leonard published in Salon (prob. subscription-only) about his use of ANWR instead of Arctic National Wildlife Refuge]

Just a quibble, ANWR is a convenient abbreviation for a journalist but it's also a term that right-wing consultant Frank Luntz used with numbing, Goebbels-like repetitiveness in his infamous strategy report for Republicans (the one where he recommended using "death tax" for estate tax and "energy exploration" for oil drilling). He claims (crows) that "an incredible 87% of Americans" don't know what the initials stand for. Whether or not that's true, "drilling for oil in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge" sounds worse than "drilling for oil in ANWR." Using the full term reminds us of the undespoiled environment that powerful interests want to ruin (oil spills without punishment, anyone?) so that Americans can spend a few more hours in their cars.

(And while I'm not part of Luntz's 87%, I see ANWR so much I had forgotten that the A stood for Arctic and not Alaska.)