David C. Johnson
Conclusion of "The Attack on Trial Lawyers and Tort Law"
This report has shown that the tort reform movement is part of a two-pronged effort to influence public opinion and gain political power. Industry tort-reform groups utilize "independent voices" -- PR agencies and phony "grass-roots" front groups that appear to be independent of the direct beneficiaries of "tort reform." Meanwhile, the Right has in place a tremendous ideological messaging infrastructure, working for the past 30 years to influence the public's underlying social and ideological attitudes on issues, including tort reform. They have been disciplined, strategic, and patient. They have focused substantial resources on changing the underlying political and social environment, rather than focusing only on single issues.
|Appendix 1 of "The Attack on Trial Lawyers and Tort Law"|
Example of Coordinated Dissemination of a Strategic Message
One of the tactics used by the Right is repetition of messages that are designed to resonate with the public and evoke a desired reaction. This appendix presents an example of coordinated use of one such strategic message, which has been repeated in various media, and by various organizations and prominent individuals. In this example the strategic message is that lawyers, lawsuits, etc. are "out of control." The unspoken, subliminal implication of this phrase is that "we have to get it under control."