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Luntz Explains It All For Hannity’s America

Reported by Chrish - December 17, 2007 -

Note: Guest blogged by Priscilla

“Fair and balanced” Fox News uses the services of Republican pollster Frank Luntz to provide them with Republican spin on issues of importance. Now that primary season is less than a month away, Luntz is frequently seen on FOX and never fails to disappoint. On the December 16th edition of “Hannity’s America,” Sean Hannity interviewed Luntz about which political ads were the most powerful, according to Luntz and his dazzling dial meters. What ostensibly appeared to be an objective report soon became a platform for Republican talking points which were skillfully interwoven into the thread of the commentary.

Not surprisingly, Luntz started off with Republican ads which his peeps felt were powerful. Also not surprisingly, the first ad was from Rudy Giuliani with narration that talked about how New York City was “turned around” during Giuliani’s tenure as mayor. According to Luntz this proved that “voters listen to the record and they’re impressed.” (Comment: Fox likes Rudy.) Next was a “great” Mitt Romney ad in which Romney asserted that Hillary Clinton “hasn’t run anything.” (Comment: Fox doesn’t like Hillary Clinton.) A Fred Thompson ad appeared to remind the viewers that, according to Thompson’s view of himself, true conservatism is about being pro-life, anti-taxes, and the knowledge that “rights come from God.” The last and “best” Republican ad, according to Luntz, was (surprise, surprise) a Rudy Giuliani ad in which he spoke about how, thanks to him, New York City was no longer a welfare and crime capitol. Giuliani made the claim that he has been “tested” and there have been “exceptional results.” Luntz claimed that having Giuliani speaking for himself was very effective – especially the parts when he talked about “results” and having been “tested.” According to Luntz, when Giuliani “sells himself,” it is “perfection.” (Comment: Oh, hooray for Rudy who should be grateful for the free ad that he was getting from Sean Hannity)

On cue, Hannity agreed that Giuliani is a powerful speaker; but this hasn’t been seen in the debate performance. Luntz, on cue, responded that Giuliani’s most powerful moments during the debates where “when he confronted Hillary Clinton.” No mention was made of current Republican primary states front runner Mike Huckabee.

Luntz then reviewed some Democratic ads. He showed an ad from John Edwards in which Edwards said that replacing corrupt Republicans with corrupt Democrats will not result in change. Luntz felt that Edwards should have focused on the “forgotten middle class” rather than the poor. (Comment: Fox doesn’t like poor people.) An Obama ad, in which he spoke about health care reform being stopped by lobbyists, was played. Luntz said that Obama should have used the term “special interest group” because “Democrats, as much as they don’t like the individual, hate the organizations that are part of the process.” (Comment: Oh, Zing, Luntz implied that Democrats are “collectivists” and that could be code for “commies” – ya think? Luntz does love that broad brush. Only recently he said that Democrats don’t believe in God.)

Hannity, on cue, asked Luntz why no Hillary Clinton ads were featured. Luntz replied that her “delivery doesn’t sound authentic” and she doesn’t “sound emotional.” (Comment: talking points alert!) In discussing Obama, Luntz brought out the broad brush when he said that “any rational person who analyzes it has to say he’s not qualified…but people, who listen to him, are moved.” On script, Hannity said that “cold and calculating” are words used to describe Hillary Clinton to which Luntz said that Obama is “new and fresh” and has momentum and “room to grow.”

Hannity ended the segment by saying that the “dial groups are so pure in their honesty.” (Comment: Would a CNN or MSNBC dial group be as pure?)

Comment: While not as blatant a propaganda piece as some of what I’ve seen on Hannity’s America, it did provide a platform for perfunctory anti-Hillary Clinton talking points and the point that Obama is “not qualified.” It also served to give Rudy Giuliani some free, positive publicity. I would be interested to see how the dialsters react to the negative ads that are now being used by Republicans towards each other. But in Foxworld, Republicans respond well to positive Republican testimony about ability and strength and that just might demonstrate, without a dial meter, that old PT Barnum adage about the birth rate of suckers!

Note: Guest blogged by Priscilla