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Hannity And Supposedly Neutral Pollster Frank Luntz Harangue Democratic Focus Group Panel

Reported by Ellen - January 3, 2008 -

At the end of a discussion with a focus group of Democratic Iowan voters, Sean Hannity worked in one of his tirades disguised as a question to the Democrats, asking, among other things, whether or not they support “retreat in Iraq.” Supposedly neutral pollster Frank Luntz, who must have known that was no way to ask a question, repeated it to the polite group and demanded that they answer, “Yes or no.” With video.

Most of the segment consisted of Luntz asking the panel of voters such questions as who they supported for president, whether they had changed their minds about a favored candidate and why. But at the end, Luntz offered both Hannity and Alan Colmes the opportunity to ask their own questions. Each co-host did so. But then Hannity worked in one extra question for himself.

Hannity asked, “Every Democratic presidential candidate, Barack Obama, John Edwards and Hillary Clinton, they’ve all promised to raise taxes on the American people. They won’t continue the Bush tax cuts, they all want to retreat in Iraq and they all want to nationalize health care. Is that the direction that all of your group wants to go in, there? Because it seems that we’re pushing up against a really competitive issue as relates to where the Republicans stand.”

Luntz repeated the spin – and the not-so-thinly veiled accusation – as he relayed the question to his group: “All the Democratic candidates, Sean Hannity asked you this, all the Democratic candidates want to raise taxes, they all want to retreat from Iraq, issues like this, universal health care. Do you think that this is an electorally viable strategy that beats the Republicans? Yes or no?”

I so wished one of the Democrats had stood up and said that Luntz and Hannity had one hell of a nerve asking such a question, but they didn’t. A few heads nodded in obedient answer.

“Is there anyone in this room who will even consider voting for the Republican candidate?” Luntz asked, seemingly trying to recover at least his veneer of professionalism.

Nobody would.

But as one gentleman started to speak, the sound was cut off and the segment ended.