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FOX News Pollster Frank Luntz Uses Focus Group To Perpetuate Obama Smears

Reported by Ellen - February 27, 2008 -

On last night’s (2/26/08) Hannity & Colmes, supposedly neutral pollster Frank Luntz used a Democratic focus group, supposedly there to discuss the Clinton/Obama debate that was happening on another network, to hype the latest smears against Obama: his African garb and the use of his middle name. Sean Hannity took it a step further by "just asking," in so many words, whether Obama's wife and pastor are black racists. With video.

Luntz started with the photo of Obama in African dress. “What’s your reaction?” Luntz asked excitedly. But when every respondent said it was a non-issue, the obviously disappointed Luntz insisted it was a big issue. Sure it was, to a Republican operative.

Then Luntz went on to say, “Barack Hussein Obama. Is there anything wrong with mentioning the candidate’s middle name?” Nobody seemed to think that was much of an issue, either. The issue, as a pollster like Luntz must surely know, is that the Republicans have been using it to smear Obama. But Mr. "Words That Work" Luntz didn't phrase his question within that framework.

Then white supremacist sympathizer Sean Hannity repeated his false smear of Obama’s pastor, saying that “(Obama’s pastor) gave the controversial, I would argue, the racist and anti-Semite Louis Farrakhan an award.” In actuality, it was the pastor’s daughters who gave Farrakhan an award. But “real journalism” FOX News’ Hannity repeated that falsehood for at least the second time that night. For good measure, Hannity went on to smear Michelle Obama and Obama’s church as black separatists, even though he has been told what the pastor's actual philosophy is.

Alan Colmes asked if it mattered what Michelle Obama wrote in a thesis 20 years ago, what Obama’s pastor says or whether Louis Farrakhan endorsed Obama. Nearly everybody said no.

Funny, but I don’t remember any questions about Giuliani’s extra-marital affairs, questions about his role in 9/11 or Romney’s flip-flops to any Republican focus groups.