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Frank Luntz Uses His Bogus Focus Group To Smear Democrats Over Palin And Family Guy

Reported by Ellen - February 27, 2010 -

Frank Luntz was back on Fox News last night (2/26/10) with more anti-Democratic results from his Republican-skewed focus group bogusly made up to seem as though it were representative of America. Luntz had appeared on Hannity the night before with the group that he boasted was “split even between Obama and McCain” without mentioning that a truly representative sample of Americans would have included 53% Obama voters and 46% McCain voters. As it turned out, the group he called “split even” was really the reverse (54% McCain/46% Obama). And my suspicions of the night before, that all the “Obama voters” Luntz was presenting as Democrats might not be, were deepened last night when Luntz caught himself after saying, “Demo” and then referred to them as “Obama voters.” This time, Luntz used his bogus sampling to smear Democrats over Sarah Palin and Family Guy and suggest that the Dems were so filled with malice for Palin that it spilled over into malevolence for people with Down Syndrome. With video.

Luntz’ appearance last night, on The O’Reilly Factor, addressed Palin’s hissy fit the controversy over Family Guy’s use of a character with Down Syndrome, talking like she had Down Syndrome, saying that her mother was the former governor of Alaska. Neither Luntz nor O’Reilly told the audience of the “we report, you decide” network that the actress who played the character with Down Syndrome, and who really has Down Syndrome, said she thought the scene was funny, that she thought Palin does not have a sense of humor and for good measure added, “My mother did not carry me around under her arm like a loaf of French bread the way former Governor Palin carries her son Trig around looking for sympathy and votes.” Also not reported was that Palin had never minded Family Guy mocking mental disabilities in the past. And after demanding Rahm Emanuel be fired for his use of the word “retard,” Palin had just given a pass to Rush Limbaugh when he used the word because she said he had used it in satire. If nobody told the O'Reilly Factor audience, what are the chances Luntz made sure everyone in the focus group got that information?

Slim and none. As Luntz told it, his group watched the cartoon and then Palin’s criticism, “This world is full of cruel, cold-hearted people who would do such a thing.” He did not mention having shown them anything further.

“The reaction we got was shocking,” Luntz said, because the Democrats, or the Obama voters, did not disapprove of the cartoon the way the Republicans, or McCain voters, did. Luntz said Democrats “have a reputation for being more compassionate and more caring. Republicans have a reputation for being tougher, more no-nonsense.”

Well this was one instance of a Republican (Luntz) being full of nonsense. But I digress.

“And yet the Democrats didn’t find that offensive,” Luntz said with hammy outrage. “And the Republicans did.”

O’Reilly, with Luntz’ approval, concluded that the reason Democrats did not condemn the cartoon was because they hate Palin so much. Nobody seemed to consider that maybe they just didn’t find it insulting or that maybe they just honestly disagreed with Palin or maybe, like the actress involved, they thought Palin needed to develop a better sense of humor and less hypocritical outrage. “So, it’s all about Palin,” O’Reilly said. “…I’m sorry it breaks down along party lines.”

In reality, it was Luntz and Fox News that was making the issue all about Palin and party lines. Luntz seemed to have made no effort to probe and find out if the theory was correct before advancing it on prime time. It was all hypothesis based on the focus group’s use of dials to signal their approval or disapproval of what they had seen.

“I approach this without having any political allegiance,” Luntz said laughably. “And I’m watching those dials go and I have to tell you candidly that I’m thinking to myself, ‘What the hell?’ This is not a former vice presidential candidate or a governor. This is a Mom talking about a challenge with her children…”

O’Reilly interrupted, “You can’t get above 50.” (He presumably meant a 50 approval rating of Palin’s criticism.)

Here’s where Luntz hinted that the so-called Democrats might not be. “Among Demo – among Obama voters. I don’t understand that,” Luntz said.

“They hate her… The people that you wired up couldn’t separate what happened from her,” O’Reilly said accusingly, fanning the flames of hostility himself.

“Exactly,” Luntz said. He said that during Palin’s 2008 convention speech, Democrats had given her very high ratings. But when O’Reilly added that she had not yet “been demonized,” Luntz agreed. “And that tells you that the demonizing works all the way through.”

It’s a neat trick that they play over and over on Fox News: They constantly demonize the Democrats while accusing them of the doing the demonizing.