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Frank Luntz Spends More Than Five Minutes Prodding His Focus Group Into Attacking Democrat Debbie Wasserman Schultz

Reported by Ellen - July 16, 2011 -

Frank Luntz was back on Hannity last night (7/15/11) with what appeared to be the same Tea Party focus group of a few days ago – the same one that spurred a peevish reaction from him when he didn’t like their answer about raising the debt ceiling. Maybe that’s why this time, Luntz tried harder to make sure he got the reaction he wanted. This time, before bringing on a group of Republican women in Congress to speak before his group, Luntz played a clip of DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz that, he announced, “I think was completely inappropriate.” The man I thought was supposed to probe for other peoples' opinions - instead of promoting his own - went on to spend more than five minutes egging on criticisms of Schultz from both his focus group and the GOP lawmakers.

For this segment, Luntz spoke with just the women in the focus group. He called them “American women,” thus suggesting they represented a cross-section of the population. But Luntz never explained his sampling methods. Considering how he has fudged this in the past, it’s grounds for suspicion.

Before the discussion began, Luntz said to the Congresswomen, “Before I go to you, before I go to our panel of American women, I want you to hear something from the chairperson of the Democratic National Committee, some language that I think is completely inappropriate. And then I’m gonna get your reactions.” Luntz played a clip of Wasserman Schultz talking about an “extreme anti-woman agenda,” presumably of Republicans. Without offering any of the context, Luntz pointed his finger in anger and said, “Incredible. And it was said on the floor of the House of Representatives.”

Some of the other “questions” Luntz asked were: "Tell me honestly, how many of you were OFFENDED (his emphasis) by what she said?" When one of the focus group members said she wasn’t offended, Luntz interrupted. “She’s the chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee. Is that appropriate language for the leader of the Democrats?” His tone of voice left no doubt what he thought the answer should be.

The GOP women, who visited with the group for two segments, were all part of a “fair and balanced” lineup of visitors to the hour-long focus group. In addition to the double segment with the Republican Congresswomen, Luntz brought on Republican Congressman Kevin McCarthy, Republican Senator John Barrasso, Republican Senator Tom Coburn plus one Democrat, Senator Michael Bennet.

Maybe Luntz and Fox counted the clip of Wasserman Schultz as an appearance by another Democrat.



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