Monday, October 11, 2004

Luntz Plays Howie

And then there's this. Howie writes:

[Frank Luntz] said last week he had forgotten that he worked for California gubernatorial candidate Bill Simon in 2002 and for the effort to recall Democratic Gov. Gray Davis last year.

Asked how this squared with his MSNBC role, Luntz said he was working only for the network during the 2000 and 2004 campaigns.

This is misleading at best. Luntz had his own program, America's Voices, on MSGOP, which began airing weeks before the October 7, 2003 California recall election. Luntz was working for MSGOP during a 2003 campaign -- the recall election campaign.

Even more significantly, NBC and MSNBC had Luntz commenting on and performing work regarding the recall election both before the election and on the night of the recall. Here's a September 2, 2003 "Hardball Briefing" which appears to be a legit copy of the MSNBC program's e-mail newsletter:

And Later...Luntz is gonna do a live focus group of Burbank voters and he and Chris will ask them what the think of The Recall, Arnold and the rest of the field...We'll also throw in comedian Ben Stein to get his take...Last time he was on he was totally slamming Arnold...

(See also here, here and here.)

I can't tell whether the network or Luntz disclosed his employment by the G.O.P. recall effort during any these programs. If anyone can find transcripts, let me know.

But Luntz's statement to Howie clearly avoids the fact that MSGOP was using Luntz to report on the G.O.P.-backed California recall effort that he supported and worked for.

Fool Howie twice, shame on the Washington Post...

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