Wow, it's nice to see what a little pressure can accomplish. MSNBC bowed to common sense and ditched Republican pollster Luntz
. From the subscription-only Roll Call:
The watchdog organization Media Matters for America was none too pleased that MSNBC had scheduled GOP pollster Frank Luntz conduct on-air focus groups following tonight's presidential debate.
In a letter to MSNBC President Richard Kaplan, Media Matters President David Brock (who used to call himself a conservative), said he hoped the network would disclose Luntz's "partisan Republican ties and history of questionable scientific methodology."
Brock cited a number of examples, including Luntz's work on the 1994 Republican "Contract with America," pointing out that Luntz was reprimanded by the American Association for Public Opinion Research for refusing to disclose data on how he surmised that 60 percent of Americans supported the Contract. Brock also noted Luntz's published remarks counseling swing-state Republicans on what to say about Iraq and homeland security.
Looks like the letter had an impact. Although MSNBC did not respond to Brock, a spokeswoman for the network told HOH late Wednesday that the network has decided "not to go with Frank for the debate." In fact, MSNBC won't conduct polling at all now, she said.
Brock was delighted to hear the news. "It is encouraging that MSNBC responded to criticism in a constructive way. Clearly they realized that employing a partisan pollster does not reflect well on them as a responsible media outlet."
So congrats to Media Matters
who made this an issue, and congrats to all of you who let your voice be heard at MSNBC HQ. Given the importance of the post-debate sping cycle in determining the "winner" of the debate, getting a partisan pollster out of that process, especially one masquerading as a neutral measurer of public opinion, is huge.
One could only surmise how things might've been different in 2000 if we had this sort of infrastructure in place.