Media Matters Unfairly Smearing Frank Luntz
Media Matters has a full blown attack going against pollster Frank Luntz simply because PBS is using him for their debate coverage and he usually works for Republicans. The attacks are damning and I decided to give them a good look by doing some digging. The attack is a farce and were I Luntz, I’d call a lawyer just for the heck of it. I doubt, as a public figure, it would do him much good. But they are trashing his reputation repeatedly with little regard for the truth.
As Media Matters has documented, Luntz’s credibility has been a recurring issue. In 1997, the American Association for Public Opinion Research reprimanded Luntz for comments he made to the media regarding his polling work on the Contract with America, according to a 2000 Salon.com article. Similarly, Washington Post polling director Richard Morin reported in 2000 that the National Council on Public Polls "censured pollster Frank Luntz for allegedly mischaracterizing on MSNBC the results of focus groups he conducted during the  Republican Convention."
Yes, the AAPOR, of which Luntz isn’t even a member, reprimanded him. But why? Media Matters doesn’t tell you the whole story:
The Executive Council of the American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR) announced Wednesday that a 14 month investigation found pollster Frank Luntz violated the Association’s Code of Professional Ethics and Practices.
Bottom-line, Luntz did private polling work for Newt Gingrich on his Contract With America. The media later asked questions of Luntz, so he talked to them – big deal. But the AAPOR is an organization of mostly public pollsters. Their guidelines demand the release of the methodology and details of studies. Luntz, as a private pollster who was paid for that work, rightly refused to release it. For heaven’s sake, any business person will tell you confidentiality applies. That study was bought and paid for by Gingrich’s organization. Luntz would have been violating his own professional ethics by releasing it, along with possibly being sued by a paying client. And the other Media Matters allegation is laughable.
Here is the entire National Council on Public Polls piece. (public versus private being the key point)
NBC News for many years was widely known for reliable news reporting. At this year’s Republican National Convention it is giving the public unreliable reports of public opinion about events at the convention. In a two-pronged assault on its own credibility NBC is reporting results of focus groups conducted by Republican pollster and consultant, Frank Luntz. On opening night of the convention he called the focus group’s utterances "representative" opinion.
Luntz is widely known for his work in behalf of Republicans. YROCK.com, a Web site and Internet service run by the National Young Republicans, sponsors the Luntz focus group. Luntz was instrumental in conducting research for the Contract With America. The American Association for Public Opinion Research found Luntz in violation of its ethics code when he repeatedly refused to make public essential facts that supported the conclusions promoted by the Newt Gingrich led GOP caucus.
Huh? Some censure. Luntz was doing focus groups, not polls and of course the utterances were representative – of the focus groups. If it was otherwise implied, that’s an MSNBC editorial problem. But talk about a non-issue being mischaracterized to smear someone … Media Matters has no shame. Luntz even predicted he’d be attacked by them. And the real problem NCPP seemed to have with Luntz is, again, that he worked for Gingrich.
Media Matters, which doesn’t exactly go out of its way to disclose it’s links to democrats, specifically Hillary Clinton via Podesta, is continuing its pattern of attempting to destroy anyone who thinks like, or simply works for, the Right. If you want to keep an eye on any group because it’s so reckless and obviously biased as to be dangerous, it’s Media Matters, not Luntz, Maslansky Strategic Research. Clinton and liberal front group Media Matters, also pushing the Fairness Doctrine, is increasingly Stalin-esque in its attacks and needs to be watched very carefully and eventually run into the ground.