So you’ve been heard. Here’s what the Tavis Smiley show’s top honcho had to say about your concerns (from Media Matters):

Statement from Neal Kendall, Executive Producer of Tavis Smiley

———- Forwarded message ———-

From: Laurel Lambert <llambert@xxxxx>

Date: Jun 27, 2007 10:24 AM

Subject: Producer’s statement on Frank Luntz on Tavis Smiley

To: xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

The following statement has been issued by Neal Kendall, executive producer of Tavis Smiley, regarding the appearance of Frank Luntz on Friday’s Tavis Smiley latenight program:

The “All American Presidential Forum on PBS” moderated by Tavis Smiley, airing this Thursday, is an unprecedented watershed event for millions of Americans who will be seeing and hearing the candidates respond to specific issues that directly affect their quality of life.

To correct some erroneous information, please note that Dr. Frank Luntz is NOT appearing on Thursday night’s Presidential forum.

Dr. Frank Luntz is a guest the following-night, Friday, June 29th on Tavis’ regular late-night PBS program. He will be joined by a focus group of 30 people who watched the forum the night before. This group dialed in their instant responses to the candidates’ positions, using people meter technology. The primary goal of our Friday program is for Tavis to take the opportunity to converse with these 30 people and hear directly from them their thoughts and opinions on what the candidates had to say. Dr. Luntz, a consultant for many major broadcast news organizations, has appeared on our show in the past. He will discuss some of the data from the forum as part of Tavis’ conversation with the focus group.

Neal Kendall

Executive Producer

“Tavis Smiley” on PBS

Did you catch that? “Dr. Luntz” is going to be on the Tavis Smiley show Friday. Not during the forum. This ardently Republican pollster will be talking about the Democratic debate, and analyzing the Democratic debate on air with Tavis and 30 focus groups members. That’s all true. But the next day. Not Thursday.

Now, don’t you feel so much better, honey chile?

This should reassure you about Luntz’s sincerity and lack of bias as a pollster and “expert”:

– Luntz said on the October 31, 2006, edition of Hannity & Colmes: “I always use the line for [House Speaker] Nancy Pelosi [D-CA], ‘You get one shot at a facelift. If it doesn’t work the first time, let it go.’ “

– Luntz was quoted in a February 24 Saturday Magazine article saying: “America won’t elect John Edwards president for the same reason we’ve never elected a used car salesman. America hates trial lawyers.”

– On the February 9 edition of CNBC’s Kudlow & Company, Luntz said of Edwards’ decision at the time not to fire two controversial bloggers from his campaign: “We all know the phrase, ‘You are judged by the company you keep.’ If this is the company that John Edwards wants to keep, he may win the Democratic primary process, but most assuredly he’s not going to be the next president.”

– Luntz said of Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton’s (D-NY) treatment of community activist Saul Alinsky in her senior thesis at Wellesley College on the March 2 edition of Fox News’ Hannity & Colmes: “In the language she uses, she holds him up almost like an icon. … I don’t know how to say this, but that’s like holding up some of the people from Germany in the 1930s and ’40s.”

– Luntz said on the March 13 edition of Hannity & Colmes: “We’ve been analyzing her [Clinton] over the past few weeks on your show. And she doesn’t seem to pick up the fact that there’s too much negativity. There’s too much divisiveness.”

According to Media Matters, Luntz is in Rudy Giuliani’s corner. Which is ok with me. This is America and everyone gets to choose their candidate to support. However, this is a Democratic debate. I would understand the choice of a clear partisan pollster like Luntz for Tavis’ Republican debate coming up at Morgan State Univ. That makes perfect sense to me.

Given that there are so many other neutral or left-leaning pollsters available, why fight so hard to keep Luntz as the interpretive expert for the Dem debate? What’s really going on here? Color me confused y’all…Um Tavis, care to explain?

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