CBS Reportedly Scrubbed Muslims’ Criticisms From Luntz Focus Group (VIDEO)

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CBS News on Friday reportedly didn’t air portions of a focus group conducted by pollster Frank Luntz that showed Muslim-Americans critiquing U.S policy and challenging the relevance of Luntz’s questions.

Focus group participant and activist Amelia Noor-Oshiro told The Intercept in a story published Sunday that the clip CBS aired mischaracterized the group’s responses. Noor-Oshiro also told the publication that she had a rebuttal to Luntz’s question on the attacks in San Bernardino, California that didn’t make it into the clip.

In the clip CBS aired, Lutz asked the group how they felt when they learned the San Bernardino shooters “held your faith.”

She told The Intercept that she shot back: “Why don’t you ask that to people who actually commit acts of terror? Why don’t you ask that to White America who are responsible for a majority of domestic terror attacks?”

Sarah Harvard, a writer based in New York, also wrote on her Facebook page about her experience in the focus group. She said the segment took about an hour to film, while the clip CBS showed on air lasted about four minutes.

Harvard recounted that Luntz asked, “Are you an American or a Muslim first?” Harvard wrote that she found the question “insulting” and shouted back “Well, are you an American or Jewish first?”

The CBS clip showed Luntz asking that question and several of the participants responding to it, but not Harvard.

“The edited version of the focus group interview was mainly about proving our American identity, condemning terrorism, and Trump’s bashing of Muslim-Americans,” Harvard wrote. “This is problematic.”

Harvard also wrote that Luntz “shot me down” when she tried to raise concerns about current policies that have negatively affected Muslims. She wrote that she found it ironic that Luntz, who is a Republican strategist, didn’t give her an opportunity to criticize the policies enacted under President Barack Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

CBS News did post a slightly longer version of the focus group on its website.

Luntz’s assistant told TPM via email that the pollster was traveling overseas and would “most likely” be unavailable to comment. A CBS News spokesperson declined to comment on the record.

Earlier this month, The Daily Beast reported on how a former staffer for Mitt Romney lied his way into participating in another of Luntz’s focus groups in order to research the other participants’ interest in Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump.

Watch CBS’ clip of the Muslim focus group below:

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Notable Replies

  1. [T]he clip (edited by Luntz) CBS aired mischaracterized the group’s responses.

    Mischaracterization is Frank Luntz’s stock-in-trade, his claim to fame. They evidently didn’t know who he was or they probably wouldn’t have participated.

    Luntz’s assistant told TPM via email that the pollster was traveling overseas and would “most likely” be unavailable to comment.

    Nothing represents Happy Holidays like a trip the Dominican Republic with a jar full of Viagra, eh Frank?

  2. We’re talking about an American television network here. So who would have expected them to show what actually happened? To tell the unvarnished truth? To vary one millimeter from their chosen narrative.

    We have a lot of problems in this country. The fading of true journalism is most definitely among those problems, both in and of itself, and for contributing to so many other problems.

  3. Maybe Luntz could hold a “focus group” on race in America and ask the Black folks why they like fried chicken and water melon. Or why they can dance so well but can’t swim worth a crap. Perhaps he could ask them to denounce the violence and sexism in some Rap music or to disavow loyalty to the Crips and Bloods. That would not be a focus group though. It would be a racist bombardment in the name of “understanding”. It would piss off the Black folks (as it should) and then Luntz could call them down for their anger.

    Mr. Luntz doesn’t know these people. He has no idea if they deserve these questions. He’s asking them out of prejudice. I hope that’s the reason they were scrapped.

    Frank Luntz is not a “republican strategist”. He’s a propagandist and an architect of misinformation. He made a living head faking people to vote GOP’er by manipulating language. Why would CBS mainstream this guy? And who the hell in that organization thought it was OK to subject these Americans to that ghastly insult?

  4. Avatar for bp bp says:

    Why am I not surprised that CBS cooked the take. Their gasbags and those of CNN, NBC and ABC are so self-righteous when it comes to criticizing politicians about misleading us. I guess I will have to wait until hell freezes over before Morning Joke and the other cats on the main networks give this play:: CBS distorts…no retorts!!!

  5. Frank Luntz is the top guy for faking focus group research to get the predetermined response his client pays for. Thus, CBS’ deceptive broadcast. It was the product they wanted. How grateful CBS brass must be that Dan Rather isn’t around to call them out for their wingnut proganda support.

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