What I wrote at Lib Dem Voice

April 19, 2006

Out to Luntz

Here's a quickie: does anyone know why the hell BBC2's Newsnight continue to retain the American pollster, Frank Luntz?

He was at it again tonight, apparently "looking at how the British party leaders are doing". Or as I might less tendentiously phrase it, peddling his meretricious circus-act of orchestrated group-think.

It was his usual schtick... Play a few (carefully selected) telly clips of Blair, Cameron, Campbell and Brown. Out of context. Prefaced with leading questions. Whip up a whirligig of cliched generalities among 'swing' voters. Then watch Newsnight treat his conclusions with talismanic reverence.

Luntz may know sod-all about political science, but he's clearly very well versed in the political arts.

UPDATE: Martin Tod suggests some possible explanations.


James said...

I thought exactly the same thing last night. It was a particularly dreadful example, which managed to both biased and vacuous at the same time (quite an astonishing feat, if you think about it). Bizarrely the stuff he did during the General Election wasn't half as blatant, but looking back at it I suspect that had more to do with the BBC being careful not to fall foul of the RPA.

As Tory commentators have said ad nauseum, Luntz and Cameron are part of the same Oxonian inner circle.

Tim Hicks said...

You're almost certainly right in your criticism, but it's difficult to escape the fact that Ming is a considerably worse speaker than the other two... unfortunately.

The Cat said...

The other interesting point is how similar Cameron's positioning seems to be to that of Luntz (when the latter is advising the Republicans):