The U.S. Mission to the United Nations is hosting a briefing on the 2008 presidential elections later this week. The three speakers are Former Rep. David Bonior from the Edwards campaign, Former Lt. Gov. Kerry Healey from the Romney campaign, and Frank Luntz.
It’s the appearance by Luntz, the architect of the Bush administration’s fear and terror frames, that caught my attention. First, Luntz’s inclusion tips the balance of the panel in favor of conservatives/Republicans over progressives/Democrats — but I’m not too nitpicky about these sorts of ratios. More importantly, Luntz has had no formal involvement in the election. His claim to credibility on this topic is rooted in his exploits as a pollster, which have earned him reprimands from the American Association for Public Opinion Research and the National Council on Public Polls for two separate infractions.
That this event is taking place at the United Nations adds irony to the story. Just over eighteen months ago, Luntz participated in a UN bash-o-rama coordinated by the Hudson Institute in New York. There, he released new polling data that, according to him, shows that the UN had emerged as a wedge issue that could decide a presidential election and that Americans were “one scandal away from washing their hands” of the UN. Even a cursory look at secondhand reports of the polling reveals bias in the language of the questions (and, more importantly, recent, credible polling arrives at opposite conclusions).
It seems to me that Frank Luntz is the least appropriate person to speak at this forum. Well…John Bolton could probably give him a run for his money. But there’s no good reason to give Luntz this platform.
— Scott Paul