Today Media Matters for America released the following statement in response to a release issued this morning by Neal Kendall, executive producer of PBS' Tavis Smiley, regarding concerns over the announced involvement of Republican pollster Frank Luntz in PBS' upcoming forum for Democratic presidential candidates:
David Brock, President and CEO of Media Matters:
"While Media Matters for America is pleased with PBS' announcement this morning that discredited Republican pollster Frank Luntz will not appear on its Thursday-night programming, PBS has yet to address the fundamental problem with its choice of Luntz to participate in analysis of the PBS forum.
"Luntz's Republican ties, his history of being criticized by his peers for misrepresenting polling data, and his past personal and professional affiliation with GOP presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani make him an inappropriate choice to provide the sole voice of expert analysis on Mr. Smiley's program in the wake of a Democratic presidential primary forum. The fact that PBS has not acknowledged Luntz's partisan affiliation -- either in its original press release or in today's statement -- makes PBS' use of him in this way all the more troubling.