Fox-Paid Pollster Doug Schoen Bashes Moveon, Backs Fox

Here's Doug Shoen on the Fox News scuffle.

Schoen: "I agree with Dennis Kucinich.  I think you want to go on Fox. I think you want to try to hold them to the same standards you hold everybody else. But to sort of see this in terms of power politics, leverage, I think is very much contrary to the intrerests of democracy and the Democratic Party. I think you want to go on Fox. I think you want to present your ideas, and I think one of the best ways to have as broad a debate as possible is to have the sort of co-sponsorships that Nevada considered and unfortunately in my judgement dropped.

Host Warren Olmey: What about the argument, as Adam Green contends, that that legitimizes Fox. That they are part of what he refers to as a right-wing smear machine.

Schoen: Well, A. They're not a right wing smear machine. B I don't think that tryingt to something media as part of partisan politics is a healthything to do. I wouldn't say that Air America couldn't sponsor debates. I think it woudl be great if Air America sponsored debates in the Republican Party as well as the Demcoratic PArty. I think this is a very very bonechilling trend. And I think given that Senator Harry Reid was one of those who was involved in embracing the idea, this has really becaome - as Roger Ailes said - a case of a left-wing pressure group trying to put pressure on the Democatic Party. One other thing. Roger Ailes, and I spoke to him, his comment about Obama and Osama was a joke about President Bush. It was not, in any effort, to smear, criticize, Senator Barack Obama. It was a joke that he made to a group of broadcast journalists who he thought would get a kick out of it given that, as you said, the president is not exactly all that popular and he hasn't after all found Osama Bin Laden.  I think this is just MoveOn using this as an excuse to try to put pressure on the Democrats and on Fox to advance their narrow agenda.

..."As to whetehr Fox always does what MoveOn does, what MoveOn wants, undeniably they don't. But, you know, I think part of the fact of life is that Fox news is the highest rated cable network in America.  It's got an audience bigger than CNN and MSNBC combined, and two thirds of their audience are probably non-Republicans, they are Democrats and Independents. And for the Democrats to try to run them out or put pressure on them is again contrary to the party's interest.

Adam Green brought up Fox News exec John Moody's messaging memos to the news desk, a key lever Fox News uses to maintain message discipline.  Here's Schoen's take:

You know, I think that there are different perspectives on different networks.  And one memo taken out of context does not to me decide that an organization is worthy of being excluded or shunned.

Media Matters examined 33 memos, which suggests Schoen doesn't know what he's talking about.  Actually, it's worse than that.  Schoen is a well-respected pollster in the Democratic Party, business partners of Hillary Clinton pollster Mark Penn.  Doug Schoen is also a paid contributor to Fox News, a role he didn't disclose in this interview.

If you want to know why the Democratic Party is broken, it's because of broken, corrupt men like Doug Schoen.  They will do anything to get ahead, to make a buck, or get on TV.  Anything.  And they are the ones in the rooms giving advice to Democratic leaders on how to make decisions.

UPDATE: Oh man, this guy Schoen is just a joke. Look at this piece he wrote in October, 2006, right before the election: "Without a centrist common good agenda, public sentiment can swing back to the Republicans in 2008 as the electorate remains fiscally and socially conservative."

Unethically minded and with exquisitely awful political judgment. I think Schoen's days in the party are numbered.

Tags: Doug Schoen, Hillary Clinton, Mark Penn (all tags)



Re: Fox-Paid Clinton Pollster Doug Schoen Bashes M

Matt, continue doing what you've been doing: playing the aggressive watch dog role on behalf of progressive interests.  Much appreciated, seriously.

by bedobe 2007-03-14 05:20PM | 0 recs
Re: Fox-Paid Clinton Pollster Doug Schoen Bashes M

And of course the Ailes joke about the Clinton marriage was really a joke about the Bush marriage?  And when the Fox commentator likened Democrats to Stalin he was really talking about the character from The Tick not the guy from the Soviet Union?

by msstaley 2007-03-14 05:42PM | 0 recs
Hillary = Fox

This is a rich post because it highlights the many agendas of the Democrats and why nothing can be taken at face value. Why are Democrats and their consultants praising rightwing propaganda outlets and condemning liberal activists? They don't give a damn about the Democratic agenda. They just want "theirs" and they will undermine the rest of us to get it. (I put Dennis K. in this camp). We must act together and put our petty interests aside.

I've said it before. I'll say it again:
Get used to it. Hillary = Fox.

by anothergreenbus 2007-03-14 06:06PM | 0 recs
Re: Fox-Paid Clinton Pollster Doug Schoen Bashes M

Wow, amazing.

by Jerome Armstrong 2007-03-14 06:15PM | 0 recs
Re: Fox-Paid Clinton Pollster Doug Schoen Bashes M
New DLC head, Harold Ford, is now a commontator for Fox.  This is a sad day when the party is dotted with DLC types, and they are paid employees of FOX and some are getting big donations for their campaigns by people like Murdoch.
I feel they party is being pulled in two.  One side is the DLC types trying to make the party into Republican lite and the other side is the Dean types who are trying to keep it a true democratic party.
by vwcat 2007-03-14 06:20PM | 0 recs
Re: Fox-Paid Clinton Pollster Doug Schoen Bashes

Hey, if this idiot is advising Hillary, more power to him.  The more Hillary follows his "be more like Republicans" strategy, the worse she'll do in the primary, and that's fine by me.

by Fran for Dean 2007-03-14 06:21PM | 0 recs
Thank you Matt I was listening on WNYC radio

and writhing in the driver's seat at how addled this guy Schoen's brain was. Adam Green kept firing out the facts. There were long painful waits (a Northeastern professor was also on the show, dispensing rubbish in that halting style that some people mistake for heavy intellect). After a while Adam would fumigate the airwaves with, oh, some Reality about Pox News. "I just don't think MoveOn should advocate censorship," mewled Doug Schoen. He sounded like a 2-year-old.

You can run from a fight. You can lose a fight. You can refuse to fight. You can fight a while, quit, and hightail it...... Just don't be in a fight and walk around saying, there is no fight.

There is no fight. We're all nice people. Sean Hannity is a good egg. Ann Coulter is plenty nice. Rupe Murdoch is swell once you get to know him. Etc. Come to find out he's on the payroll.... you know what, I'm almost relieved. It's a bit of greed mixed in with stupidity.

by ShagBark 2007-03-14 06:40PM | 0 recs
Re: Fox-Paid Clinton Pollster Doug Schoen Bashes

Schoen wrotes:

What is causing this loss of confidence? It mostly stems from the fact that Americans are finding life as we know it is to be too expensive. Healthcare is unaffordable; a college education is now harder and harder to afford; basic needs like housing, utilities and childcare are more and more expensive; and people are forced to rely more on individual pensions than ever before.

In order for Democrats to fully benefit politically from Republican failures and begin to position themselves for success in 2008, their Common Good agenda must address these matters and move away from the pie-in-the-sky political rhetoric that promises healthcare and college for all. The consensus in the minds of the public is to move away from policies that seek to redistribute wealth and pursue market based solutions instead.

Am I reading this right in seeing him as making two mutually exclusive assertions in that second paragraph: 1) we must address "these matters" (healthcare and college education) and 2) we can't provide heatlhcare and college to "all." (who qualify? who want it? everybody?)
I guess it hinges on the meaning of the word "address."
And why not?
As for market-based solutions:
"A young healthy child well nursed, is, at a year old, a most delicious nourishing and wholesome food, whether stewed, roasted, baked, or boiled; and I make no doubt that it will equally serve in a fricassee, or a ragout." </Jonathan Swift>

by johnalive 2007-03-14 06:41PM | 0 recs
Re: Fox-Paid Clinton Pollster Doug Schoen Bashes

That seems kind of silly.  I actually doubt the public has given much thought to serious solutions to health care and education yet alone 'market based solutions'.

I don't disagree with his point though that it would be very expensive to provide both free college education and universal health care, and I wouldn't disagree with him if he were to say that Americans are too opposed to paying taxes in general to be willing to support both those things.

Whether that leads to the public supporting 'market based solutions' is another matter.

by Adam T 2007-03-16 01:36AM | 0 recs
Doug Schoen does not work for Hillary

I agree with you, Doug Schoen is awful, not only because he is he a long time DLC supporter, but especially  because he represents corporate clients on public issues without revealing that his polling was paid for by those clients like Pharma

Link to Mystery Pollster on a poll and an article that Schoen wrote misrepresenting the results of that poll and in addition without divulging that Pharma paid for it.   (If you go to the comments you see that I raised questions about the poll questions themselves as to their being fully truthful. The poll deceptively tells the respondents that Medicare would have a drug formulary which would limit their drug choices.  Of course every private health insurance company  that the poll uses a comparison in the Medicare Part D program ALSO has a formulary which restrict drugs choices!!)

Below is the article article Schoen wrote with those misleading inferences drawn from a deliberately deceptive poll about whether the Mediacre Part D Drug Program should be allowed to use competitive marketing to get lower drug prices

January 12, 2007
Public Opinion on Negotiating the Price of Rx Drugs
By Douglas Schoen

When the issue of having the federal government negotiate drug prices directly with pharmaceutical companies for the Medicare Part D program comes up later this week in Congress, it will be another example of an idea that seems to poll well and appears to enjoy a great deal of public support.
However an in depth look at public opinion shows that once the American people understand the possible implications of negotiating the cost of prescription drug prices, public opinion changes significantly and voters become very skeptical of the idea and the implications for public health.
Penn, Schoen, and Berland, a firm where I am a former and founding partner has recently completed a fairly comprehensive public opinion poll on the subject with the Tarrance Group, among 1,098 voters nationally who participated in the 2006 midterm November elections

Note that in this article Schoen says he is a "former" partner of Penn Schoen and Berlind.

So at this point Mark Penn, does not poll with Schoen.  They have not polled together in quite some time...because of issues like this unethical shilling for corporate interests.   Penn is on his own, polling at this point only for Hillary Clinton.  

Do I like the advice Penn gives her or the way he talks about some of us...NO absolutely not.There are many legitimate points of dispute on Penn's centrist sensibilities.  But Schoen and Penn are not working together and have not worked together for some time.

Penn is not a progressive at all but he's no long Schoen's partner. For reasons like this poll.

by debcoop 2007-03-14 07:35PM | 0 recs
To the Point

Matt, I'm glad you wrote this up.

I heard this Schoen interview on "To the Point" this afternoon and couldn't believe that I was listening to a "Democrat." Adam was great - got all the progressive points across - but he was outnumbered by the other three people in the discussion: Schoen, some noncommital media research person and a right-wing poli-sci prof that said ABC and CNN are left-wing because most of their news staff are liberals.

Olney said they tried to get someone from Fox to come on the program but got no response. I wonder if Schoen's Fox connections were unnoticed or ignored.

"To the Point" is usually pretty good about getting a "balanced" panel of guests and it's a great place to hear the right's talking points without having to patronize their normal media outlets. But this was a particularly difficult show to listen to.

by ProgressiveChristian 2007-03-14 07:37PM | 0 recs
by debcoop 2007-03-14 07:38PM | 0 recs
Re: Fox-Paid Pollster Doug Schoen Bashes Moveon, B

While I'm glad you wrote this, I am concerned that it might start an ugly battle in the dipshit wing of the Party if Dan Gerstein loses his title as the dumbest man in politics.

by Bob Brigham 2007-03-14 09:11PM | 0 recs
Re: Fox-Paid Pollster Doug Schoen Bashes Moveon, B

Unethically minded and with exquisitely awful political judgment. I think Schoen's days in the party are numbered.

I'm sure this is a typo. You meant

I think Schoen's future employment is guaranteed.

right? I mean, that is how it works.

by tatere 2007-03-14 09:36PM | 0 recs
Re: Fox-Paid Pollster Doug Schoen
It gets worse... Schoen was also responsible for the exit polling in the Chavez recall vote... he was the only one to completely blow it, calling it FOR the recall by 20 points, rather than AGAINST recall by 20 points. Turns out his subcontractor was involved with the pro-recall forces...
(link:,2933,1294 02,00.html)
Oh, and if he's a "Democratic pollster" what was he doing working for NYC Mayor Bloomberg?
by Victor Laszlo 2007-03-15 01:42AM | 0 recs


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