Washington Redskins owner Daniel Snyder refused to give up his beloved team's name despite a lawsuit and letters from 10 members of Congress. But now it appears he's bringing in the "pollster"/spin-doctor/Republican Batman Frank Luntz to examine what, exactly, everyone thinks about what everyone else thinks is most racist name in football.
Think Progress reports Luntz is bringing his — shall we say, "special" — media-relations touch to the ongoing debate over whether the Redskins should change their — shall we say, "outdated" — name. Luntz is the man behind "climate change" instead of global warming and "death tax" instead of estate tax. When health care was cast as "a government takeover," that was Luntz, too.
His company, Luntz Global, is conducting a focus group on June 13 in Alexandria, Virginia, offering $100 for people's enlightened opinion on this racially sensitive issue. TP's Travis Waldron stumbled upon a preliminary email survey that featured these questions about the Redskins debate (in the middle of some general NFL stuff):
Five questions in the survey ask directly about the Redskins. “Which of the following best reflects your opinion of the NFL team name ‘Washington Redskins’?” the 20th question asks, offering “I find the name offensive and they should change it” or “I don’t find the name offensive and they should keep it as is” as the possible answers. The next question asks respondents, “In a word or phrase, please describe the ownership of the Redskins.”
What would you give to see the answers to that last question? Because Dan Snyder will probably pay even more than Luntz's usual consulting fee for it, because he overpays for everything, especially his players, which is just one reason he's not at all popular with Redskins fans, in addition to being a bit of a drunk whom Deadspin lovingly calls a "lying-ass shitbag vulgarian" at almost every opportunity. "Frank Luntz is EXACTLY the person Dan Snyder would hire," said Salon's Alex Pareene.
The Redskins haven't confirmed whether they commissioned the research from Luntz. But, come on, who else would it be? You don't come to Frank Luntz unless you want to make a bad situation go away. It wouldn't be the first time someone in the sports world brokered his services, either. The NHL called Luntz to spin the last lockout. Now they're enjoying booming ratings. We have a feeling this won't end that well, though.