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Arnold Schwarzenegger TV questioners included three Democratic activists

Last night Arnold Schwarzenegger was grilled in a televised appearance by a supposedly "demographically and politically balanced audience".

However, the questioning was biased strongly against him, and this appearance is the latest in a long line of dirty tricks: at least three of those who questioned him were Democratic Party activists.

The L.A. Times does not mention this in their report Governor Stays Cool as Voters Fire Questions:
Appearing live on a KNBC-TV Channel 4 forum at the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles, the Republican governor was peppered with hostile questions from a crowd of about 75 voters screened by the station. One told Schwarzenegger that his proposal to change the law on union campaign donations was fraudulent. Another got into a shouting match with the governor over his proposal to scale back teacher tenure. Still another suggested, in a question directed to one of Schwarzenegger's rivals, that the governor hoped to establish dictatorial power over the state budget.
Now, read County activists grill the governor:
Two Camarillo Democratic activists peppered Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger on Thursday with the toughest questions he's faced during a special-election campaign in which the governor has mostly appeared before only hand-selected audiences.

During a televised town hall forum at the Skirball Cultural Center, however, Schwarzenegger faced hostile questions from a panel selected by a market research firm hired by KNBC. Among those chosen to ask questions were Larry Miller, a member of the Ventura County Democratic Central Committee; Chris Robson, a member of the state Democratic Party Central Committee representing the 37th Assembly District; and Mary Pallant of Oak Park, an announced candidate for the Democratic nomination in the 24th Congressional District.

Alejandro Puesan of the station's research department said the selections were made randomly by the research firm charged with selecting questioners who represented the demographics of Southern California, by gender, age, race, ethnicity, county of residence and political affiliation.

Miller, an elected trustee of the Ventura County Community College District, engaged in such a fierce exchange with Schwarzenegger that at one point, when the governor sought to complete his response, Miller blurted out, "No, I'm not going to let you finish because you're wrong."
Please send this post to everyone you know who lives in California. Let's get the word out and try to counteract the damage that KNBC and their "research firm" have done.

And, contact popular bloggers as well. Details here.

And, send an email to knbc.news@nbc.com (politely) letting them know what you think.

UPDATE: From LA TV station apologizes to Schwarzenegger after audience mix-up:
KNBC-TV apologized to Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's campaign Friday after the station found that the audience it organized for a voter forum this week apparently included several Democratic activists.

The Republican governor was peppered with questions with a partisan slant at the televised event Thursday, and at one point a man in the audience tried to shout him down...

...the station was unaware that several of those picked were actively involved in local Democratic politics, and that was never made clear in the broadcast.

The company recruited the Ventura County voters from a list of "politically aware" citizens it had compiled, [news director Robert Long] said. But survey forms submitted by prospective audience members gave no hint that some had partisan ties - because they weren't asked...

During the forum, the abundance of politically charged questions didn't appear to unsettle the governor.

Schwarzenegger "did exactly what he should have done, which was politely listen to their not-so-polite questions and set the record straight," said Todd Harris, a spokesman for the governor's campaign.
Keep sending emails to KNBC: an apology isn't enough.

UPDATE 2: The "research firm" is Cultural Access Group (accesscag.com). They're also now doing some work for... Fabian Nunez. If you see their name on something in the future, contact the news media with this post. If you hear about a TV station or newspaper selecting a public panel discussion of some kind, try to find out whether the CAG is involved.

California · Fri, 11/04/2005 - 17:17 · Importance: 1