'Fraud': GOP pollster Frank Luntz claimed to be impartial — but was paid by Ted Cruz during 2018 Texas race

Frank Luntz speaking at an event in Des Moines, Iowa in 2015, Gage Skidmore

Longtime Republican pollster Frank Luntz and his friend and short-term roommate Kevin McCarthy — who is now House minority leader — have been repeatedly targeted in recent weeks by Fox News host Tucker Carlson, who has claimed that Luntz's famous "focus groups" almost amount to "fraud." As it turns out, Carlson may have a point.

On Oct. 15, 2018, a few weeks ahead of the crucial 2018 midterms VICE News tweeted, "Tonight on #VICENewsTonight. Frank Luntz heads to Texas to talk to voters ahead of the midterm elections. See it on HBO at 7:30 PM EDT." And indeed that night HBO aired a VICE News focus group orchestrated by Luntz, which had been filmed three days earlier in Dallas.

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Imagine you've forgotten once again the difference between a gorilla and a chimpanzee, so you do a quick Google image search of “gorilla." But instead of finding images of adorable animals, photos of a Black couple pop up.

Is this just a glitch in the algorithm? Or, is Google an ad company, not an information company, that's replicating the discrimination of the world it operates in? How can this discrimination be addressed and who is accountable for it?

“These platforms are encoded with racism," says UCLA professor and best-selling author of Algorithms of Oppression, Dr. Safiya Noble. “The logic is racist and sexist because it would allow for these kinds of false, misleading, kinds of results to come to the fore…There are unfortunately thousands of examples now of harm that comes from algorithmic discrimination."

On At Liberty this week, Dr. Noble joined us to discuss what she calls “algorithmic oppression," and what needs to be done to end this kind of bias and dismantle systemic racism in software, predictive analytics, search platforms, surveillance systems, and other technologies.

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