This is a rush transcript from "Hannity," May 26, 2010. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
SEAN HANNITY, HOST: It might be the most frightening focus group we have ever done. Frank Luntz sat down with a group of Americans in the great state of Arizona — uh-oh — to ask them what they think of little old me. Uh-oh, I'm — I have not seen this. Take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
FRANK LUNTZ, POLLSTER: I have wanted to do this now for years. Let's see what average Americans think of you and what you do on television.
You're ready? Sean Hannity. Word or phrase.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Great American.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Patriot.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hard-line Catholic conservative Republican.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He talks a lot.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Very conservative.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Never heard of him.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Sean's a great American.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HANNITY: Talks — talks a lot. Well, that's what I do for a living. I talk a lot. That's a fair description.
LUNTZ: She said she'd actually like to have dinner with you.
HANNITY: Because I talk a lot. She did?
LUNTZ: She said it would be very interesting.
HANNITY: But why did you do — you did this without my knowledge. What possessed you? Because you had threatened to do this once before. So what was — what was the idea behind this?
LUNTZ: Because I want to understand how people feel about the hosts at FoxNews. I do more of these focus groups for you than anybody else.
LUNTZ: And I also — I'd really like to know how people think and how they feel about how the collection, about how they get their news. And I think we've got some other clips in there.
HANNITY: You do. Let me just say this, though. I — over the years I've read a lot of research in radio about me. And I read as many e-mails that people send me as I possibly can. And I'll tell you something: I learn. I try to improve. If I think the criticism is valid, I try to improve. I really do listen.
So I take it to heart. And that's hard to do, to hear things about yourself.
LUNTZ: It's one of the reasons why I never take my clients into the groups when I'm discussing them, because either they get hurt or they get resentful. And I had one case with a mayoral candidate...
LUNTZ: ... who — it was like that, "Hey, Kool-Aid!" He wanted to come through the window, smash into the group. I could hear him behind me — I don't want to use the language that he heard, but man, he was going to put his fist right through the window.
HANNITY: Do you ever notice that, with the politicians, you know, the polls show that they're down by 40 points heading into election. And they go, "Yes, but I'm out on the road, and the crowds are pumped up."
And I'm like, I'd listen to the groups more in the polls — real polls more than I would, you know, maybe that small group who support you.
All right. We've got two other clips?
LUNTZ: Yes. Let's show them.
HANNITY: Go ahead.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LUNTZ: So if Sean were to offer to take you out for dinner, you'd turn him down?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes.
LUNTZ: Why wouldn't you go?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think that he's all talk and nothing happens. I — it's very easy to talk and get nothing done. So I'm not for him.
LUNTZ: If he invited you out?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, totally. My husband would probably object, because he watches Sean Hannity. But I would totally go out with him, because A, it's a free meal. And B, what a great, like, conversation you would have. If anything, you could just stop listening to him halfway through.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HANNITY: That's pretty — and by the way, I'm a gentleman. Her husband would be fine. I'd invite the husband, too. What do I take out of that? No action?
LUNTZ: Well, first off, you haven't seen the clips. Take out of it that your producer has a lot of guts to put some negative stuff.
We had 23 people in that room. Only two of them had something negative to say about you. So your producers now split that clip 50/50, making you think that half the group wasn't too happy with you.
HANNITY: That wasn't the case?
LUNTZ: I would suggest this would be the last time that that producer will be producing for this show right now.
HANNITY: No, I want the truth. But one of the things is I've been criticized for being too politically active. I mean, over the years I've campaigned for candidates, and I've gone out there. And I — I want strong Reagan conservatives to take over — to bring the country back in fiscal balance and a strong national defense.
LUNTZ: But here's the key. As long as you put on people who don't share that perspective, and you can challenge them as much as you want...
HANNITY: We do.
LUNTZ: ... as long as that voice is heard, which is not on that other network that we shall not mention. The fact that you put people on that disagree with you.
HANNITY: Every night. Juan Williams is over there. He's going to beat me up in about two minutes.
All right. Let's — we have one last clip. Let's roll this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think he does a great job at getting people really emotional about something. He gets them amped up, ready to talk.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Great conversation. I mean, it's an entertaining night.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And that's what a commentator is supposed to do, get people involved in American issues.
LUNTZ: Claire (ph)?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I just love him. I think that he's great. And I listen to him every night, so God bless.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If I had a chance, I'd go out to dinner with him on a friendly note, get a free meal, and hear some words and probably some connections that way also. He's a great American.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He talks about things the mainstream media don't. And they just ignore it.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I agree that he exposes things that other — other commentators don't.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HANNITY: You know, I've got to tell you something. That is the best compliment I can get. And that we set out to give people news and information — this is on a serious note — that they don't get elsewhere. And if I can stir conversation at the dinner table or at home, then I think I've done my job.
LUNTZ: That phrase "great American," I was 17 years old when someone used that phrase on me. It was Jim Buckley.
LUNTZ: And that is my favorite phrase. When someone calls you a great American, there cannot be a greater compliment.
HANNITY: I've been called a lot worse, Frank.
LUNTZ: I'm sure. I've even called you worse.
HANNITY: Thanks. Thanks for sneaking that in on me. You know, I appreciate it. You know what? I — I am very appreciative. And I'm appreciative to everyone in this audience, and I don't say that enough.
LUNTZ: My pleasure.
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