Many conservatives want to 'own the libs' during the pandemic -- even if it gets people killed: GOP pollster
Sean Hannity (CBS News/screen grab)

Republican pollster Frank Luntz had some blunt words for right-wing media figures who spent weeks downplaying the threat of COVID-19.

In a New York Times interview, Luntz said that many conservatives were so determined to "own the libs" at all costs that they would play down a frightening public health crisis even if it cost people their lives.

The rest of the Times story is a comprehensive overview of the ways that conservative media figures repeatedly told their fans that the virus was not a big deal, that the media was exaggerating its danger in order to score political points against President Donald Trump, and even that medical experts working for the Trump administration were not to be trusted.

Former Republican Steve Schmidt tells the Times that conservative media in the Trump era reflects a culture that is "fueled by grievance and a sense of constantly having to fight for survival," and that has made "the embrace of ignorance" one of its core values.