ANALYSIS – In the ongoing attempt to force-feed Americans the notion that the mob attack on the Capitol was an ‘insurrection’ rather than a riot, CBS News published the results of its latest highly flawed poll. In her tweet on the poll, CBS reporter Kathryn Watson shows a graphic with only four options.
One year later, Republicans are far more likely to call what happened at the Capitol on January 6, 2021 “patriotism” or “defending freedom” than trying to overthrow the government or an insurrection https://t.co/fOPMWveNyZ pic.twitter.com/s3uKKseb5q
— Kathryn Watson (@kathrynw5) January 6, 2022
According to this snapshot of the poll, Americans could only decide between the incident on January 6 being an “insurrection” or “attempt to overthrow the government,” or “patriotism” or “defending freedom.” Of course, the numbers were split between Democrats and Republicans with most Democrats (85%) favoring the former tow option and between 47% and 56% of Republicans supporting the latter two.
However, these were far from the most popular answers to the poll.
The graphic omits the most important CBS poll conclusion, that the overwhelming majority of Americans (75% of those polled) “widely call it a protest that went too far.” This was the most popular answer. The second most popular answer, also far less ominous than “insurrection,” was also omitted from the graphic.
In that answer 63% of those polled said the Capitol riot was “trying to overturn the election and keep Donald Trump in power.” Meanwhile, “an insurrection,” which came at a distant third with 55% of Americans was kept in the graphic among the others which polled even less popular.
As Fox News notes, the most popular answer hidden by CBS was also fairly bipartisan:
Among those who said Jan. 6 was “a protest that went too far,” a whopping 80% were Republicans and 69% were Democrats. Those who described themselves as Trump voters felt that way even more so with 84% while 70% of Biden voters felt the same.
Notably, 80% of independents also described Jan. 6 as a “protest that went too far” while only 56% said it was “an insurrection.”
Critics were quick to react to the CBS spin, reported Fox News.
“CBS News did this poll & one question they asked was if the folks being polled considered the Capitol riot to be “a protest that went too far.” CBS must not have liked the results… so they just didn’t include it in the graphic,” Washington Examiner reporter Jerry Dunleavy tweeted.
“imo, ‘trying to overthrow the govt’ and ‘an insurrection’ are just as dumb as the other two options,” Daily Caller editor-in-chief Geoffrey Ingersoll wrote. “These are all highly flawed political caricatures (cooked up by CBS journos) that Americans should not have to choose between.”
More significantly, the network did not even include “riot” as an option for polled Americans. Since this definition is the most reasonable and would likely top the charts as an answer, its omission created a false dichotomy of extremes. Tablet Magazine’s Noam Blum wrote:
The most accurate description (something along the lines of ‘violent riot’) isn’t even an option on this poll. This type of poor methodology leads to a ‘circling the wagons’ effect that just spits out partisan results almost regardless of the question itself.
More bluntly, Substack writer Jim Treacher tweeted: “‘A riot’ isn’t one of the choices. It’s also the only accurate choice. This poll sucks.” ADN