CBS News buries poll result showing strong bipartisan agreement Jan. 6 was 'a protest that went too far'

Media top headlines January 6

In media news today, an MSNBC reporter warns that Republicans in state legislature are passing voting laws that make ‘January 6 every day,’ a CNN medical guest says that companies should not treat the unvaccinated and vaccinated as equal, and a White House reporter asks Jen Psaki why Biden hasn’t ‘focused more on scolding the unvaccinated.’

A poll released this week by CBS News is drawing scrutiny on the one-year anniversary of the Jan. 6 riot on Capitol Hill. 

The poll, conducted by CBS News and YouGov from Dec. 27-Dec. 30 asked Americans “What happened at the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021?” 

“Descriptions of what happened are also similar to how they were a year ago after it happened,” CBS News wrote in its article on Sunday. “People widely call it a protest that went too far, but how much further becomes more partisan. Most Americans — including most Democrats, but just a fifth of Republicans — call it an insurrection and describe it as an attempt to overturn the election and the government.”

The graphic presented four options to the question as well as the results broken down by party affiliation. 85% of Democrats viewed Jan. 6 as “an insurrection” or “trying to overthrow” the government while only 21% and 18% of Republicans agreed respectively. Meanwhile, the graphic showed that 47% of Republicans viewed Jan. 6 as “patriotism” and 56% viewed it as “defending freedom,” something less than 13% of Democrats agreed with. The margin of error was plus or minus 2.6 points. 

While CBS acknowledged in its report that Americans “widely call it a protest that went too far,” the liberal network significantly downplayed the bipartisan nature of that response. 

For starters, “a protest that went too far” was the overwhelming favorite of the 2,046 Americans who were polled with 76% agreeing with that characterization of Jan. 6. The second most popular result was “trying to overturn the election and keep Donald Trump in power” with 63%. Both of those options were omitted in the graphic bolstered by CBS. 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. 

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.”

Trump supporters try to break through a police barrier, Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021, at the Capitol in Washington. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

Critics panned CBS News for how the Jan. 6 poll was presented.

“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.”

“actual out-loud-laugh at the options here,” Washington Examiner commentator Becket Adams reacted. 

FILE – In this Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021 file photo, supporters of President Donald Trump climb the west wall of the the U.S. Capitol in Washington. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)

Others blasted the network for not even including “riot” as an option for polled Americans. 

“The most accurate description (something along the lines of ‘violent riot’) isn’t even an option on this poll,” Tablet Magazine’s Noam Blum wrote. “This type of poor methodology leads to a ‘circling the wagons’ effect that just spits out partisan results almost regardless of the question itself.”

“‘A riot’ isn’t one of the choices. It’s also the only accurate choice. This poll sucks,” Substack writer Jim Treacher tweeted. 

CBS News did not immediately respond to Fox News’ request for comment. 

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