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CBS buries own Jan. 6 poll with bipartisan consensus calling Capitol storming ‘protest gone too far’

Protesters storm the U.S. Capitol and halt a joint session of the 117th Congress on Jan. 6, 2021, in Washington, D.C. (Kent Nishimura/Los Angeles Times/TNS)
January 07, 2022

CBS News buried a poll this week showing overwhelming bipartisan agreement that the Jan. 6, 2021 Capitol storming was simply “a protest that went too far.”

In the poll conducted by CBS News and YouGov from Dec. 27-30, participants were asked to describe the actions of “the people who forced their way into the US Capitol” on Jan. 6.

Of the 2,046 Americans who took part in the poll, 76 percent chose “A protest that went too far” to describe the events on Jan. 6. The second-most popular choice was “trying to overturn the election and keep Donald Trump in power” at 63 percent.

While “an insurrection” was a description that garnered just 55 percent as a distant third choice in the poll, that characterization was included in a graphic featured on CBS, whereas the top two choices – “a protest that went too far” and “trying to overturn the election and keep Donald Trump in power” – were left out.

CBS briefly touched on the poll’s bipartisan agreement on characterizing Jan. 6 in an article published Sunday, but chose to focus primarily on where Democrats and Republicans were divided.

“Descriptions of what happened are also similar to how they were a year ago after it happened,” CBS News wrote. “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.”

Of those who labeled Jan. 6 as “a protest that went too far,” 80 percent were Republicans and 69 percent were Democrats. Participants who self-identified as Trump voters agreed with the characterization at a rate of 84 percent and 70 percent of Biden voters also agreed.

Among independents, 80 percent also said the events on Jan. 6 were “a protest that went too far,” whereas just 56 percent called it “an insurrection.”

Critics of the poll slammed CBS News for how the questions were 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,” tweeted Daily Caller editor-in-chief Geoffrey Ingersoll . “These are all highly flawed political caricatures (cooked up by CBS journos) that Americans should not have to choose between.”

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