CBS 'Early Show' Advances Misleading Results of Race Poll

Maggie Rodriguez and Ed Gordin, CBS Early Show l NewsBusters.orgOn Monday's CBS Early Show, co-host Maggie Rodriguez interviewed BET Tonight host Ed Gordon about a recently released Associated Press-Yahoo! poll which found that forty percent of white Americans and one-third of Democrats and Independents harbor negative feelings about African Americans. The segment did not include any critique of the poll or the suggestion that such a large amount of people hold these negative feelings. Instead, Rodriguez asked Gordon questions such as, "In a race as tight as this one is, do you think race could be the or a deciding factor?"

To identify the percentage of certain demographic groups who have "negative feelings" about African Americans, inferences were made about how respondents feel towards the minority group from the answers they gave to certain questions. Some of the possible answers to certain questions, however, may suggest more of a disagreement with liberal policies like Affirmative Action and welfare rather than negative feelings towards African Americans.

For example, one of the questions asked respondents to indicate how much they agree or disagree with certain statements. One of these statements said, "Most blacks who receive money from welfare programs could get along without it if they tried."

Another question asked, "Some people say that black leaders have been trying to push
too fast. Others feel that they haven't pushed fast enough. What do you think?"

Also, to subtly find negative feelings towards African Americans, the poll included a series of questions which asked respondents to "indicate how many of the following statements upset" them without asking which specific statements they were upset by. The statements from the first question of the series were, "the federal government increasing the tax on gasoline," "professional athletes getting million-dollar-plus salaries," and "large corporations polluting the environment." After this initial question, a fourth statement was added to determine if including something about African Americans, like "a black family moving next door to where you live," changed the number of statements the respondents said upset them, which would indicate negative feelings. "Black leaders asking the government for racial equality in the work place" was also added to the list of statements.

A list of all of the questions with racial implications from the poll follows:

Please indicate HOW MANY of the following upset you.

The federal government increasing the tax on gasoline
Professional athletes getting million-dollar-plus salaries
Large corporations polluting the environment

Please indicate HOW MANY of the following upset you.
The federal government increasing the tax on gasoline
Professional athletes getting million-dollar-plus salaries
Large corporations polluting the environment
A black family moving next door to where you live
Please indicate HOW MANY of the following upset you.
The federal government increasing the tax on gasoline
Professional athletes getting million-dollar-plus salaries
Large corporations polluting the environment
Black leaders asking the government for racial equality in the work place
Please indicate HOW MANY of the following upset you.
The federal government increasing the tax on gasoline
Professional athletes getting million-dollar-plus salaries
Large corporations polluting the environment
A black person serving as president of the United States
How much do you like or dislike each of the following groups: Whites, Blacks, Hispanics

Does the fact that if elected, Barack Obama would be the first black president of the United States make you more likely to vote for him, less likely to vote for him, or does it not affect your vote either way?

When it comes to politics, would you say that each of the groups listed below has too much influence, just about the right amount of influence, or too little influence?

How often have you felt sympathy for blacks?

How often have you felt admiration for blacks?

How well does each of these words describe most blacks: Friendly, Determined to succeed, Law abiding, Hard-working, Intelligent at school, Smart at everyday things, Good neighbors, Dependable, Keep up their property, Violent, Boastful, Complaining, Lazy, Irresponsible

Please indicate how much you agree or disagree with the following statements:
Irish, Italians, Jewish, and other minorities overcame prejudice and worked up their way up, blacks should do the same without special favors

It's really a matter of some people just not trying hard enough; if blacks would only try harder they could be just as well off as whites

Generations of slavery have created conditions that make it difficult for blacks to work their way out of the lower class

Over the past few years, blacks have gotten LESS than they deserve

Most blacks who receive money from welfare programs could get along without it if they tried

Government officials usually pay less attention to a requite or complaint from a black person than from a white person

Over the past few years, blacks have gotten more ECONOMICALLY than they deserve
Some people say that black leaders have been trying to push too fast. Others feel that they haven't pushed fast enough. What do you think?

How much of the racial tension that exists in the United States today do you think blacks are responsible for creating?

How much discrimination against blacks do you feel there is in the United States today, limiting their chances to get ahead?