Losing WashPost Tries Lame 'Majority Is Shrinking' Bias As Vast Majority Support 'Redskins'

A football game that ends up with a score of 71 to 23 would be considered a wipeout. But when a poll shows that’s the margin of support for keeping the name “Washington Redskins,” the pro-censorship Washington Post tries to find a silver lining. On the day the NFL season begins, the headline on the front page of the Sports section was “Support for name still mostly strong: ‘Redskins’ still heavily favored, but majority continues to shrink.”

As a pile of sensitive sports journalists boycott the name on print or on television, Post reporter Scott Clement tried to sell this puny 23 percent as encouraging progress:

Support for the Redskins name has fallen substantially from 89 percent in a 1992 Washington Post-ABC News poll and 83 percent in an online Associated Press-GfK survey earlier this year. While clearly outnumbered, the percentage saying the team should change its name has grown from 8 percent in 1992 to 23 percent in the new survey.

The data reflect a smoldering battle over the name’s acceptability even as a growing number of Native American groups, political leaders and media have denounced it as a racial slur.

It's a "smoldering battle" liberals are still losing. There are a couple of interesting subplots in the ESPN poll. Just like among journalists, there’s an unsurprising emergence of opposition among Democrats:

A partisan divide on the issue that was absent in previous polls is clear in the latest data. Democrats’ support for keeping the name has dropped from 85 percent in 1992 to 58 percent, while independents’ support has also dropped by double digits, from 92 to 74 percent. Fully 89 percent of Republicans say the Redskins should not change their name, little changed from 92 percent over two decades ago.

It’s also interesting that the poll finds that not everyone who finds the R-word offensive supports a name change: “Among those who find the name offensive, 63 percent support changing the name. But among the majority who say the name does not show ‘any disrespect,’ 90 percent support keeping the name.”


Clement at least concluded polling has never supported the leftist Native Americans who want to ban the R-word: “Convincing the broader public ‘Redskin’ is a racial slur has proven difficult for opponents of the team’s name, and quality data on Native Americans’ attitudes have been scarce.”  

But Clement concluded with this:

For many, a name change is inevitable. Just over half in the ESPN survey, 54 percent, think the Redskins are “very” or “somewhat” likely to keep their name in the coming year, while 42 percent expect a change in that short time frame.

Earth to Clement: your “many” is still in the minority. It's more accurate to say "For many, a name change is NOT inevitable." That 42 percent number reflects pessimism among "Redskins" backers about the incessant media pounding, endlessly insisting that a name change is inevitable, regardless of the polling. The media arrogantly act like they ARE the majority, regardless of whether they can muster more than a quarter of the population to their cause.

Tim Graham
Tim Graham
Tim Graham is Executive Editor of NewsBusters and is the Media Research Center’s Director of Media Analysis