I've attached a couple of charts from the report. Figure 5 shows that people of low to moderate "religiosity" tend to be less favorable of national registration of Muslims as their attention to TV news goes up. But those highly religious (defined as Christian) tend toward stronger support as they watch more TV. Hmm -- from my own perspective the more TV I watch the more sceptical of media and the more suspicious of the administration I become. My "religiousity" is very low so this matches my own experience.
Table three shows an unsurprising spread of opinion across political lines. What is surprising is numbers, the intensity of belief -- a full 76% of republicans support indefinite detention. How loud would they scream when it's their turn?
One point that surprises me is that about half of all those surveyed think it's OK for the gov't to lie to the media. They apparently don't mind being lied to. This surprises me because I strongly dislike being lied to. Especially be the media, and even more so by the government. I am just old enough to remember Eisenhower being caught short with the Gary Powers affair, and that was perhaps my downfall, but that's another story.
Mind you, I'm not a great believer in statistics. About 50% of the people of the U.S. voted for bush but keep in mind that 50% of the people are below average and also that 50% of all statistics are made up on the spot. But studies like these -- presumably objective -- do give insight into the thinking of those beyond ones spere of influence. I tend to live in a bubble, and do not associate with many conservatives. So the notion that about only 50% of republican/highly religious folks think that protests or criticism of the government in time of war is OK, startles me. To me, what better time is there to hit the streets and speak up?
This study came to my attention via a recent repost of an AP article. That article just reeked of spin -- the kind of spin that gives polls a bad reputation. This quote from the original is just plain untrue -- "Researchers also found that respondents who paid more attention to television news were more likely to ... support limiting the rights of Muslim Americans." As you can see from the attached graph (figure 5), the figure actually goes *down* for all but highly religeous people. That's an example of making things up on the spot.
It would be interesting to reproduce this poll, only this time replacing TV news with Indymedia! Maybe I'll do that in my spare time...
Excerpts Copyright © 2004, Media & Society Research Group, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York Reprinted with permission