Poll: How Would the Media React If the Cop Was Black and the Victim Was White?

Rasmussen polled 1000 adults on an interesting question: "How Would the Media React If the Cop Was Black and the Victim Was White?"

Most Americans think the media would be less interested in the incident in Ferguson, Missouri if a white teenager had been shot by a black police officer. They also reject the idea that most policemen are racist.

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey shows that 35% of American Adults rate the media’s coverage of the police shooting and subsequent events in Ferguson as good or excellent. Twenty-three percent (23%) say the media have done a poor job covering the story. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

But 54% say the media would have offered less coverage of the story if a black policeman shot a white teenager. Fourteen percent (14%) think the story would have gotten more coverage under those circumstances, while 23% think the level of coverage would have been about the same.

Even 43% of black adults believe the story would have gotten less attention if the victim was white, but that compares to 55% of whites and 53% of other minority adults who feel that way.

The name of the shooter, Darren Wilson, was released to the media late last week, and 39% of all adults nationwide agree with that decision. But slightly more (44%) don’t think the Ferguson police officer’s name should have been released. Seventeen percent (17%) are undecided.

Fourteen percent (14%) of Americans believe most police officers are racist, but 61% disagree. One-in-four (26%) are undecided. 

Fifty-seven percent (57%) say the tactics used by their local police are about right. Fifty-one percent (51%) think America needs more cops.

The national telephone survey of 1,000 Adults was conducted by Rasmussen Reports on August 15-16, 2014. The margin of sampling error for the survey is +/- 2 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Fieldwork for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology

Twenty-five percent (25%) of Americans believe most of their fellow countrymen are racist. Eighty-two percent (82%) agree, however, that the term "racism" refers to any discrimination by people of one race against another. Just nine percent (9%) think racism refers only to discrimination by white people against minorities.

This is a fascinating survey with lots of interesting cross tabs. For instance, the breakdown by race regarding what happened in Ferguson is revealing:

But blacks and whites have sharply different views on what has happened in Ferguson and what should happen next.  While the investigation continues, most black Americans (57%) are already convinced that the police officer should be found guilty of murder, a view shared by just 17% of whites and 24% of other minority adults.

Ultimately, the question of media coverage is fairly straightforward. It's a dog bites man story if a white kid was shot by a black cop. There's no sizzle to that story, no sex. A black kid being shot by a white cop allows every left of center pundit to expound on how evil America is for harboring this kind of racism, and solemnly proclaim that Ferguson is a microcasm of the US - America in miniature.

There is also victimology at issue. Whites are never victims, while blacks and their right-thinking allies in the media have the victimhood rap down pat.  They may as well make a tape of statements by Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, and the other race hustlers and the next time something similar happens, just loop the recording and play it 24 hours a day.

We should not blind ourselves to the real issue of mistrust by the black community of local police departments. But that issue will never be addressed as long as the racialists see profit and self-aggrandizement in promoting tragedies like Ferguson into international incidents.