Friday, September 19, 2014

Americans favor censoring media on national security; many know little about government

More than one-third of Americans are opposed to freedom of the press when it comes to stories concerning national security, says a poll by the University of Pennsylvania's Annenberg Public Policy Center, which also found that many Americans know surprisingly little about the U.S. government, Christopher Ingraham reports for The Washington Post.

The survey, which polled 1,416 adults, found that 19 percent of respondents favor requiring the media to get government approval before reporting on an issue of national security and 18 percent somewhat favor requiring approval. Meanwhile, 19 percent somewhat oppose requiring government approval, and 35 percent strongly oppose it. (Post graphic)

Those numbers pale in comparison to the lack of knowledge Americans have about the government, with 35 percent of respondents unable to name even one branch of the U.S. government. Only 27 percent know it takes a two-thirds vote of the House and Senate to override a presidential veto, and 21 percent incorrectly believe a 5-4 Supreme Court decision is sent back to Congress for reconsideration.

As for current politics, 44 percent said they had no idea which party controls the House, and 17 percent incorrectly answered Democrats. Asked the same question about the Senate, 42 percent said they did not know what party was in control, and 20 percent incorrectly said Republicans. (Read more)

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