Belittling the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and citing misleading poll data, FOX News Channel guest Robert L. Woodson Sr., founder and president of the National Center for Neighborhood Enterprise, vigorously defended President George W. Bush's decision to reject his fourth consecutive invitation to speak at the NAACP's annual convention. When FOX News senior White House correspondent Jim Angle -- who was filling in for Hume as host of the July 15 edition of Special Report with Brit Hume -- prompted him on the source of the poll data, Woodson faltered.
From the July 15 edition of FOX News Channel's Special Report with Brit Hume:
ANGLE: Let me ask you first, in your view was the president right or wrong to pass an opportunity to speak?
WOODSON: He was absolutely correct in passing this up opportunity.
WOODSON: And his [chairman of the board of the NAACP, Julian Bond] vilification of the president really does a disservice to the organization, forgetting that 83 percent of blacks no longer look to the NAACP for leadership. And I think that ...
ANGLE: Now where does that figure come?
WOODSON: Well, there are some figures -- there are some surveys done when the black community was asked.
Media Matters for America found no evidence of such a poll. A Washington Post poll from October 16, 1996, found that "more than eight in 10 blacks ... said they felt there is a shortage of black leaders who effectively articulate issues that are important to most African Americans" but did not name the NAACP specifically.
On the other hand, polls show that black Americans hold the NAACP in high esteem. For example, a 2003 poll by Black America's Political Action Committee found that 83 percent of African American registered voters view the organization favorably, compared with only 8 percent who view it unfavorably. The same poll also showed that NAACP president and CEO Kweisi Mfume is among black America's most respected leaders: 44 percent of respondents view him favorably, compared with only 6 percent who view him unfavorably.
Media Matters for America invites Woodson to direct us to the poll he cited, in case we missed it.