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An alarming Mediaite headline claims a majority of Republicans believe celebrities should “be required” to perform at President-elect Trump’s inauguration. The story is a load of nonsense.

Mediate, in its defense, is not source of the bogus claim.

The blame for this nonsense story, which has thrilled many on the Left who wave it as proof of hypocrisy among the “religious liberty” crowd, is Morning Consult, a polling firm that works closely with many newsrooms, including Fortune, Politico and Bloomberg News.

Let’s explain this thing.

First, between Dec. 28 and Dec. 29, Morning Consult surveyed 2,000 registered voters nationwide. The pollster asked respondents to choose only one of the following inauguration-related statements:

1. Celebrities and artists should perform at the inauguration if invited; the country needs to come together and continue to heal after a long election. Celebrities turning down invitations to make political statements only furthers the divide and disrespects the person who won the presidency.
2. Celebrities and artists should not perform at the inauguration if they do not want to. It is important that they are free to speak out against a president they do not support and would be a betrayal to their beliefs and their fans if they performed just to show unity.

The survey found 53 percent of surveyed Republicans chose the first statement, while 32 percent chose the latter. It also found that only 13 percent of Democrats think celebrities should perform as a civic duty, while an overwhelming 77 percent disagreed with this sentiment

Morning Consult followed up on its survey with a blog post titled “How Republicans Feel About Celebrities Shunning the Inauguration.”

This is where things begin to fall apart. The Morning Consult blog post included a graphic with a headline reading, “Majority Believes Artists Should Not Be Obligated to Perform at Inauguration.”

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Mediate took it from there, and published a story with a headline that read, “Majority of Republicans Feel Entertainers Should be Required to Perform at Inauguration if Invited.”

Now we have a story about how Republicans think celebrities should be compelled to perform for Trump.

Remember: Morning Consult’s inauguration questions and statements never used words like “required” or “obligated.” There are no suggested punishments for the abstainers. Respondents were asked only if they think celebrities should perform at the big event. There’s a big difference between saying a celebrity should do something and saying they should be “obligated” to do something. I suspect the survey’s results would be a bit different if Morning Consult made it clear it was talking about compulsory performances. Maybe not.

At any rate, headlines claiming the Morning Consult poll showed Republicans believe celebrities should be “required” or “obligated” to perform are simply wrong. There’s nothing in the survey data to show people on the right actually side with this sentiment.

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