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72% Say Celebrities Get Special Treatment When They Break the Law

Most Americans don’t think the laws they live under apply to the rich and famous in quite the same way.

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey of American Adults shows that 72% believe celebrities get preferential treatment when they break the law. Only eight percent (8%) disagree, while 20% more are not sure. (To see survey question wording, click here.) 

Americans have expressed similar concerns about star athletes. An overwhelming majority (78%) say colleges and universities give athletes special preference rather than hold them to the same academic and behavior standards as other students.

Many have criticized the U.S. media for providing a platform for misbehaving celebrities such as actor Charlie Sheen who has recently been in the news. Most Americans (71%) share an unfavorable opinion of Sheen. 

But while most adults are critical of the media coverage of celebrities, they also admit that they pay too much attention to such news.

(Want a free daily e-mail update? If it's in the news, it's in our polls). Rasmussen Reports updates are also available on Twitter or Facebook. 

The survey of 1,000 Adults was conducted on March 1-2, 2011 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.

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