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Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Ron Paul Media Bias- What it is, and how it works...

Politics-National | Ron Paul attracts loyal following | The Detroit News

While putting forth many positive quotes from Ron Paul supporters, the above article unfortunately also contains some inaccuracies and subtle (and not-so-subtle) bias against Dr. Paul, both from the writer and from some of the selected interviewees. Following what seems to be a standard media script, this article like so many others tries to make the minimization and marginalization of Ron Paul, his campaign and his supporters a 'self-fulfilling prophecy' by repeating half-truths, selective quotes and outright falsehoods. While Ron Paul supporters appreciate the increased (and belated) attention that media outlets are giving to Dr. Paul, most media coverage unfortunately is of the 'damning with faint praise' type like this article- which mixes positive coverage with outrageously false statements and premises. Either that, or the coverage merely parrots untrue and widely held Party and Media Establishment 'talking points' about Dr. Paul that seem designed to counter any positive coverage of his campaign with an unhealthy dose of negative and biased smears.

To support the premise that Ron Paul is 'out of the mainstream', the article claims he was 'booed' at the debate Tuesday night when Former PA Senator Rick Santorum claimed (incorrectly) that Ron Paul wrote that he 'believes America is to blame for the Sept. 11, 2011, terrorist attacks.' Santorum's entire premise is wrong and unsupported by the facts, and the article's reporting of what actually happened on Tuesday is inaccurate. To begin with, Santorum verbally assaulted Ron Paul with a twisted and jingoistic misrepresentation of what Dr. Paul had written on 9-11. In actuality Ron Paul wrote a sober and detailed analysis of the reasons behind the 9-11 attacks, supporting his analysis with many CIA documents and policy analyses, serious and widely accepted academic studies, as well as U.S. State and Defense Department studies, all of which detail the negative effects of U.S. Military and Intelligence Agency actions abroad, as well as the blowback from American Corporate exploitation of foreign nations' peoples and resources. Ignoring the actual sober and detailed paper, Santorum instead smeared Ron Paul with the abject lie (repeated without challenge by the Detroit News) that Ron Paul blames America for 9-11. Either Mr. Santorum didn't actually READ Dr. Paul's detailed analysis, or else he deliberately tried to end any rational debate on the subject and puff up his own faltering campaign by promulgating an obvious lie. Furthermore, while a very few VOCAL and well placed (near crowd microphones) supporters of Rick Santorum 'booed' Ron Paul before he had a chance to respond, they were quickly drowned out by the cheers for Ron Paul, as well as calls for him to actually be able to answer the spurious and inaccurate charges by Rick Santorum. The entire exchange was not reported by The Detroit News, nor was ANY of Ron Paul's intelligent response to Santorum's simplistic attack. Rep. Paul was able to point out he was actually quoting US GOVERNMENT analysis of the reasons BEHIND the 9-11 attacks- not 'blaming the US' as Mr. Santorum simplistically tried to insinuate. Santorumn's argument is the logical equivalent of blaming an police investigative team for a murder, when they merely are explaining motives, opportunity and facts surrounding the case!Santorum and others in the Neo-Con war-mongering wing of the GOP (and DNC!) always try to unfairly smear ANYONE questioning their jingoistic, simplistic and (frankly) WRONG reasons for 9-11 such as that 'they hate us because we're free' and 'they hate our civilization'. As seen on Tuesday, these tools of the Militaristic Money Machine in Washington attempt to shout down and silence ANY discussion of 9-11 that doesn't fit their narrow view, as it would derail the gravy train of bloated military contracts and lobbyist cash flowing into the campaign coffers of those who support our financially unsustainable policy of endless wars- with endless profitability for the well-connected.

Why must the Detroit News (and many other media outlets) continue to promote political bias as 'objective news' in regards to Ron Paul, his campaign and his supporters? Phrases such as "Can he win? No, he's too far out of the mainstream,", “out of the mainstream”, or the biggest whopper (from an 'anonymous' GOP analyst!), "Ron Paul supporters are a mile deep and an inch wide — they're passionate, but there aren't that many of them," You even quote a DEMOCRATIC Party Establishment flak, Chairman Mark Brewer, who repeats the establishment Demopublican/Republicrat party talking point "His support has a ceiling — and it doesn't go beyond that.". When did the Chairman of the Michigan Democratic Party become an expert on Republican politics and Candidates? I've heard that EXACT talking-point line from party operatives and media pundits numerous times- but NEVER with any explanation or facts to support such a vague and inexplicable blanket statement.

Even with (or perhaps in reaction to) obvious party elite and corporate media bias against him, Ron Paul's support has consistently been increasing in the national and many state polls, placing right below or right with the so-called 'front runners'. He does not 'lose' supporters to other candidates, but (unlike other candidates) manages to retain his support base even while others lose support when another candidate enters the race. He also consistently polls well against President Obama, at or above the levels of his GOP rivals. But you rarely see that strength reported, as many news outlets fail to mention his good results, or they shockingly even EXCLUDE him from the list of candidates asked about by the pollsters! Ron Paul is still called (even in this article) a 'longshot', despite consistently doubling, tripling or more the support seen for Michelle Bachmann, Herman Cain, or media darling John Huntsman. NEVER is the term 'longshot' applied to those candidates. Why not, since they now consistently poll below the purported 'longshot' Ron Paul? At this point in the 2008 campaign, John McCain was polling WELL below what Ron Paul is at this point in the 2012 cycle. I don't remember any 'longshot' comments about the eventual 2008 GOP nominee. Perhaps because of his ties to the establishment party types and their friends in the media. This type of 'horse race' political reporting reminds many of the biased and negative early coverage of the Carter, Reagan and Clinton campaigns, all of which (surprisingly to the media and parties) resulted in White House wins!

To the question of Ron Paul not being 'mainstream', look at the main topics of the debates these days- smaller government, slashing the debt, sound money, bringing the troops home- all of these Ron Paul brought up in the 2008 Campaign (and for 30 years prior) and Dr. Paul was literallly LAUGHED AT on stage at the '08 debates for even MENTIONING these topics (Mitt?)! In 2011, these issues that Ron Paul was so 'out of the mainstream' on in 2008 are now the dominant issues in the Presidential debates! Furthermore, many of the 'laughing fools' in 2008 now suddenly ADVOCATE the positions they previously dismissed! Seems the 'mainstream' has moved to Ron Paul, as well as most of the GOP candidates- in rhetoric, at least, if not in their records or ACTUAL beliefs. Of course, as the only Medical Doctor in the MSNBC Debate, Ron Paul was the ONLY one of 8 Candidates NOT asked about Health Care! Coincidentally, in the recent CNN 'Tea Party' Debate, Ron Paul- who got over 300 co-sponsors on a bill to Audit the Federal Reserve, and who has been dogged on the Fed and monetary Policy for 30 years- was IGNORED on the subject of the Fed! This, even as Romney, Perry, Bachmann and others mouthed their recently adopted rhetoric that parroted Ron Paul's positions, legislation and extensive writings on the subject!

On Mr. Brewer's analysis of Ron Paul's support as 'A Mile Wide And A Few Inches Deep' is another Establishment talking point about Ron Paul that doesn't stand up to scrutiny. Even Ron Paul's worst detractors admit to his formidable fundraising ability and campaign finance abilities. It is certainly 'a mile wide', since he relies only on INDIVIDUAL donors- not the corporate 'bundlers' and lobbyist-fueled Political Action Committee special-interest dollars that all the other campaigns 'Bank' on. Even without the massive boost of Corporate, Union and other establishment Big-Money donors, Ron Paul, by any measure, always is at or near the top of the list when campaign donations are officially reported. Perhaps if taking strings-attached money from big corporations, corrupt unions, Wall Street Bankers and international corporations is the definition of 'Deep Support', then I guess Ron Paul doesn't have it, and he is proud of that fact. But if you use other metrics like support from independent, unsolicited individual donors as a measure, then his support is deep indeed. Or, if you count donations from active-duty U.S. Military personnel, Ron Paul's total in the 2012 campaign is greater than ALL other candidates, even counting President Obama. If our military support Ron Paul so 'deeply' and overwhelmingly, doesn't Rick Santorum's nasty criticism seem somehow hollow and crass?

In 2011 America, we are now well past the time where self-appointed political 'gate-keepers' in the media can steer and influence the Presidential races with unfairly biased reporting and selective or censored coverage of 'certain' candidates that don't fit their 'story line'. Instead of covering the the race for the most important office in the United States, and probably the World, as a 'story' or a 'horse race', Reporters, pundits and commentators need to concentrate on the candidates actual statements, policies and records- without prejudicially deciding who is 'electable', 'a long-shot' or 'mainstream'. Those questions should be for the electorate to decide when given a clear picture- free of corporate or party bias- of where the candidates stand on the issues.

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