If you still don't believe the mainstream media shills for the Establishment, just take a look at the treatment Ron Paul got after finishing second (by a mere 152 votes behind winner Michele Bachmann) at the 2011 Ames Straw Poll last weekend.
Ron Paul: The 'Thirteenth Floor' of the Media
But it's hardly surprising, after all, the media thrives on the state. For them, the state is an all-powerful utopian machine run by all-knowing gods. They're attracted to power-seeking politicians promising government "solutions." But liberty? Not so much.
That's why the growing popularity of Ron Paul is freaking them out. They don't want to confront their delusions about printing money, unsustainable debt, central planning, and perpetual wars for "democracy." They don't want to face the truth that statism has failed. If Ron Paul and his minions would just shut up ... we would live in a world of unicorns and rainbows.
I admit I do not fully understand Ron Paul and his beliefs. But I do understand when a guy gets shafted, and Ron Paul just got shafted.
On Saturday, the Ames Straw Poll was conducted in Iowa amid huge media interest and scrutiny. The results were enough to force one Republican candidate, Tim Pawlenty, out of the race, and catapult another, Michele Bachmann, into the “top tier.”
There are so many "top tier" stories in the media today that I can barely count them, let alone read them all, and Bachmann is in all of them by virtue of her victory at Ames. The rest of the tier is made up of two candidates who skipped Ames, Rick Perry and Mitt Romney.
As The Daily Beast put it: "The new top tier of Bachmann, Perry, and Romney — created by Bachmann's Iowa straw poll win ... "
A Wall Street Journal editorial Monday magnanimously granted Paul's showing in the straw poll a parenthetical dismissal: "(Libertarian Ron Paul, who has no chance to win the nomination, finished a close second.)"
But "close" does not fully describe Paul's second-place finish. Paul lost to Bachmann by nine-tenths of one percentage point, or 152 votes out of 16,892 cast.
If it had been an election, such a result would almost certainly have triggered a recount. It was not an election, however, and that is my point. Straw polls are supposed to tell us, like a straw tossed into the air, which way the wind is blowing.
And any fair assessment of Ames, therefore, would have said the winds of the Republican Party are blowing toward both Bachmann and Paul.
I am far from a Libertarian. I believe big government is swell as long as it does big things to help the common good. But after Ames, it was as if Paul had been sentenced to the Phantom Zone.
Bachmann appeared on five Sunday shows following Ames. Paul appeared on none. POLITICO's Kasie Hunt was one of the few reporters to do a separate story on Paul's showing at the straw poll, but to most of the media he remained an exotic, unworthy of attention.
So I asked Paul Monday if the media blackout disturbed him,
"It did disturb me, but it was not a total surprise," he replied. "The result at Ames was significant; it might well have propelled us to the top tier. The media cannot change that."
Though the media can, of course, change that since we get to determine who the top tier is.
There was a deliciously intriguing line in The Washington Post's fine recap of Ames on Sunday. It said had Paul edged out Bachmann, "it would have hurt the credibility and future of the straw poll, a number of Republicans said."
So don't blame the media. Here are Republicans, presumably Republican operatives, who said if one candidate wins, the contest is significant, but if another wins the contest is not credible
Amazing. And disturbing.
Did you catch that? The media, not you, "get[s] to determine who the top tier is."
As far as Republican operatives are concerned, they've been working against conservative candidates for at least a century by now. Same as it ever was ...
Republicans dodged a big bullet at the Ames straw poll on Saturday. If just 77 of the 4,283 people who voted for Rep. Michele Bachmann had voted instead for Rep. Ron Paul, then Paul would have won the straw poll. In the end, Bachmann came out ahead with 28.55 percent of the vote to Paul's 27.65 percent. No other candidate was close.
Some well-connected Iowa Republicans viewed it as a bullet dodged because they had long feared the possibility of a Paul victory. "It would pour jet fuel on the East Coast narrative that Iowa is just too nutty to have such an important place in the nominating process," says one of those Republicans. Before the poll, they saw a Paul-Bachmann one-two finish as the worst-case scenario. They ended up with Bachmann-Paul -- a result establishment Republicans viewed as somewhat better than the other way around -- and got a lot of the criticism anyway.
The criticism came not just from Democrats or so-called Eastern elite RINOs (Republicans In Name Only). "Ron Paul is going to destroy this party if they keep him in there," said Rush Limbaugh the day after the Aug. 11 Fox News-Washington Examiner debate in Ames. "This is nuts on parade."
Key Republicans in Iowa -- and around the country, too -- are genuinely baffled by the Paul phenomenon.
Leftists have increasingly been calling Tea Partiers "insane" as of late, with MSNBC going so far as trotting out some TV psychiatrist to "diagnose" them as "delusional." This is an old communist tactic, commonly known as "punitive psychiatry":
The practice of "punitive psychiatry", perfected by Nikita Khrushchev in the aftermath of Stalin's Great Terror as a more palatable way of dealing with political dissidents, was once thought to have been buried with the Soviet Union.
Notice in the above article that radio talker Rush Limbaugh employed the same tactic against Ron Paul, calling him "nuts" for disagreeing with the status quo. Nevermind that status quo opinion has led to one disaster after the next, the neoconservative smearbund constantly proves itself every bit as bad as the left.
The Pavlovian reaction to make reckless and unsubstantiated allegations against anyone and everyone who disagrees with their agenda is a childish attempt to avoid honest debate. Name-calling and smear tactics are easy. Debate however, is hard work. Especially when your track-record fails to match your rhetoric.
But the times have changed. Mainstream "conservative" pundits who think they can simply sweep Paul under the bus by ignoring him and disseminating outright slander, are sadly mistaken. Perpetual spending, perpetual debt, and perpetual war has changed the political landscape in America. The status quo has failed. Miserably.
Republican and Democratic media whores briefly came clean about ignoring presidential hopeful Ron Paul. Then they promptly returned to ignoring him.
No sooner had Fox News' Megyn Kelly and CNN's Piers Morgan interviewed Dr. Paul about his untouchable status among their colleagues, than John King of the eponymous CNN show could be heard recounting the winners of the Republican 2011 Iowa Straw Poll, to the exclusion of the man who secured second place: Rep. Ron Paul.
Michele Bachmann won 4,823 votes; Texas Rep. Ron Paul won 4,671. With 152 votes separating the two frontrunners, one might even say that, in Ames, Iowa, Paul jostled with Mrs. Bachmann for first place.
A slick Drew Griffin, also at CNN, cracked up as he instructed a cub reporter on the ground: "If you get a soundbite from Palin, bring that back to us. You can hold the Ron Paul stuff."
Following the Republican poll, Politico.com ran an article about Paul, the caption to which read: "Ron Paul remains media poison." The article featured an image of Ron Paul flanked by signs touting the stuff the press finds so poisonous: "Liberty and Freedom."
Yes, freedom frightens the establishment.
No matter their brand of political prostitution (Republican or Democrat), media talking heads are props to the politicos; they mirror the political class, reflecting and reinforcing the opinions – and the reality – among the elites they serve.
More often than not, the chattering classes are as privileged and protected as their masters ... as long as they sustain their respective constituencies, they will retain their perches and their sizable salaries.
But things are a changing. The country is changing. These B-rate minds are paddling as hard as they can to save sinecure – even if it means not facing reality.
Most Americans already don't trust the media, so this Ron Paul blackout will most likely backfire. The media will be looking for their own bailout (again) soon. Think about it. They don't like Paul because they need a statist in office.
[W]hy doesn't Paul get the attention he seems to deserve? Mostly because the mainstream media and the Republican establishment wish he would just go away.
One reason the bipartisan establishment finds Paul so obnoxious is how much the past four years have proven him correct -- on the housing bubble, on the economy, on our foreign misadventures, and on our national debt.
In 2002, as President George W. Bush was pushing more subsidies for mortgages and home-buying under the motto of an "ownership society," Ron Paul took to the House floor to issue a warning. Through Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and the Federal Reserve, "the government increases the likelihood of a painful crash in the housing market."
Fannie, Freddie, and the Fed were creating "a short-term boom in housing," that would pop. "When housing prices fall, homeowners will experience difficulty as their equity is wiped out," Paul predicted as housing mania surged. "Furthermore, the holders of the mortgage debt will also have a loss."
Neither the mainstream media nor the GOP leadership wanted to hear this at the time. Housing was the engine of our growth, and Ron Paul was just being a crank again. So we pumped and pumped, until the inevitable crash.
Paul similarly foresaw our current debt crisis, warning that cutting taxes and increasing spending was the recipe for disaster. "Endless borrowing to finance endless demands cannot be sustained," Paul said eight years before the S&P downgraded U.S. debt.
Back then Paul was also warning of the perils of two open-ended wars and lengthy occupations halfway around the world. Paul was nearly alone among Republicans in opposing George W. Bush's Wilsonian vision of spreading American-style democracy at gunpoint. Today, our continued Afghanistan occupation is generally seen as pointless, and even many conservatives consider Iraq a mistake.
Again and again Paul has dissented, been laughed at, and been proven correct. That may be one reason he evokes so much scorn in certain corners of the Right.
Ron Paul is the only guy in Washington, DC, who understands economics. His predictions have been spot-on, while the rest of them have been proven wrong time and time again. No wonder they don't like him.
Paul's coverage also lags far behind (Donald) Trump (94 stories), who dallied with a run before opting out in mid-May and (former Alaska Gov. Sarah) Palin (85 stories), who has given no indication to date that she will enter the race. In addition, Paul trails longshot candidate and former Utah governor Jon Huntsman (44 stories) and Texas Governor, Rick Perry (33 stories) who only announced his candidacy on August 13.
Judge Napolitano: "What About Ron Paul?"
Newsreaders are lost without talking points.
British journalist Tim Stanley was amazed at the spectacle.. "If Ron Paul were to win every single primary on next year's Super Tuesday, the New York Times would run with the headline 'Mitt Romney Comfortable Second — Nomination Assured,'" Stanley wrote. At the Hill website, Brent Budowsky wrote of the coverage — or lack of same — "It is a sham, an outrage, and the latest example of a media that relishes having lunch with itself and remains far out of touch with political reality in the real America."
But it was Jersey’s own Jon Stewart who really nailed it. On his "Daily Show," Stewart put together a hilarious, four-minute montage that should send about 10 talking heads into early retirement. Among them is Bret Baier of Fox News, who is shown reacting to a Paul comment on the Mideast by rolling his eyeballs all the way up to his toupee.
"How did libertarian Ron Paul become the 13th floor in a hotel?" Stewart asked. He went on to add, "He's the one guy in the field, agree with him or don't agree with him, who doesn't go out of his way to regurgitate talking points or change what he believes to fit the audience in front of him."
Indeed he is. And that points to the problem Mencken cited. The job of the journalist is to dismantle talking points. The talking point that needs dismantling this year is the argument of all the candidates not named Paul that they will balance the budget without raising taxes, while also maintaining — and even expanding — our military presence overseas.
If the reporters were to dig into this, they could perform a real public service, quite aside from the question of who will eventually be the nominee. But then they'd have to deal with ideas. So we get what's known in the trade as "horse-race coverage." Instead of forcing the candidates to face tough questions, the reporters award points for the skill with which the candidates evade those questions.
This is not political reporting; it's sportswriting — and bad sportswriting at that.
For more on the Ron Paul media blackout:
- Why Ames Actually Matters
- Doug Wead Blacklisted At Fox and Friends per Karl Rove's Request
- The Media Admits To Ignoring Ron Paul
- I Cheer Ron Paul
- Ron Who? But Fourth-Place Santorum Gets "New Life"
- Did the Establishment Steal the Iowa Straw Poll from Ron Paul?
- How Michele Bachmann Bought the Ames Straw Poll
- Yes, Ron Paul Is Getting Screwed, But We Must Ignore It
- Insiders Must Be Really Worried about Ron Paul
- Ron Paul's Exchange with Santorum Says It All
- Best blog comment I've ever read
- The McLaughlin Group Discusses Ron Paul
- Ron Paul and the Iowa Straw Poll
- Republican Party Blindness
- Backlash Against Media Bias: Are They Going to Pay Attention to Ron Paul NOW?
- Media Guide to Attacking Ron Paul 2012 Edition
- The Ron Paul Blackout
- Rep. Walter Jones (R-NC) cites media 'arrogance' for lack of coverage of Ron Paul campaign
- Gibson: 'Ron Paul is a friend of mine'
- The Impossible Is Possible
- Ron Paul might be the nation's 'last best chance' to restore the country