The Media and Ron Paul

Jason Kuznicki

Jason Kuznicki is a research fellow at the Cato Institute and contributor of Cato Unbound. He's on twitter as JasonKuznicki. His interests include political theory and history.

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19 Responses

  1. The Warning says:

    The media can at least make an argument for panning Gary Johnson, whose name recognition hovers around 12-14%.

    But Ron Paul has 76% name recognition, he is in a very real sense a “household name”.

    The media is ignoring a huge story, whether he’s destined for the nomination or not, he is driving the debate in this election.Report

    • trizzlor in reply to The Warning says:

      Can you really imagine a big story about Ron Paul that would win the morning?

      Everyone who would be interested in Paul basically knows where he stand already, so a general issues expose would look stale. He’s steadfast in his views, so there’s no flip-flopper angle. The issues where he’s really out-there, potential gotcha issues, are complex financial anachronisms that nobody wants to understand. On the other stuff, he’s not very good at kneecapping the other candidates. And even if he were, the other candidates have figured out that it’s easier to ignore him and respond with party boilerplate, so there’s not even a response.

      Basically, Ron Paul can’t start fights, and his internal contradictions are either well-known or boring. So what good is he?Report

  2. Anderson says:

    I feel like the number of stories I’ve been bemoaning Ron Paul’s lack of coverage by the media (partially) make up for the initial snub ( and the segment on Stewart’s show, for example). Besides, he truly is a niche candidate, whichever way you look at it. Granted, he is a very big niche candidate, but a Nader or Perot at best.

    Also, “what the media wants is close elections.” ? That…or the fact that any political party’s goal (and the people that vote for said party) is to win an election. Let’s not put the cart before the horse.Report

    • Jason Kuznicki in reply to Anderson says:

      It’s certainly true that parties want to win elections. But the media want balance — so they seem fair — and photo finishes, so the eyeballs stay glued.Report

  3. rj says:

    I have a different explanation. Call it the Paultard Paradox.

    Any time a major news outlet writes a story on Ron Paul, the comments box (and presumably the author’s email) is flooded with his loudest and least literate supporters making their usual bizarre claims about the NAFTA superhighway, WTC 7 and fiat money. It’s just not worth the trouble.

    The guy’s worst enemies are his greatest fans.Report

  4. Undercovering Paul is being compensated for by overcovering Perry.Report

  5. Brandon says:

    Unfortunately, I think it has MUCH MORE to do with the inherent sensationalism in about 90% of American media (if not MORE) that simply reports whatever “makes the most money”, rather than the BEST STORIES, and since Paul’s not all that “exciting” compared to, say, Michele Bachmann or Herman Cain, they’re not gonna talk about him all that much. :/ Plus, Paul getting high on these straw polls and GOP phone polls is kind of EXPECTED now, so why comment on it further? But Michele Bachmann getting NUMBER 1 in a GOP straw poll IS rather surprising.

    I doubt there’s some “big media conspiracy” to keep Paul down, esp. with all the traction he got THE LAST TIME he ran in 2008. He’s not exactly a newbie. And all the reports of how he rose so much in all those “money bombs”…

    I’m all for Ron Paul winning the GOP nomination (although I probably agree more with Gary Johnson overall on the issues), and it would certainly keep Obama on his toes, but the fact of the matter IS that, ever since the 2008 election cycle, I see Ron Paul in my subscriptions box on some talk show on one of the three cable news networks ALMOST DAILY! So he was certainly getting quite a bit of attention OUTSIDE the race for pres.Report

  6. Brandon says:

    After all, the vast majority of well-known media outlets in the U.S. ARE corporations or owned by them. They’re in it for the money, and “journalism” really comes second, unfortunately.Report

  7. Brandon says:

    If they truly cared about “reporting the big stories no matter what”, why not just file as nonprofits?? I mean, you can STILL make enough money to cover losses, but your FIDUCIARY responsibility and drive wouldn’t be to simply make money. You wouldn’t have to answer to shareholders and could have more freedom as an editor or whatever.Report

  8. Frank Costa says:

    Landslide elections are not “snoozes” sir. The “close” elections are used so the results can be easily manipulated by the vote counters. Landslides would make it impossible to defraud the people. NBC manipulated the poll results with it’s ridiculous bar graph showing Romney’s 16 percent nearly even to Dr. Pauls 53 percent?? No one is perfect but Dr. Paul represents the biggest threat to the New World Order’s control of things and I fear for his life. Just as Dr. Paul wants to end the Fed so did McKinnely, Lincoln, and Kennedy and they were all murdered.Report