TAMPA, May 8, 2012 – It’s official. Ron Paul has won two states. He’s probably going to win more.
In response, most media outlets have chosen to ramp up their passive-aggressive attacks on Paul’s campaign.
Ever since he announced that he would seek the Republican nomination for president back in 2007, Ron Paul has been covered like no other major party candidate in U.S. history.
During his previous campaign for the 2008 Republican nomination, the media largely pretended he wasn’t running at all. When he was covered, virtually every article or segment described him as a “gadfly” and his campaign as “quixotic.” Even before the first debate was held, we were assured at least twice in every news piece that Paul “had little chance of winning the nomination.”
At the start of this election cycle, the gadfly’s quixotic campaign was covered in much the same manner. Admittedly, the insinuations that Paul’s views were “fringe” or “crazy” had diminished. It’s hard to call someone crazy after all of his economic predictions come true and all of the predictions of his opponents prove wrong.
Nevertheless, the media covering the 2012 nomination race initially pretended that Paul didn’t exist, prompting Jon Stewart’s now classic lampoon. After Paul’s virtual tie in the Ames, Iowa straw poll, we were told that the new “top tier” Republican candidates were Rick Perry and Michelle Bachman.
Remember them? Perry dropped out after failing to recover from forgetting the names of the federal departments he proposed to eliminate in a debate. Among Bachman’s finest moments was the New Hampshire speech in which she asserted that the American Revolutionary War broke out at Lexington and Concord in…New Hampshire.
Once the media could no longer ignore Ron Paul, we were once again assured that he had no chance to win the Republican nomination. When it appeared that he might win the Iowa caucuses, we were told that a Paul win would be meaningless. When he finished a close third in Iowa and second in New Hampshire, the media acknowledged that his performance was surprising but maintained that he still couldn’t win.
He was in better shape than Bill Clinton was at that point in 1992. Why didn’t Clinton get the same treatment?
The media again began ignoring Ron Paul’s campaign after Super Tuesday, despite his predictions of eventual victories in several of the caucus states. After his predictions started proving accurate, the media immediately began suggesting that there was something sneaky or undemocratic about his strategy, even though it is perfectly legitimate.
Now that Paul has won the majority of delegates from Maine and Nevada to the Republican National Convention (RNC) and his predictions for similar results in Missouri, Washington, Iowa, and other states suddenly sound very credible, the media have a new disclaimer to add to the list.
According to the Merriam-Webster online dictionary, arcane means:
“known or knowable only to the initiate : secret <arcane rites>; broadly: mysterious, obscure <arcane explanations”
The rites of initiation during the ancient mysteries at Eleusis were arcane. The activities of the Federal Reserve Board of Governors are arcane. The secret handshake known to members of Fred Flintstone’s Loyal Order of Water Buffaloes Lodge No. 26 is arcane.
The delegate selection process for the Maine Republican Party is not arcane. It is published on the party’s website in sixth grade English and is available to everyone. However, since Ron Paul has had success within that process, it now seems that disparaging implications must be made about it, in addition to him.
With all of the disclaimers that the media attach to coverage of Paul, it’s starting to take several minutes just to get to the actual “news” in the article.
“Libertarian gadfly Ron Paul, who continues his quixotic campaign for the Republican nomination despite not having won a single state (even though he’s won two and counting), and who cannot, never could and never will be able to win the nomination, who has many supporters who believe in fringe conspiracy theories but have nevertheless ‘hijacked’ the Republican state conventions in several states by ‘exploiting’ arcane rules governing the delegate selection process, but who still has only secured 80 delegates to the RNC despite the fact that we just told you that number is grossly understated because the people reporting it don’t know about the arcane rules, today announced…”
What other major party candidate in U.S. history has been covered this way?
Regardless of whether they agree with Ron Paul on the issues, even the minimally curious have to wonder why the media appear to be trying so hard, especially concerning someone they repeatedly assert has no chance. Whether Republican, Democrat, independent or disinterested, they should be asking the same question that I asked last week.
What about Ron Paul are the media so afraid of?
Tom Mullen is the author of A Return to Common Sense: Reawakening Liberty in the Inhabitants of America.
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