Blogs » Paradigm Shifter » Ron Paul Forced Down the Memory Hole


As shown in my last video blog, the media has made it clear it will continue where it left off in 2008 with the blackout, blacklisting, blackballing, black-eyeing, and black-opping of the Ron Paul campaign. Early in the 2008 campaign, this behavior was somewhat excusable due to his low polling numbers, but that should've changed as the campaign progressed, and now that Paul has placed 2nd in the Iowa Straw Poll and is running 3rd/4th in national polls, the intentional media stiff-arming must cease.

I could go all day on this subject, but I'm going to let this guy do it. The following is an excerpt from a article by Glenn Greenwald:

The misery of the protracted presidential campaign season
by Glenn Greenwald -
August 16, 2011


But coverage of these presidential campaigns has even more pernicious effects than mere distraction.  They are also vital in bolstering orthodoxies and narrowing the range of permitted views.  Few episodes demonstrate how that works better than the current disappearing of Ron Paul, all but an "unperson" in Orwellian terms.  He just finished a very close second to Michele Bachmann in the Ames poll, yet while she went on all five Sunday TV shows and dominated headlines, he was barely mentioned.  He has raised more money than any GOP candidate other than Romney, and routinely polls in the top 3 or 4 of GOP candidates in national polls, yet -- as Jon Stewart and Politico's Roger Simon have both pointed out -- the media have decided to steadfastly pretend he does not exist, leading to absurdities like this:


And this...

There are many reasons why the media is eager to disappear Ron Paul despite his being a viable candidate by every objective metric.  Unlike the charismatic Perry and telegenic Bachmann, Paul bores the media with his earnest focus on substantive discussions.  There's also the notion that he's too heterodox for the purist GOP primary base, though that was what was repeatedly said about McCain when his candidacy was declared dead. 

But what makes the media most eager to disappear Paul is that he destroys the easy, conventional narrative -- for slothful media figures and for Democratic loyalists alike.  Aside from the truly disappeared former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson (more on him in a moment), Ron Paul is far and away the most anti-war, anti-Surveillance-State, anti-crony-capitalism, and anti-drug-war presidential candidate in either party.  How can the conventional narrative of extremist/nationalistic/corporatist/racist/warmongering GOP v. the progressive/peaceful/anti-corporate/poor-and-minority-defending Democratic Party be reconciled with the fact that a candidate with those positions just virtually tied for first place among GOP base voters in Iowa?  Not easily, and Paul is thus disappeared from existence.  That the similarly anti-war, pro-civil-liberties, anti-drug-war Gary Johnson is not even allowed in media debates -- despite being a twice-elected popular governor -- highlights the same dynamic.

It is true, as Booman convincingly argues, that "the bigfoot reporters move like a herd" and "put[ their] fingers on the scales in elections all the time."  But sometimes that's done for petty reasons (such as their 2000 swooning for George Bush's personality and contempt for Al Gore's); in this case, it is being done (with the effect if not intent) to maintain simplistic partisan storylines and exclude important views from the discourse. 

However much progressives find Paul's anti-choice views to be disqualifying (even if the same standard is not applied to Good Democrats Harry Reid or Bob Casey), and even as much as Paul's domestic policies are anathema to liberals (the way numerous positions of Barack Obama ostensibly are: war escalation, due-process-free assassinations, entitlement cuts, and whistleblower wars anyone?), shouldn't progressives be eager to have included in the discourse many of the views Paul uniquely advocates?  After all, these are critical, not ancillary, positions, such as: genuine opposition to imperialism and wars; warnings about the excesses of the Surveillance State, executive power encroachments, and civil liberties assaults; and attacks on the one policy that is most responsible for the unjustifiable imprisonment of huge numbers of minorities and poor and the destruction of their families and communities: Drug Prohibition and the accompanying War to enforce it.  GOP primary voters are supporting a committed anti-war, anti-surveillance candidate who wants to stop imprisoning people (dispropriationately minorities) for drug usage; Democrats, by contrast, are cheering for a war-escalating, drone-attacking, surveillance-and-secrecy-obsessed drug warrior.

The steadfast ignoring of Ron Paul -- and the truly bizarre un-personhood of Gary Johnson -- has ensured that, yet again, those views will be excluded and the blurring of partisan lines among ordinary citizens on crucial issues will be papered over.  That's precisely the opposite effect that a healthy democratic election would produce.