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Ron Paul wrongfully ignored by nat'l media

BY MATT HEINZE | OCTOBER 21, 2011 7:20 AM

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There'll be a top-tier GOP candidate in Iowa City this evening to campaign and give a speech, but few are probably aware of who that candidate is.

It's not Gov. Mitt Romney, and (thankfully) it's not the likes of Rep. Michele Bachmann or Gov. Rick Perry, either. No, instead it's the Republican front-runner that always seems to be lacking media attention: Texas Rep. Ron Paul.

Now let's be clear: I'm not actually trying to get anyone to go listen to Paul speak; I'm just putting the information out there because your favorite media outlet probably didn't key you in on the event or even to Paul's recent happenings. What I will tell you, though, is that if you choose to attend the event, you will not be disappointed with how you spent your time.

After months of hard campaigning, the Ron Paul movement appears to be gaining an ever more consistent stream of followers and political supporters. After finishing a few votes shy of first place in the Ames Straw Poll in August, Paul has continued to post substantial numbers in primary polling — no doubt a result of his consistent voting record in a race chock-full of flip-floppers.

Paul's appeal is, in fact, so far-reaching that a recent Harris Poll found he was one of only two candidates who would garner more votes than Obama if the general election were held tomorrow. You wouldn't know it, though, as only a few media outlets chose to cover that story. Odds are most voters haven't even realized the extent to which Paul has seen primary success, surely attributable once again to a lack of media response.

So why has the media largely ignored Paul? (And as the Pew Research Center's Project for Excellence in Journalism recently noted in a study based on actual, real-life, empirical evidence, they offer Paul the least coverage of any candidate overall.)

Easy: Paul's about gravitas, not about grandiosity. And, unfortunately, that's not what today's media are interested in.

What the media want is simple theatrics, because there's absolutely no other reason why someone with such strong support would be deemed unmentionable or superfluous so often. For proof, one need not look further than the coverage Herman Cain receives. Surf the Internet, and you'll find no lack of stories referencing Cain's downright idiotic stance on how electrical fences could be used to secure our borders. Yet, he'll still be on the news again tomorrow.

Now, I'll admit I, too, have passed off Paul as an intriguing, albeit thoroughly unelectable, candidate. I'd probably follow that admittance up with a mention that I'm an opinions writer for a student newspaper and not a network TV big-wig, but who the hell cares, right? The point is that the media, in-general, have overlooked Paul to an inexcusable extent and has done so for far too long. That is, unless you've been tuning into a lot of Jon Stewart lately, who recently went so far as to declare that the media are "pretending Ron Paul doesn't exist."

If there's one thing that's become clear over the course of the first few GOP debates, it's that Paul is much more dynamic in this election cycle than any pundit or network big-wig may have initially anticipated. He definitely isn't someone to laugh about. Above all, he certainly warrants major coverage.

Still, I cannot imagine editors across the nation are clamoring to get their hands on the latest Paul coverage. Instead, they'd rather fidget around with meaningless Chris Christie bullshit for months, continuing to debate whether he'll run long after the man repeatedly said he would not.

Like him or not, Ron Paul represents an actual change from the usual political discourse and posturing. There's real substance burning inside his fiery rhetoric, and when you listen to the sheer bona fides his voice commands, you cannot help but respect the man, no matter your own beliefs.

Perhaps it's time the media does the same.


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