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Why does the media ignore Ron Paul?

Published: Thursday, August 25, 2011

Updated: Thursday, August 25, 2011 01:08

Last week, "The Daily Show" host Jon Stewart called 2012 presidential candidate and Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) the "13th floor in a hotel," regarding how the politician has been ignored in the media.

Across the Internet, small news-sites, blogs and unofficial support sites have accused CNN of obscuring and altering the results of online viewer polls about who won the Ames, Iowa debate. CNN instead used information from the National Journal, which initially showed Paul with 0 percent. Interestingly, Ron Paul's official webpage makes no note of the controversy.

Subsequent polls have consistently put Paul in the top candidates for the Republican primary. A new Gallup poll released Wednesday shows Paul in third place, behind Texas Gov. Rick Perry and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney. Nonetheless, they do not explain the previous reticence of the media to notice Paul's existence.

Paul is a medical doctor turned congressman from Texas who is well known for his anti-war and anti-big government political stances, according to his website. He was first elected in 1976, and represents many core Tea Party values since before the Tea Party existed. Paul may be a conservative, but he still maintains his own character and has run on the Libertarian ticket in the past.

He seems an ideal focus for media coverage — he is experienced, witty and controversial in his political views, as well as possessing a loyal voter base. What differences about Paul warrant the media ignoring him?

How is Paul different from other Republican candidates? He has a strong anti-war policy, which he expounded on during the Fox News-moderated debate. During passionate speeches, such as his against the Afghanistan and Iraq wars, the audience cheered wildly, while debate moderator Brett Baier laughed his answers off and even suggested Perry "outsmarted" him.

The derision did not stop there. Mike Wallace said to Rep. Michelle Bachmann (R-MN), "Ron Paul says terrorism suspects have committed a crime and should be given due process in civilian courts. Please tell Congressman Paul why he is wrong."

Paul is also passionate about ending the War on Drugs by legalizing soft and hard drugs — from cannabis to cocaine to heroin. None of the other candidates share this view in their political platform.

Paul was the only candidate at the debate who supported eliminating the Federal Reserve at the debate, but since then, both Perry and Bachmann have adopted this stance, according to Reuters. He has been advocating "sound money" policies since the '70s, such as proposing a bill to remove the sales tax on gold and silver to let market forces decide what is the best money, instead of relying entirely on Federal Reserve notes for currency.

So why has Paul been ignored? The answer is not clear, but the best guess is that, until recently, America has not taken Paul seriously. He has been continually portrayed as an eccentric, but now that his views have been co-opted by the Tea Party, people are beginning to realize that Ron Paul may not be the "13th floor in a hotel," but rather the "elephant in the room."

Nicholas Milstrey is a graduate student majoring in economics.

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Sun Sep 11 2011 01:26
Controversial wouldn't be the Right term for his views, many people argue and fail miserably. People laugh and joke about Ron Paul, no one takes him seriously. Most people think he is crazy and anti-American... but they are wrong, they've been brainwashed and can't use logic. They lost common sense, how can someone say his views are illogical, unpatriotic and controversial. Is The Constitution Controversial? Is Freedom controversial? Controversy is the fact that people believe we can murder, force countries to submit so us, and not expect groups to retaliate. Controversy is the fact this people all have the same ideas just in different unique ways which any person with common sense would realize that in the end it will have the same results. If there is poison in your system too much or a little less poison will result in death no matter how they try to paint the picture. The Reality is since the 70s everything Ron Paul said the government of the United States has done different and look were we are. AA rating in Credit, our dollar is toilet paper, jobs are on an all time low, we owe China Billion and Billions of dollars, our borders are so weak anyone can swim over, and so forth. When will people grow up and smell reality, any Politician, news anchor or spokesman who says Ronald Reagan this and that and how he was awesome but spit or disrespected Ron Paul should be smacked hard.... If Reagan knew about this he would rise from the dead and set these people straight.... Ron Paul and Reagan were friends, Ron Paul and Reagan Supported each other, no politician up there would have Reagans approval except for Ron Paul and thats a fact. RON PAUL 2012 GO BULLS!!!!

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