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August 16, 2011

Jon Stewart: “How Did Libertarian Ron Paul Become the 13th Floor in a Hotel?”

by Stephen Littau

John Stewart’s take on the media’s non-coverage of Ron Paul in recent weeks. I think he pretty much nailed it.

Enjoy!

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10 Comments

  1. It is a great commentary on the failure of the MSM. You’re better off getting your news from a comedy show than the cable news channels.

    Comment by tkc — August 17, 2011 @ 9:10 am
  2. Devil’s advocate: They’re basically right that Paul’s results in straw polls don’t speak to his overall chances. It’s well known that Paul’s supporters are extremely passionate, so he always has a disproportionate showing in small, non-random samples.

    On the other hand, the fact that he’s polling in the teens is newsworthy. Four years ago, he was mired in the single digits.

    Comment by Jeff Molby — August 17, 2011 @ 4:15 pm
  3. Jeff:

    I think you have a valid point. But rather than giving Paul the 13th floor treatment, why don’t they explain this to viewers?

    I also fail to understand why Michele Bachmann is somehow in the “top tier” if winning the Iowa Straw Poll is no big deal (some of the candidates didn’t put much effort in Iowa due to this perception while others like Paul and Bachmann did). And can we really say with a straight face that Santorum or Huntsman has a realistic chance of winning at this point?

    Comment by Stephen Littau — August 18, 2011 @ 10:30 am
  4. But rather than giving Paul the 13th floor treatment, why don’t they explain this to viewers?

    Indeed, they should.

    I also fail to understand why Michele Bachmann is somehow in the “top tier” if winning the Iowa Straw Poll is no big deal (some of the candidates didn’t put much effort in Iowa due to this perception while others like Paul and Bachmann did)

    Ever been there? It takes serious money and organization to have a good showing at that straw poll. It doesn’t matter if Bachmann were the only candidate to show up… the simple fact that she convinced several thousand people to go way out of their way to show up and cast a ballot for her speaks well of her campaigns abilities.

    Sadly, those fundraising and organization skills — not their policies — are the biggest predictors of a candidates chances.

    Comment by Jeff Molby — August 18, 2011 @ 1:24 pm
  5. If the showing of serious money and organization is a win for Bachmann, it’s also a win for the candidate who tied her. Either they’re both news, or they’re both not.

    As to why Romney, Perry and others chose not to put much effort into the straw poll, is it certain that their reason is simply that they see it as no big deal? Or could it be that they saw their chances of winning it in this field of primary candidates was not very good? A cost-benefit analysis might explain why other candidates chose not to compete in a contest they thought they’d lose, significant or not.

    Comment by Akston — August 19, 2011 @ 8:26 am
  6. it’s also a win for the candidate who tied her. Either they’re both news, or they’re both not.

    Not true. Paul’s voters are so passionate that the campaign didn’t need to do anything more than blast out a few emails and supply a tent. They traveled all the way to Ames on their own and probably even bought their own tickets for the straw poll. They’d do it all again next too, if they thought it would help their man. This has all been very clear to everyone for about 4 years now.

    Bachmann (or anyone else for that matter) lacks that kind of zealous support. They need to go to a lot of trouble to round up that many votes, so it’s meaningful that she could. This type of vote-getting, as hollow as it seems, is actually more practical than Paul’s because it scales. Give Bachmann more money and she’ll round up more votes.

    Paul, OTOH, has had gobs of money at his disposal for the past four years and he struggles to round up any more votes because his campaign has consistently failed to speak effectively to moderates. His scientific poll numbers seem to have improved significantly lately, though, so that is news and it might just be a sign that the campaign is finally learning a thing or two.

    Comment by Jeff Molby — August 19, 2011 @ 10:25 am
  7. “it might just be a sign that the campaign is finally learning a thing or two.”

    It may also be a sign that the electorate is learning a thing or two. Nothing teaches like (government created) adversity.

    But I agree about the campaign and its supporters are learning as well. This time around, I see fewer Paul supporters commenting in ALL CAPS, pasting huge walls of text, making references to the Bilderbergs, “sheeple”, and the ONLY ONE. This is a step in the right direction.


    The worst thing that can happen to a good cause is, not to be skillfully attacked, but to be ineptly defended.”
    – Claude Frédéric Bastiat

    Comment by Akston — August 19, 2011 @ 1:04 pm
  8. uh… and mentioning the Bilderberg meeting is bad because? it’s not real?

    Comment by procopius — August 19, 2011 @ 1:52 pm
  9. “uh… and mentioning the Bilderberg meeting is bad because? it’s not real?”

    I see it as similar to libertarians arguing for all private roads. When libertarians lead with issues like this, they often lose their audience. When they instead lead with calls for limits to the recent dramatic increases in federal spending, or decentralizing and reducing the size of government (issues which more easily find common ground), they can make headway toward better conditions without immediately alienating people who might have otherwise found at least limited common cause.

    The Bilderberg meetings may be real, and may have real consequences, but my sense is that the general voting public sees this topic as a dog-whistle for conspiracy theorists and marginalizes other points made along with it.

    Of course, that’s just my perception. These topics might not yield that reaction as much as I think they do. But why start there when there are so many other principles which are readily agreed to with small discussion?

    Comment by Akston — August 19, 2011 @ 9:33 pm
  10. Yeah I hear that. The thing about leading with -any- topic though, and you pretty much alluded to this, is that the topic itself will be “unfavorable”
    for a whole block of potential listeners. Think of it in a Frank Luntz (disgusting person) point of view. Writing 10 paragraphs about, say, Bilderberg or any one topic alone, would definitely turn off most potential listeners. But I think this is really more of a concern for article writers than for casual supporters.

    Comment by procopius — August 20, 2011 @ 3:55 am

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