Friday, 26 August 2011

O'Reilly's "No Spin" Spin on Ron Paul

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Ron PaulAs reported here yesterday ("Lame & Lamer: Media Excuses for Ignoring a Surging Ron Paul") the "lamestream" media appear to be making efforts to salvage a modicum of credibility by giving some coverage to Rep. Ron Paul's presidential race, after a severe media shellacking by Comedy Central's Jon Stewart went viral last week. Stewart's satirical rant effectively used clips of various media takes on the Ames, Iowa Straw Poll to expose the uniform policy of the major media to treat Ron Paul with unique contempt by simply pretending he doesn't exist.

The blatant media blackout of Ron Paul is eerily similar to the Stalinist technique of obliterating all mention of those who have been declared to be non-persons, as chillingly documented by David King in The Commissar Vanishes: The Falsification of Photographs and Art in Stalin's Russia. King's 1997 book demonstrates the power of Soviet censorship under Stalin, showing example after example of famous Communist leaders who had once been considered heroes of the revolution but then, sometimes virtually overnight, disappeared. Not only were they arrested, tortured, and killed, but even their images were removed from all photographs and their names expunged from all documents, news stories, and history books.

Ron Paul has not been arrested and tortured, and by all accounts he is still very much alive, but he has definitely been the victim of a Stalinist-type effort by most of the lamestream media to airbrush him out of existence. One of the worst examples of the media airbrushing highlighted by Stewart is a post-Ames analysis of the straw pool results by Fox network talking heads Chris Wallace, Bret Baier, and others. Their efforts to talk about everyone except Ron Paul, who essentially tied in a dead heat for first place with Michele Bachmann, are farcical.

While some media mavens, chastened by Jon Stewart's broadside, are acting a bit more responsibly, Bill O'Reilly at Fox seems to be doubling down against the Texas congressman; when he isn't attacking Rep. Paul with snide remarks, he is continuing the media charade that pretends Paul doesn't exist, a takeoff  on the Stalinist practice that might be called, "The Congressman Vanishes."

In his August 24 edition of The O'Reilly Factor, Fox's  top gun  went after Rep. Paul, with a headline asking, "Why Is Ron Paul Dodging 'The Factor'?" The subhead for the program reads: "GOP presidential candidate claims the media is ignoring him but won't respond to invitation to appear in No Spin Zone." (Sidenote: As The New American has reported, the Pew Research Center has issued a damning report verifying that Ron Paul has indeed been shut out of most of the major media coverage.)

O'Reilly charged that Paul was "whining" about not getting media coverage but then wouldn't accept O'Reilly's "generous" invitation to appear on his "No Spin Zone." We don't know the precise details of O'Reilly's offer, but according to Rep. Paul's campaign chairman Jesse Benton, Dr. Paul was traveling and campaigning in New Hampshire but would be happy to appear on the O'Reilly show at a convenient time. It appears that O'Reilly preferred to report a scheduling conflict and bad timing as "dodging" by Rep. Paul.

Ignoring, Butchering the Evidence
But that was just the warmup. O'Reilly brought on former Clinton campaign manager and adviser (and prostitute toe-sucking fetishist) Dick Morris, now a regular Fox contributor, to help misrepresent and traduce Paul's stands on foreign, domestic, and monetary policy. Among the many absurd comments made by Morris was the disingenuous claim that Ron Paul won't come on the O'Reilly Factor because he doesn't want to face tough questioning. Whether one loves or hates Ron Paul, likes or dislikes his political and economic stances, it is ridiculous to say that he fears questioning, especially from a lightweight such as Bill O'Reilly, who confessed on one recent program to not even having the remotest idea who Ron Paul was talking about in referring to John Maynard Keynes. (Answer: British economist Keynes has had one of the most profound — and deleterious — impacts on modern economics, championing government control of the economy, a position that Nobel Prize-winning free-market economist Frederic Hayek accurately warned would lead to socialism. In 1971 President Richard Nixon shocked the world by infamously admitting, "I am now a Keynesian in economics." This is basic Econ 101.)

Dr. Paul, whatever else one might think of him, is no intellectual slouch; indeed he is probably the most well-read individual and the deepest thinker in Congress on matters of philosophy, history, economics, and political science. He does not rely on charisma — the standard prop of politicians — and doesn't traffic in the gimmicky sound bites,  slogans, and recycled talking points typical of most other politicians. In committee hearings with Ben Bernanke and Alan Greenspan he's shown he can ask tough questions; and in numerous debates and interviews he's shown he can handle tough questions — even when he's being unfairly bullied and badgered and not being allowed to respond to the questions, accusations, and misstatements being thrown at him.

After trashing Paul repeatedly, Team O'Reilly and Morris also engaged in "The Congressman Vanishes" game. During the segment, O'Reilly put up a slide showing the results of a Rasmussen poll of 1,000 likely voters, with theoretical match-ups of Perry, Romney and Bachman vs. Obama. According to the poll, which was released on August 24, Perry trailed Obama by three points, Bachmann lost by four points, and Romney lost to Obama by eight points

Here are the stats, as displayed on The O'Reilly' Factor screen:

Perry 40               Obama 43

Bachmann 39     Obama 43

Romney 38         Obama 46

What O'Reilly and Morris didn't show and didn't mention is that another recent Rasmussen poll also notes that Ron Paul has proven to be the strongest GOP candidate thus far in a head-to-head against Obama. In fact, the same Ramussen report used by O'Reilly refers to a Rassmussen Poll released on August 23 showing that in a Paul vs. Obama match-up, Obama is only 1 point ahead of Paul, barely winning 39 to 38. That means that Rep. Ron Paul has registered as the most convincing challenger to Obama — according to the same polling source and data cited by O'Reilly.

Polls have shown that Paul does better than other GOP candidates among younger voters, independent voters, Democrats, and Tea Party voters — all critically important constituencies in any challenge to Obama. But the "No Spin" spinmeister and his sidekick Dick Morris claimed just the opposite — that the polling data show Ron Paul doesn't have a chance against Obama. Dick Morris told O'Reilly: "I think its fair to say that Romney or Perry would defeat Obama, Bachmann would have a tougher time, but could." While a vote for Ron Paul, he asserts, would guarantee a GOP defeat and four more years of rule by Obama.

To top off the deception, on the same O'Reilly Factor page for August 24 that features the above-mentioned slam of Ron Paul, one finds a "No Spin Poll" that invites the audience to respond to this question: "Who is the strongest GOP presidential candidate at the moment?"

Of course, only three options are permitted to those taking the survey: Michele Bachman, Mitt Romney, and Rick Perry — in that order.  No option is permitted to cast a vote for Ron Paul, even though Rasmussen puts him as the strongest contender against Obama, at this moment. Naturally, Paul won't do well in this "poll," since he's been consciously excluded. But the results will be used to show that he "can't be elected."

"Fair and Balanced"? "We Report, You Decide"? "No Spin Zone"? Many companies have been prosecuted for false labeling for misrepresentation of a far less serious nature than this.

Photo: Ron Paul

Related articles:

Lame & Lamer: Media Excuses for Ignoring a Surging Ron Paul

Fox and Enemies Attack Ron Paul

Faux Conservatism: Fox Gets It Wrong

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