Then there was the Politico.com headline on the straw-poll results that — when moved over to blogrunner.com — became this: "Michele Bachmann wins Ames Straw Poll, Tim Pawlenty gets third."
Umm, isn't something missing there?
"How did libertarian Ron Paul become the 13th floor in a hotel?" Comedy Central's Jon Stewart quipped in an August 15 Daily Show segment poking fun at the obvious censorship of Paul in discussion of "top tier" candidates.
Politico's own Roger Simon wrote a column, entitled "Ron Paul remains media poison," that posited a Ron Paul media blackout. "I am far from a Libertarian. I believe big government is swell as long as it does big things to help the common good. But after Ames, it was as if Paul had been sentenced to the Phantom Zone." Simon added: "I admit I do not fully understand Ron Paul and his beliefs. But I do understand when a guy gets shafted, and Ron Paul just got shafted."
The Washington Examiner's Timothy P. Carney asked, "Why doesn't Paul get the attention he seems to deserve? Mostly because the mainstream media and the Republican establishment wish he would just go away." Carney added, "Sure, Bachmann's media attention is inflated by the "Palin Effect" — the liberal media's embarrassing dark obsession with attractive and unfiltered conservative women (see the media's 2010 preoccupation with Christine O'Donnell for another instance) — but there's more going on here."
What is that "more going on"? Carney explains: "One reason the bipartisan establishment finds Paul so obnoxious is how much the past four years have proven him correct — on the housing bubble, on the economy, on our foreign misadventures, and on our national debt. In 2002, as President George W. Bush was pushing more subsidies for mortgages and home-buying under the motto of an 'ownership society,' Ron Paul took to the House floor to issue a warning. Through Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and the Federal Reserve, 'the government increases the likelihood of a painful crash in the housing market.' "
Paul dissented on the Iraq War, being openly skeptical of Bush administration claims that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction and al-Qaeda ties, neither of which Hussein had. Carney noted that Paul was ignored in 2008 because "neither the mainstream media nor the GOP leadership wanted to hear this at the time. Housing was the engine of our growth, and Ron Paul was just being a crank again. So we pumped and pumped, until the inevitable crash.... Again and again Paul has dissented, been laughed at, and been proven correct. That may be one reason he evokes so much scorn in certain corners of the Right."
In short, Paul is anathema to the establishment because he points out why that establishment is so continuously wrong and embarrasses them. To ordinary humans, this would make Rep. Paul more qualified for the presidency. Most Americans want a President who can see trouble coming and stop it before it does real damage. But many Americans remain unfamiliar with Paul's accurate predictions, despite a viral effort to spread them through the Internet. (Thus far, the official Paul campaign has been silent on these accurate predictions in its television advertisements.)
Also, Paul made predictions that have drawn the ire of liberal media elites as well. As Carney explains: "Paul similarly foresaw our current debt crisis, warning that cutting taxes and increasing spending was the recipe for disaster. 'Endless borrowing to finance endless demands cannot be sustained,' Paul said eight years before the S&P downgraded U.S. debt."
The Sunday shows, such as CNN's Fareed Zakaria GPS, simply can't give airtime to "economists" like Paul Krugman and Ron Paul at the same time and claim to be serious. Krugman (who unbelievably won the Nobel Prize for Economics) posited on Zakaria's August 14 show that government should hatch a conspiracy of a mock alien invasion threat to boost government spending massively and spur an economic recovery. To have Ron Paul on the same kind of show would expose Krugman's ridiculous theories (not to mention his wildly inaccurate predictions of the housing crisis of 2008 and the current crisis) to reality.
Thus, the establishment Republican and liberal media have agreed to chime in unison, "Ron Paul can't win," every time he's mentioned in the media, even though they always fail to provide any reason to back up this hypothesis.
And while Ron Paul couldn't win primary races in 2008 because the economy hadn't yet crashed and the Iraq and Afghan Wars were being waged by an incumbent of his party, Paul is running in an entirely different environment in 2011-12. The crash is now obvious (as are the inaccurate economic predictions of front-runner Mitt Romney back in 2007). The wars are unpopular — especially after the death of bin Laden — and being waged by Democrat Barack Obama. The Ron Paul campaign has stated that Ron Paul's message hasn't changed since 2007, and their strategy is to continue spreading the message that Ron Paul was right. "Compared to 2007, we have quadrupled our support, and doubled our poll numbers, so we feel like what we're doing is right," campaign spokesman Gary Howard told ABC News. "We will just redouble our efforts.”
But they'll have to do it with bipartisan opposition of the establishment media.
Photo: Ron Paul