Around the Hoop

Why can't Ron Paul get any mainstream media love?

By Troy Hooper
Real AspenAugust 24, 2011

Why is the mainstream media disrespecting Ron Paul?

Don't confuse this with an endorsement of the peculiar and perceptive 76-year-old presidential candidate.

But the anti-war, pro-pot, freedom-loving, gold-standard-saluting congressman is getting seriously dissed.

Despite falling just 152 votes short in the recent Iowa straw poll, the reaction in big-city newspapers and U.S. primetime and cable news networks was to treat Paul as the proverbial elephant in the room.

Ron Paul

As John Stewart on “The Daily Show” humorously pointed out, this Republican from Texas who isn't named Rick Perry is getting either completely ignored or greeted with eye rolls and snickers.

interested in chatting about Michelle Bachmann, Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum, Jon Huntsman and just about anyone but Paul.

Meanwhile, the latest Gallup poll shows Paul may be a viable challenge to President Barack Obama.

He only trails the president by two percentage points when registered voters are asked whom they would support if the 2012 presidential election were held today. Mitt Romney leads Obama by two points, 48 percent to 46 percent. Perry and Obama are tied at 47 percent. Bachmann trails Obama by four points, according to the poll.

The Project for Excellence in Journalism examined coverage of Paul from January through Aug. 14 and found he is getting the short end of the media's schtick. The number of campaign stories the media reported as a lead newsmaker was 221 stories for Obama, 120 for Romney, 108 for Bachmann, 52 for Tim Pawlenty, 44 for Jon Huntsman, 33 for the late-arriving Perry, and 27 for Paul — a candidate from the word “go.”

Even non-candidates Donald Trump and Sarah Palin received roughly triple the coverage as Paul.

It's hard to know why the media perceives Paul as a sideshow while much of America thinks he's legit.

But if you want to know what's happening with Paul, don't turn to the news. Turn on Comedy Central.

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