Jon Stewart was right.
These graphs depict coverage of the Ron Paul campaign from various sources, arrayed along dimensions of numbers of stories versus percentage polling support. Non-candidates like Sarah Palin get more coverage.
Of course, some argue that this doesn’t matter: that since Paul can’t win the nomination (or so “they” say) it’s okay—even appropriate to ignore him. NOT ignoring him would be warping the story, such people argue.
As it happens, I don’t like Ron Paul’s politics. His stands on the Iraq War and the legalization of most drugs don’t come close to compensating for the ridiculousness of his Austrian theories of economics or his social policies. But the notion that the “political press” knows who is and isn’t a serious candidate for president these days is one of the curses of our political system.
These are the same sources that picked Bill Bradley, Hillary Clinton, and Rudy Giuliani as shoe-ins for their respective parties’ nominations. Who care who wins the Iowa straw poll against all evidence that it matters. Who analyze every political event as if it is determinative for the campaign—e.g., the killing of Osama bin Laden “guaranteed” Obama’s reelection, or bad economic news in July of the year BEFORE an election year spells doom for the incumbent.
All of it—all of it—is an effort to strip control of elections from voters. Voters may be stupid, thoughtless and callow. They may be brave and insightful. But in either case, the choice is theirs—not CNN’s. Or FOX’s. Or any such.
h/t: The Monkey Cage
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