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Alan Kors, Culture Warrior »« PaDems

Is the Media Lazy or Scared of Ron Paul?

Remember Dean Wormer’s famous words to Flounder in the classic movie Animal House? “Fat, drunk and stupid is no way to go through life”. He could just as easily have been talking about the mainstream media.

Time and again, the media disappoints the American people who are looking for objective and unbiased news coverage. In too many cases, no matter how newsworthy the event, there is no coverage at all.

Is the media really as biased as many think it is? Is there truly a vast conspiracy to shut down Conservatives and promote the values of the Left?

While there certainly may be elements of truth to both points, the real problem centers around laziness and incompetence.

Take this past weekend in Philadelphia, America’s fourth largest media market. Common sense tells you that if a Presidential candidate —and a major one, no less— comes to town to hold a rally on Independence Mall, with thousands of supporters braving a raw, rainy day, that would be a newsworthy event. You would think such a candidate would be afforded in-depth coverage, especially after just setting the largest one-day internet fundraising total in American history. And given that the nation’s first primary could be as early as next month in New Hampshire, and that there are only a handful of candidates running (with no clear front-runner), it would be reasonable to assume that the media would be in a frenzy to get a scoop at this kind of event.

You would be wrong.

Texas Congressman Ron Paul was the candidate who held that rally. Even though he has been a sought after guest on the national talk shows, from Jay Leno to Face the Nation, and even though he has won debates and straw polls across the country, some geniuses in the local media still aren’t impressed, deeming Mr. Paul un-newsworthy.

Case in point: several of the biggest news outlets in the city, the Philadelphia Inquirer, Daily News and KYW 1060 news radio among them, were conspicuously AWOL in any coverage whatsoever. How is that possible? Especially when you consider that even the New York Times covered both the rally and another Paul event in the city.

And it’s not like the local media has a policy whereby they aren’t covering any candidates until after the first primaries are underway. All the aforementioned news organizations have covered other contenders, including Mitt Romney two weeks ago while he was in town for fundraisers. Gee, that seems equitable and fair. One guys comes to town just to raise money from wealthy donors, and gets covered, while the other has a free public rally where he addresses the most pressing issues of the day, yet there isn’t a peep.

I am not an apologist for Ron Paul, but his presence should have automatically merited coverage by all of the local press. Since local and national television stations thought the event newsworthy, what does that say about the journalistic integrity, competence and judgment of the editors at Philadelphia’s other “esteemed” newspapers, not to mention its leading news radio station?

Of course, maybe this is just an over-reaction. After all, we’re only talking about the future of the United States, and the world. Is it really all that important to make an informed choice in that regard?

If you read the Sunday papers, apparently not.

November 14, 2007 at 5:24 pm
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