#StopIgnoringRonPaul Twitter Bomb and/or Money BombSubmitted by booty_monger on Sun, 08/14/2011 - 18:25
As you already know, Michele Bachmann won the Iowa straw poll with 28.55% of the vote. What you may not have noticed if you get your news from mainstream broadcast sources is that only 152 votes behind her, a difference of less than 1% of the total votes, was Ron Paul. His 27.65% of the vote gave him a close second or statistical tie for first. A distant third was Tim Pawlenty with 13.58%. However, in spite of this excellent showing, the broadcast media has continued to ignore Ron Paul's growth in popularity with near blackout-level coverage of his campaign. Perhaps a "#StopIgnoringRonPaul" twitter bomb or money bomb is in order.
Michele Bachmann has deservedly received the bulk of coverage on the Sunday-morning talk shows. She had an extended interview on Fox News Sunday, ABC's This Week, and NBC's Meet the Press. The bulk of the "round table" segments with discussion and commentary by guest political analysts were also dominated by talk of Bachmann (as well as other stories like Pawlenty exiting and Rick Perry entering the race).
With half or more of these shows dedicated to Bachmann, one would think that fair reporting of the razor-slim margin would give Ron Paul at least a few minutes of coverage. Long-time followers of Ron Paul will tell you that such fair reporting is not to be expected when he comes to he who must not be named.
Hardly any time was given to discuss Ron Paul's near-victory (or narrow-defeat) in the poll. When Mike Huckabee won second place with only 18.1% in 2007, he was reported as having become a "top-tier" candidate. When Ron Paul wins nearly 28% of the vote in 2011, more votes than winner Romney had in 2007, and soundly defeats the so-called "frontrunner" candidates, he is rewarded with mere seconds of scattered coverage during these one-hour Sunday morning shows. Ron Paul's move from fifth-place with 9.1% in 2007 to a practical tie for first place is a tremendous sign that his consistent message is gaining traction with voters who, over the past four years, have gained a deeper understanding of the economic issues facing our nation.
To further document the broadcast media's bias against covering Ron Paul, no matter how well he does, the following is a brief collection of notes taken while watching a sampling of Sunday morning political shows:
Fox News Sunday @FoxNewsSunday @FoxNews
Only five times was Ron Paul mentioned by name.
Ron Paul received less than 40 seconds of coverage/analysis/discussion (including video clips and images) over the entire one-hour show; never more than 10 seconds at once. The longest part was when his name was on the screen as part of the results. During the whole broadcast, there was not a single close-up of any Ron Paul signs, T-shirts, or supporters, when in reality, Ron Paul had perhaps the largest booth (more of an entire plaza) with long lines of supporters enjoying food, registering for tickets, and waiting to vote.
Total coverage of Ron Paul (including images) was less than 40 seconds.
This Week @ABCNews @camanpour (hosted this time by @jaketapper, who is much better than Amanpour)
"Bachmann blow-out" was used during the introduction when, in fact, it was a narrow win. Were this an actual election, the difference of less than 1% of votes cast would trigger an automatic recount in many areas. This was no "blow-out."
Ron Paul's name was shown for 15 seconds on screen during the results with one verbal mention.
During his interview, Pawlenty congratulated Ron Paul on a close second with one mention by name and roughly seven seconds on the subject.
During the political analysis segment, George Will started by saying "the two winners" in an admission that the race was close. This is the most fair assessment of the straw poll during all of the talk shows. George Will follows by saying Paul's support has "intensity inversely proportional to its size," to which Jake Tapper says that means the Republican "party is not now in favor of an Iran with nuclear weapons" in an over-simplified view of Ron Paul's foreign policy of non-intervention. This discussion lasted less than 20 seconds for the two speaking. Next, Matthew Dowd said that Ron Paul is more anti-war than Governor McGovern. Dowd also said, "passion trumps organization; Ron Paul and Michele Bachmann had the passion." He continued by saying the "Republican establishment's ability to control this race is extremely limited." This commentary, which is mostly directed at both "winners" is around 50 seconds. The rest of the long political analysis segment focused on other issues.
Toward the end of the show, there was a montage of scenes from Iowa including roughly three seconds of Ron Paul walking and 12 seconds of the Ron Paul booth including the "Sliding Dollar" inflatable slide and the "Dunk Bernanke" stand. This was the most coverage of the Ron Paul booth of any of the morning shows.
Total coverage of Ron Paul (including images) was somewhere under two minutes if you want to be generous.
Meet the Press @MeetThePress @DavidGregory
An image of Ron Paul was on the screen for one second during the introduction. 30 minutes later, there was two seconds of video of a man with a Ron Paul sign and the booth/plaza in the distant background. At the beginning of the "round table" segment, the results were displayed and David Gregory said, "Bachmann didn't have a huge margin over the second place finisher, Ron Paul; that's a big story." Contrary to his claims that Ron Paul's results were a "big story," he proceeded to almost completely ignore it. As part of this display of results, Ron Paul's name and image were shown for 20 seconds. Chuck Todd then stated that "Romney, Perry, and Bachmann are the top tier. There are a couple other candidates who can makes some waves. Ron Paul proved he can do that; he's going to be a nuisance to the field" during about five seconds of talking about Ron Paul. Much later in the discussion, Mike Murphy said "this isn't even the Republican primary, this isn't even the caucus, this is 11% of the caucus, which is half the primary; we have to be a little careful of treating last night like election night. This was the natural Serengeti for Ron Paul and Michele Bachmann, that's why a regular like Tim Pawlenty got killed." That 20 second dismissal of the straw poll, applied equally to Ron Paul and Michele Bachmann, was the final mention of Ron Paul.
Total coverage of Ron Paul was less than 30 seconds with his name actually spoken only three times.
The Chris Matthews Show (30 minutes)
This show was recorded Friday, before the Saturday straw poll. Thus, the usual complete blackout was in effect with no mentions of Ron Paul, who was featured in Thursday's debate.
It will be no surprise to see Fox News Sunday, This Week, and Meet the Press return to their usual lack of coverage in the upcoming weeks with either zero or one mentions per hour-long show depending on if they display poll results on screen. Rarely, if ever, is the name Ron Paul mentioned during any of the "round table" political analysis segments. Most of the time Ron Paul is lucky to have a name or image appear for a short period on the screen.
In summary, Ron Paul's virtual tie for first in Iowa gained him about three minutes of combined coverage in three hours of Sunday morning political shows compared to the usual media blackout. Jake Tapper with ABC's This Week seemed to be the most fair of the three shows (which is not saying much) by talking about "the winners" for a small part of the "round table" segment, while both Fox and NBC's Meet the Press gave only the shortest possible mentions of Ron Paul with rarely more than one sentence at a time given to the subject. It is obvious that there is a strong bias toward ignoring Ron Paul in the mainstream broadcast media. If you also consider what was said, one could conclude that the media coverage was negative/dismissive and there wasn't enough of it.
If you agree, perhaps you will ask them to #StopIgnoringRonPaul on their twitter accounts. If you're angry, donate to the campaign so Ron Paul can spread the message in spite of the media!