The Atlantic - Why the Press Loves Jon Huntsman but Ignores Ron PaulSubmitted by rp311 on Mon, 08/22/2011 - 16:53
Aug 22 2011, 7:30 AM ET
The media is fascinated by protest candidates who critique their own parties, but it marginalizes those who attack the establishment.
Jon Huntsman won't win the GOP nomination, or so pundits assure us. But he is getting press attention anyway because he decided to start telling his fellow Republicans truths that they don't want to hear. In quick succession, he trumpeted his belief in evolution, said climate change is caused by humans, and insisted that it was essential to raise the debt ceiling. Says James Fallows, "I'm relieved to see someone in the party trying to pull it back from the abyss." (Me too.) Andrew Sullivan goes even farther. "Huntsman has a prophetic role in this campaign if he chooses to adopt it: the truth-teller," he writes. "His chances are so slim, he loses nothing by speaking this candidly."
In a Vogue spread on the former Utah governor, Jacob Weisberg gives the fullest articulation of why so many journalists are covering a campaign that, by their own estimation, almost certainly won't succeed: "Huntsman looks like a protest candidate -- less a figure of the current Republican Zeitgeist than a canny challenger to his party's orthodoxy. But his lack of traction thus far doesn't feel exactly like failure," he writes. "Running from behind brings a freedom to speak one's mind, which can affect the political conversation for the better. Like Eugene McCarthy in 1968, Bruce Babbitt in 1988, and John McCain in 2000, Huntsman seems already to have become a media darling -- a thinking person's candidate whose candor shines a light on the evasions of his rivals, even if it fails to change the outcome of the race." Persuasive, no?
And refreshing, in a way. Rather than obsess over the horse race 15 months before a presidential election, broadcast, Web and print journalists are self-consciously covering a campaign for its substance, even speculating that doing so might have a positive effect on the national conversation. As much as I agree with Sullivan, Fallows, Weisberg, and all the other journalists praising Huntsman for challenging orthodoxies of thought in the GOP, however, I am struck by the very different standards that govern coverage of two other candidates, Ron Paul and Gary Johnson.
Continued Here---> http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2011/08/why-the-...