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How the media does a disservice to us all

I am very pleased to have been invited to post on The Daily Paul. Let me introduce myself...

I am just an ordinary person from New Hampshire who is politically active in many grassroots organizations that serve the people of this state. When I was contacted by the PEC I decided I would organize the good Doctor's first fundraising event. This event was to happen while he was here on the weekend of the 24th to speak at the NH Liberty Forum. I new he would be well-received there, but wanted to take this one step further and see what we could do for him financially to encourage his run, thus the reception idea was born.

I was very lucky in that another very politically interested person lent me his home for the evening for this event. Here is how it went at Kevin Roll's home Saturday the 24th of February:

When you see the list of places Dr. Paul covered and people he met while here in NH last weekend, you get an idea of how amazingly energetic this man is.

I've always admired this man for his views, but now that I have met him, I truly adore him. He is in plain English, lovable. I was also impressed at how his own grandson spoke of him on this very site. It says a lot.

One thing I never imagined would happen is that my own relative would doubt me. For example, my own Dad questioned the report of the generosity of the party-goers. I guess because he had not seen the number in the 'mainstream media', it could not possibly be true. Imagine, not believing his own daughter, over the mainstream media? Without telling you my age, I have to let you know that my Dad is 86, and I am no "kid". And then it occurred to me that I, or worse yet Ron, was about to be the victim of what I call the 'sins of omission' of the press!

Am I the only one who perceives that the press tries hard to create news rather than report it? Apparently not. Please read on for a very intelligent explanation by my good friend Varrin Swearingen which sums up neatly why news outlets are doing a disservice to us all when they 'cherrypick' and print what they would LIKE to see happening as opposed to what is REALLY happening.

- Jane Aitken

I've seen several AP reports and USA Today articles indicating the potential Presidential candidates for 2008. There appears to be no fair and consistent system for developing that list. The lists sometimes include:

1: Candidates that have and have not announced.
2: Candidates that do and do not have any realistic chance of winning.
3: Candidates that have or have not formed an Exploratory Committee.

Fair reporting would dictate making good quality lists and consistently and truthfully reporting the basis for such lists. Here are recent AP and USAToday examples:

These are lists of who "might" run in your opinion, not accurate news reporting. Though it is your right to publish that, it is, in my opinion, an abuse of your journalistic influence to do it the way you have.

AP and USAToday have both included candidates who have neither announced nor filed. AP's list above included Newt Gingrich, Chuck Hagel, George Pataki, Condoleezza Rice, Wes Clark, and Al Gore. USAToday's list includes Hagel, Pataki, and Clark, and adds Al Sharpton. Among those lists, at least Rice and Gore are known to *not* be running.

Both AP and USAToday excluded Ron Paul (R-TX), and Mike Gravel (D-VA), both of whom have either announced and/or formed an Exploratory Committee, and both of whom do have national electoral political experience (Paul is a current U.S. Representative from Texas, Gravel a former U.S. Senator from Alaska).

I also should point out that many non-Republican, non-Democratic candidates also fit the list, including several candidates from the Green Party, the Libertarian Party, the Prohibition Party, and several independents.

I urge you to report fairly and factually. Including candidates who are known not to run is dishonest and confusing. Including candidates who "might" run over experienced candidates who have announced and/or formed Exploratory Committees is biased censorship. Neither bodes well for your organizations and may, in fact, be illegal.

For an excellent and unbiased source of information, please visit:

My minimum recommendation for both of you would be to cease mentioning Rice and Gore, and add Gravel and Paul.

At this point, I'd also recommend dropping Clark, Gingrich, Hagel, Pataki, and Sharpton as they're obviously not interested enough to even take the basic step of forming an Exploratory Committee. And, of course, add Gravel and Paul.

Thank you in advance for improving your products.

Varrin Swearingen
Keene, New Hampshire

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