Will Ron Paul’s Increasingly Bizarre Business Empire Hurt Rand’s Chances in 2016?Submitted by Allegory on Thu, 07/18/2013 - 08:25
New York Magazine thinks so.
Apparently not content with a quiet retirement, former Texas congressman Ron Paul is expanding and diversifying his libertarian cottage industry with the launch of a new online television network, the Ron Paul Channel.
The subscription-only network, which is set to air sometime next month, is an entrepreneurial attempt by Paul to corner part of the growing — and increasingly lucrative — conspiracy-theory media market currently dominated by Glenn Beck and Alex Jones. Running under the tagline "Turn Off Your TV. Turn on the Truth," the channel promises to give viewers the news they would "never be shown" by the lame-stream media.
"We're seeing the end of the era and the beginning of the new one," Paul prophesies in a teaser video. "The lying, conniving, and collusion between those who give us our news and information and the government — that's going to change." It is, in essence, a scheme to monetize the suspicion and distrust of his army of Internet-savvy, conspiracy-minded followers. In the abstract, it is a brilliant business move for a recently retired politician who refused, on ideological grounds, to participate in the congressional pension system.
The complication is that Paul’s son, Senator Rand Paul, is emerging as a serious candidate for the White House in 2016 and is making a concerted effort to distance himself from the fringe views and associations upon which his father built a career and a following. Ron Paul's refusal to retreat quietly to the farm — and his penchant for going off-script — escalates the already-present risk that his antics may begin to create real problems for Rand’s nascent campaign effort.