The TV Media: A Nest of Vipers
If there is one recurrent theme that appears on Daily Paul, it is that the media is unfair in its treatment of Congressman Paul. We have seen Dr. Paul put far at the end of the debate row, receive far less attention than others, and subject to nasty quips: "Do you take your marching orders from al-Qaeda?" and "That's not gonna happen" - uttered by Stephanopolous when Dr. Paul said his goal was to win.
And yet, while there are happy responses when there are positive pieces on TV (Jack Cafferty, Carl Cameron, Tucker Carlson and, occasionally, others) for the most part, we still hear "dark horse," "low in the polls," "barely registering" and other dismissive phrases.
I worked with Jack Cafferty long ago and he's a good guy. His Ron Paul piece on The Situation Room was about as good as I have seen. But, knowing how TV works, Jack had to clear it with the people "upstairs." Nothing makes it to air without being cleared first - hence Chris Matthews' comment about Ron Paul supporters: "I dare not say I am one of them! " Dare not, lest the phone on the set rings during the break.
As most of us know, the media are owned by major corporations; GE (NBC) and Westinghouse (CBS) are defense contractors; Rupert Murdoch (FOX) has stated plainly that he wants to help "shape public opinion" - not being content to report it.
There is also the small matter of access. The White House montiors what is said on all of the major networks and the magazine shows such as Dateline and 60 Minutes. They have their guidelines and they follow them. And, should a reporter or a segment or a story cast an unfavorable light on the White House, then access is severely curtailed. This happens all the time. Helen Thomas, the doyenne of the White House Press Corps, made the fatal error of saying that George Bush was the "worst president we have ever had." She was moved from the front row in the briefing room to the 3rd and she was not allowed to ask any questions - something she had done since the Kennedy administration.
As well, the major TV networks are sensitive to their image; to how they are perceived by the public. To those who can see what is going on FOX News' "fair and balanced" is far from reality. It's a propaganda outlet. However, FOX and the other networks have become adept at giving the appearance of fairness without actually being fair. Similarly, they can criticize the government and President Bush, but with soft jabs. This also gives the appearance of fairness. And they usually clear the "hit pieces" beforehand.
So. If there are positive pieces about Ron Paul, be happy. If there are lousy pieces - that's what the TV networks have been ordered to do. Either way, don't be surprised.