Nets Downplay Paul Finish in Ames Straw Poll

George Zanmiller
This last Saturday I watched the news coverage of the Ames Iowa Straw Poll on National and local television. I was down with the tail end of a summer cold and had plenty of time to watch. I alternated between the FOX News Network, MSNBC, and local news coverage in hopes that I could find a realistic view of what was actually happening and what the mood of the American People (using Iowa Voters as a benchmark) was. After many hours of watching I came to a startling conclusion. The real story is not the results but the news coverage.

As those of you who have kept abreast of the situation know, Michele Bachmann took first place with Ron Paul as second by around one hundred and fifty votes. Between the two of them, that total accounted for over half of all votes cast in this straw poll. Tim Pawlenty came in third and Rick Santorum was a fourth place on the total. The other candidates filled out the division of the rest of the votes with Mitt Romney taking a miniscule number and Rick Perry squeezing out a tiny portion of write in votes.

The News media announced the results as soon as they were released announcing the ranking of candidates in a dutiful and accurate way.  Immediately after that a curious thing happened. Ron Paul disappeared from the scene. Reporting on his placement was purged from all attention in spite of the fact that his placement happened with expenditures of less than ten percent of the Bachmann Campaigns spending and a nearly equal discrepancy in actual campaign efforts. The fact that Congressman Paul nearly achieved a first place position within a statistically insignificant margin was never mentioned again on any of the coverage I saw. I watched hours of it.

I was particularly surprised at the FOX News Channel falling in line on this phenomenon. Suddenly the race for the Republican Nomination became in their coverage a race between Michelle Bachman, Mitt Romney and Rick Perry. In spite of his remarkable accomplishment Doctor Paul was ignored. I expected this from MSNBC and some of the local media but was put aback by FOX coverage.

Regardless of how one views Congressman Paul's positions and candidacy as opposed to the other candidates, I think this is cause for serious concern. My conclusion is that there exists a blatant and obvious manipulation by the collective media with the goal being marginalization of Candidate Paul. In my estimation the real story here is the virtual tie between two of the arguably most conservative candidates. This was totally and blatantly ignored.

The question arises, Why?

The News Media is ostensibly driven by a profit motive. Interesting coverage of significant events draws viewers with increased viewers creating an increased base for profit. Instead the Media chose to build up what the numbers show to be a non-existent race between three announced candidates. This appears to run counter to one of the main the purposes for existence of these organizations.

My conclusion is that there is a malicious agenda infecting the various news agencies. I will let readers of this short narrative draw their own conclusions and attribute their own motivations. However it is incumbent on each of us to investigate this and determine the "why". Our freedoms are being manipulated and diminished. No matter what we think of Congressman Paul's candidacy, he should be allowed, in the parlance of FOX News a "Fair and Balanced" report on his accomplishments. The lack of this fair coverage by even the supposed champion of conservative republican thought is a sinister cloud hanging over our destiny.

Ladies and gentlemen, I fear for the Republic

George Zanmiller is Tucked in on the High Ground Between the Cannon and the Zumbro

This last Saturday I watched the news coverage of the Ames Iowa Straw Poll on National and local television. I was down with the tail end of a summer cold and had plenty of time to watch. I alternated between the FOX News Network, MSNBC, and local news coverage in hopes that I could find a realistic view of what was actually happening and what the mood of the American People (using Iowa Voters as a benchmark) was. After many hours of watching I came to a startling conclusion. The real story is not the results but the news coverage.

As those of you who have kept abreast of the situation know, Michele Bachmann took first place with Ron Paul as second by around one hundred and fifty votes. Between the two of them, that total accounted for over half of all votes cast in this straw poll. Tim Pawlenty came in third and Rick Santorum was a fourth place on the total. The other candidates filled out the division of the rest of the votes with Mitt Romney taking a miniscule number and Rick Perry squeezing out a tiny portion of write in votes.

The News media announced the results as soon as they were released announcing the ranking of candidates in a dutiful and accurate way.  Immediately after that a curious thing happened. Ron Paul disappeared from the scene. Reporting on his placement was purged from all attention in spite of the fact that his placement happened with expenditures of less than ten percent of the Bachmann Campaigns spending and a nearly equal discrepancy in actual campaign efforts. The fact that Congressman Paul nearly achieved a first place position within a statistically insignificant margin was never mentioned again on any of the coverage I saw. I watched hours of it.

I was particularly surprised at the FOX News Channel falling in line on this phenomenon. Suddenly the race for the Republican Nomination became in their coverage a race between Michelle Bachman, Mitt Romney and Rick Perry. In spite of his remarkable accomplishment Doctor Paul was ignored. I expected this from MSNBC and some of the local media but was put aback by FOX coverage.

Regardless of how one views Congressman Paul's positions and candidacy as opposed to the other candidates, I think this is cause for serious concern. My conclusion is that there exists a blatant and obvious manipulation by the collective media with the goal being marginalization of Candidate Paul. In my estimation the real story here is the virtual tie between two of the arguably most conservative candidates. This was totally and blatantly ignored.

The question arises, Why?

The News Media is ostensibly driven by a profit motive. Interesting coverage of significant events draws viewers with increased viewers creating an increased base for profit. Instead the Media chose to build up what the numbers show to be a non-existent race between three announced candidates. This appears to run counter to one of the main the purposes for existence of these organizations.

My conclusion is that there is a malicious agenda infecting the various news agencies. I will let readers of this short narrative draw their own conclusions and attribute their own motivations. However it is incumbent on each of us to investigate this and determine the "why". Our freedoms are being manipulated and diminished. No matter what we think of Congressman Paul's candidacy, he should be allowed, in the parlance of FOX News a "Fair and Balanced" report on his accomplishments. The lack of this fair coverage by even the supposed champion of conservative republican thought is a sinister cloud hanging over our destiny.

Ladies and gentlemen, I fear for the Republic

George Zanmiller is Tucked in on the High Ground Between the Cannon and the Zumbro