CBS reports the results of the Suffolk University Poll for the NH Primary, and explained who won, and what three candidates didn’t win, and then took a nap. Ron Paul came in second, as evidenced by this graphic:
I don’t like Ron Paul, but you can’t help but shudder when you see this happening. Journalists remind us they need and deserve unfettered access in order to give the public the truth, but evidently they need the access to decide what should be true.
You may remember this has happened before:
The reflexive media excuse for this omission is that Ron Paul is not a viable candidate despite his early popularity, and that’s a fair guess; but it’s a lie. Huntsman, Palin, and Bachmann never stood a chance, and yet they were given plenty of coverage. Why do I still know the name Dick Gephardt?
In fact, the media’s stated excuse is exactly the opposite of the truth. It’s not because Ron Paul can’t win that he gets less press than Bachmann; it is precisely that Bachmann definitely can’t win that makes her an excellent candidate for the media to talk about. Bachmann is “extreme” in her views, an easy target: “look at the kind of person you people support.” And when she finally loses, you’re forced to reconsider yourself, forced to nudge “closer to center” (i.e closer to them.) It’s the same mechanism, though more obvious, when Fox News devoted time to Al Sharpton’s candidacy, but this should worry you: is Bachmann really the equivalent of Sharpton?
Santorum is now the media’s preferred symbol of the Republican party; again, there is no chance he will win, but he serves the required function of (mis)representing ideology. “We’re realists, he’s an ideologue.” But that statement is ideology.
Neither is this limited to MSNBC; Fox also prefers Santorum as a symbol because he becomes bait for enraged liberals who don’t know enough to not walk into a trap, and then Fox can pick them off. “You ideological nuts just hate him because he happens to be a Christian.”
Santorum’s not going to be President. That’s why they’re telling you about him.
Ron Paul won’t win either, but he makes a terrible symbol to oppose because his different views fall into the red or blue bins, variously. But this is why he’s perfect for Jon Stewart, who himself stands in opposition to the MSM– Viacom does not own any MSM outlets. When he wants to bash Republicans he’ll use Santorum, when he wants to bash the MSM, he’ll use Ron Paul and not Santorum.
The point is that the media isn’t reporting an election, or even influencing an election; they are using the candidates as pawns in their own ideological war.
The purpose of the reporting is not to discredit the candidate, but to make you doubt yourself. That’s how you win an ideological battle.
see also: the coverage of Sara Ackerman