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Evidence of a Ron Paul media bias

Published: Tuesday, Nov. 29 2011 1:22 p.m. MST

In this Oct. 11, 2011 file photo, Republican presidential candidate, Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, listens at a presidential debate at Dartmouth College in Hanover, N.H.

Melina Mara, file, Associated Press

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Ron Paul supporters frequently claim that their candidate isn't given sufficient attention by the media. A survey of some recent Ron Paul coverage suggests his backers might have a point.

One example of this bias comes from a New York Times article last month that discussed campaign finances. The story stated that three candidates have opened a wide lead against the others in campaign donations: Herman Cain ($2.8 million), Mitt Romney ($14 million) and Rick Perry ($17 million).

At the other end of the spectrum were Rick Santorum ($700,000), Jon Huntsman Jr. and others. Meanwhile, Ron Paul lies, the story stated, "in between the two groups" by raising over $8 million.

Between groups?

You read that right. Paul is relegated to honorable mention in the sixth paragraph because he raised $8 million, but Cain leads off as a frontrunner in paragraph two with $2.8 million.

Though Paul finished the Aug. 13 Iowa Ames Straw poll in a near statistical tie with Michele Bachman, just 152 votes behind, he didn't get nearly the same credit for his performance from some media outlets. A blogrunner headline of the race read: "Michele Bachmann wins Ames Straw Poll, Tim Pawlenty gets third."

The Daily Beast said Bachmann's win created a new top tier of Bachman, Romney and Perry. No mention of Paul, despite his close finish.

Some journalists admit Paul isn't getting his fair share of attention. In an article for Politico, Roger Simon wrote "I admit I do not fully understand Ron Paul and his beliefs. But I do understand when a guy gets shafted, and Ron Paul just got shafted."

Simon went on to write, "Paul's name was not mentioned in (the Daily Beast) piece nor in many others. A Wall Street Journal editorial Monday magnanimously granted Paul's showing in the straw poll a parenthetical dismissal: '(Libertarian Ron Paul, who has no chance to win the nomination, finished a close second.)'

"But 'close' does not fully describe Paul's second-place finish. Paul lost to Bachmann by nine-tenths of one percentage point, or 152 votes out of 16,892 cast.

"If it had been an election, such a result would almost certainly have triggered a recount. It was not an election, however, and that is my point. Straw polls are supposed to tell us, like a straw tossed into the air, which way the wind is blowing.

"And any fair assessment of Ames, therefore, would have said the winds of the Republican Party are blowing toward both Bachmann and Paul."

Paul told Simon that he had one interview scheduled the day after the straw poll, on a national program, but the program canceled.

"It is shocking to be told nobody wants you," Paul said.

In an article for the Washington Examiner on why Paul doesn't get the attention he deserves, journalist Timothy Carney suggested that "the mainstream media and the Republican establishment wish he would just go away."

Like it or not, Ron Paul isn't going anywhere. A recent Bloomberg poll Bloomberg poll of likely caucus participants shows a four-way tie in Iowa, with Rep. Ron Paul joining Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich and Herman Cain in the top tier of candidates.

EMAIL: mwhite@desnews.com

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