December 17th, 2007

Setting Records and Exposing Bias


photo credit: madwum

Yesterday was a great day for liberty. Supporters of presidential candidate Ron Paul rallied together to donate $6 million. This was done without any direction from or support of the campaign itself.

The donation record set last month—$4.3 million donated online in one day—was shattered. Also surpassed was the previous record held by John Kerry for the highest amount donated (not just online) in a single day: $5.7 million.

With the records being broken like this, you’d think that Ron Paul would garner more attention from the media. A perusal of the websites for the main media moguls shows an absence of recognition. Some news blogs have covered the story, but their companies have offered no official press.

The bias continues to be made apparent.

Even worse, political items that pale in notoreity are being promoted ahead of this story. Take, for example, the widespread story of Joe Leiberman endorsing John McCain. One commenter posted a response that merits repetition:

So, let me get this straight: You’re putting Joe Lieberman’s endorsement of McCain *ahead* of Ron Paul breaking all political fundraising records? I think 50,000 people endorsing Ron Paul is more important than one second-tier candidate in 2004 endorsing a current second-tier candidate.

Clearly the establishment is not a fan of Paul, who would drastically reduce the size of government and bring our troops home. Many people grow increasingly disenchanted with the mainstream media, as the news they cover fits their pre-conceived desires of what should be passed on to the public.

Newly set records like yesterday’s fundraiser blitz clearly deserve media attention (especially considering the apparent fact that were it any other candidate, the media would be having a field day), and the fact that silence prevails instead shows the utter bias saturating the mainstream media.

He who ignores such grassroots support and fundraising does so at his own peril.

26 Responses to “Setting Records and Exposing Bias”

  1. rmwarnick
    December 17, 2007 at 12:23 pm #

    I don’t think the media are impressed by shows of online grassroots support. Over the weekend, Rep. Robert Wexler signed up over 70,000 supporters to call for Judiciary Committee hearings on the impeachment of VP Dick Cheney. Total media blackout.

  2. Kelly Winterton
    December 17, 2007 at 6:13 pm #

    The media are simply the propaganda arm of the Shadow Government – plain and simple. The Shadow Government is running scared of Ron Paul.

  3. Daniel
    December 17, 2007 at 8:25 pm #

    Ron getting insufficient press?

    People saying bad things about the Church?

    Obviously a concerted effort from the establishment, man.

    I’ve never heard such whining. Deal with it using your legendary self-sufficience.

  4. Connor
    December 18, 2007 at 9:33 am #

    Another version.

  5. doug
    December 18, 2007 at 9:59 am #

    Connor,

    I haven’t followed your blog closely, but did know that you were supporting Ron Paul. I think I may have even commented on a previous post…but can’t remember.

    In any case…

    I’m wondering: What do you think the goal of the Paul campaign is? Or what do you think it should be?

    Do you honestly believe that he can win? That he will win? If not, what is your most optimistic scenario for him? (Top 3 in Iowa? Top 3 in NH?)

    Thanks.

  6. Connor
    December 18, 2007 at 10:23 am #

    What do you think the goal of the Paul campaign is? Or what do you think it should be?

    In my mind, there are tiered goals in this campaign. Obviously, the highest priority is to win. With a large war chest supplied by tens of thousands of individuals (as opposed to PACs and special interests), and with thrifty spending (flying coach and sleeping in Best Westerns), Paul is in a unique position to harness the money he’s been given to gain name recognition, despite the evident media blackout.

    The goal is, and always has been, to win. The talking heads that constantly ask Paul if he’ll run as an independent are guilty of an assumptive question—they assume he won’t win the nomination, and would rather see him remain on the fringes than claim to be one of the “first tier” mainstream candidates.

    Why do I donate to Ron Paul? Is it to get his message out there? Is it to make a point? No, I donate so that he has that much more of an opportunity to win votes. Change will come most effectively with him in office than it would with him still in Congress or going around on a speaking tour.

    Ron Paul supporters want change. We’re a diverse group, coming from all sides of the political aisle, but we agree on the focal point of this campaign: there are major problems in our government that need immediate, drastic change. We’re not going to meetups, making our own yard signs, and donating our money to “make a point”, we’re doing it to get this man into office so that that change becomes a reality.

    That, in my mind, is the goal of the campaign. It’s an uphill swim, for at every opportunity the media portrays him as “second tier”, despite the fact that he’ll probably have outraised all his fellow GOP contenders. When accused of being “out of step” with his party, he continuously reminds the interviewer that his platform is much akin to the one Bush won with just seven years ago. The party is out of step with its own principles.

    Do you honestly believe that he can win? That he will win? If not, what is your most optimistic scenario for him?

    This is actually the subject of a post I’m working on for later this week, so I won’t respond in too much detail. I will say, however, that I do believe he can win.

    I believe that with straw poll results this good, one must distrust the “official” polls being conducted and touted as an accurate reflection of candidate support.

    I believe that more and more Americans will continue to wake up to see the immense bias our media has. They will look to the internet as a source of alternative information, and since the internet is Paul’s territory, they will gain exposure to this message of liberty and limited government.

    I believe that those who vote are those who are passionate about their candidate. I believe that few other campaigns can claim the support that Ron Paul has. Sure, when people are polled they throw their “vote” behind a certain person, but that in no way means that the person feels supportive enough to go out and vote in the primaries. I believe that we will see a major disconnect between these polls and the results in the primaries (unless Diebold has a say).

    I’m no prophet, and I don’t say with any certainty that he will win. I do argue, however, that he can, and that given a fair chance by the media, his message would spread quicker. But despite the roadblocks, his success increases daily, and others continue to wonder how he is able to raise so much money and organize an effective grassroots campaign. The secret, as he shares with those who inquire, is that he doesn’t organize anything. We, his supporters, do it for him. This is not something that can be replicated or fabricated by a campaign coordinator.

    Time will tell what will result, but I remain confident that Ron Paul’s message will continue to spread, gain traction, and win votes.

  7. John
    December 18, 2007 at 10:37 am #

    What other goal would his presidential campaign have… other than to win the presidency?

    And who cares about the probability of him winning or not. If you agree with his views, vote for him. People seem so wrapped up in how winnable a candidate is.

    Shouldn’t it be the other way around? Shouldn’t we support them to make them winnable?

  8. Kelly W.
    December 18, 2007 at 11:28 am #

    Some people go to the polls NOT to see their candidate win, but rather to send some kind of message by their vote.

    I suggest that Paul, the ONLY anti-war candidate, can garner some of the votes of those who elect to “send a message to Washington.” If they are against the wars, (and the majority of Americans are), they should vote Paul to say they want to get out of Afghanistan and Iraq NOW!

  9. Connor
    December 18, 2007 at 11:51 am #

    Jack Cafferty asked his CNN viewers why, if RP is able to raise such record-setting money, is he not higher in the polls?

    His question received (as of now) 918 (!) responses.

    One worth highlighting:

    Polls are a scientific tool to reach an unscientific result. The deception begins when you assume (mistakenly) that the expectation of people to actually take the trouble and go on a winter day to vote for their favorite candidate is equal among all campaigns. With this assumption it make sense that surveying people’s opinions would give an indicator as to the expected result of the actual vote. But the fact is, supporters are not equally enthusiastic about their candidates. Many supporters poll for a candidate cause he is the one they see everyday on TV, not because they are truly enthusiast about his message. Come voting day, you probably wouldn’t take the trouble to wake up and head for the booth unless you really believe in someone’s message, no matter how many times you see him on TV. You want a more scientific way to count the votes a priori? find a way to measure not only the size of the support, but the depth of it!!

    After such an enormous response, it’s nice to see that today, RP has made it to the front page of CNN.

  10. Trent
    December 18, 2007 at 12:39 pm #

    I was gonna say, first thing I saw when I went to CNN was see Ron Paul on the front page. Kinda deflated this whole entry in my opinion. I can name several candidates that haven’t seen front page, main story. Really though, stop this conspiracy talk all the time. Does the mainstream media like to cover Ron Paul? No, he doesn’t share most of their views. Does that equate to a giant orchestrated cover-up? Of course not, and it seems like so many RP supporters fail to apply logic with all of this. If a man doesn’t share your views, and in the offline polls that everyone runs never shows up high at all it is obvious they won’t cover him as much as others. Is it right that the media does this? I don’t think so, but stop with the black helicopters.

  11. Connor
    December 18, 2007 at 12:43 pm #

    Kinda deflated this whole entry in my opinion.

    CNN != the media at large.

    I can name several candidates that haven’t seen front page, main story.

    Have those candidates broken fundraising records?

    Really though, stop this conspiracy talk all the time.

    An observation of an organization’s bias equates to “conspiracy talk”? Umm, okay.

  12. John
    December 18, 2007 at 12:59 pm #

    Trent,

    Explain this to me, then.

    1. Candidate gets $6 in grassroots contributions. 50K+ supporters willing to pony up. It’s a record.

    2. No main stories, WaPo buries it.

    3. Poll “standings” cite RP in the single digits.

    How can it possibly be true that he’s doing poorly in the polls when he obviously has real support from a large number of individuals?

    Why is it that it takes the media *two* *days* before this story is covered?

    I think this is a perfect example of problems in the system.

  13. Trent
    December 18, 2007 at 1:04 pm #

    I wasn’t speaking to you directly about the conspiracy theories Connor. Read Kelly’s comment or 50% of RP comments on message boards or Digg. I know CNN isn’t the media at large, but I have seen a lot of Ron Paul, a lot more than other candidates with the same poll numbers. He was on Leno, in debate recaps I read about him every time, often the subject of having the best debate. I know other candidates are in the news more, but that is because they are closer in the polls and are sending jabs and sound bites directed at each other. We all know that mainstream media isn’t the place to find out policy, they only show the back and forth stuff. That is a problem with media today in general and is not a sign of a bias toward someone in general. If RP sent a jab at Mitt for being a Mormon he would show up front and center. That is just how the news is now, tabloid. It isn’t better in other countries, trust me.

    I am very impressed with RP in a few areas. He is very honest, and he seems to be very calm in all his decision making. In fact, that calm is probably something he has over any other candidate. And here is where I want an explanation. His supporters seem to be most often the exact opposite. On message boards, blogs, Digg, whatever, RP supporters make rash judgements, attack the media at the drop of a hat, trumpet any success like they won the election. Yet when you read about the record haul this is what RP said, “It’s nice to know that we are comfortable and can pay the bills,” I think the RP mobs need to take a few notes how their candidate acts.

  14. Trent
    December 18, 2007 at 1:13 pm #

    1. Candidate gets $6 in grassroots contributions. 50K+ supporters willing to pony up. It’s a record.

    2. No main stories, WaPo buries it.

    3. Poll “standings” cite RP in the single digits.

    How can it possibly be true that he’s doing poorly in the polls when he obviously has real support from a large number of individuals?

    Ok, this is what I was talking about when people don’t think things through logically. Lets break it down. RP got his contributions online. Who wins online polls? Who dominates Digg more than any other candidate? Is Digg “biased” against the other candidates? No, you would say that the audience wants news on Ron Paul, they like his policies the best.

    Now you say that WaPo buries it and that the offline polls show RP in single digits. Ok, here is where you apply the logic. The vast majority of people in this country do not get their news online, nor do they have near the same attitudes of the Digg/online web 2.0 crowd. Here is the disconnect. The small percentage of people who browse blogs and Digg or whatever think that since one audience agrees with a certain candidate then that must apply to the entire population. This is just incredibly myopic. The online Digg world is an entirely different culture by itself, it is relatively small, but rabid. The people that read WaPo are not the same as those that read Digg, and they don’t happen to agree with RP. How hard is that to understand? I mean, since farmers in Arkansas don’t like rap, that means that kids in Detroit won’t like rap also? Am I right?

  15. Connor
    December 18, 2007 at 1:17 pm #

    And here is where I want an explanation. His supporters seem to be most often the exact opposite.

    Judging a candidate by the perceived character of his/her supporters is, in my opinion, the same folly as an investigator judging the doctrines of the LDS church by the personal lives, faults, and eccentricities of individual members.

    To be sure, we are all representatives of the cause we champion, but one’s support of or allegiance to a cause should not be based in any amount on the behaviors of his colleagues.

    Just as “the RP mobs” can learn a few lessons for their leader, so too we all can learn a few lessons from the our Leader and be better examples.

    He who is without sin… :)

  16. Trent
    December 18, 2007 at 1:24 pm #

    Connor, you keep going after me for things I didn’t say. I like your blog entries, but I will stop if I get preached to every time I try to make a point. I like how you go after me supposedly judging improperly(when I never said I judged RP on his supporters) and then throw out “He who is without sin”. I think I read that at least 10 times in letters to the editor at BYU. Very clever. I haven’t judged RP for his supporters. I have judged him on his stances and methods of getting things done. I wouldn’t be opposed to him being a VP, but I just happen to not support him as President. However, I’m not the only person out there. The tactics of his supporters if they continue how they are now will adversely affect him in a primary or general election.

  17. Connor
    December 18, 2007 at 1:31 pm #

    I’m not preaching, nor am I accusing you of being the sinner. I’m responding to your question and commenting on a trend I’ve seen repeatedly, exemplified here with your question, of RP being judged because of his supporters instead of his issues. It happens all the time, with interviewers bringing up support of 9/11 “truthers”, brothel owners, etc.

    I was not judging you, since I have no idea how you judge others (in this case Paul). I’m simply commenting on something I’ve seen many, many times now.

    You asked for any explanation, so I responded. Perhaps I misworded myself and conveyed (erroneously) that I was applying it all to you, which I was not. I apologize if that came across. But again, I do feel that the words stand: RP should not be judged by those who support him. If that doesn’t apply to you, then I commend you for studying the issues.

    However, the point you make at the end of comment #16 shows why I felt to respond as I did. You opine that the current actions of RP supporters will result in his political demise. The argument behind this statement is exactly what I was responding to: the simple fact that people do often judge a cause by those who support it.

  18. John
    December 18, 2007 at 1:35 pm #

    Trent,

    I think it’s equally myopic to claim that the two audiences are so exclusive.

    This isn’t so geographically based as your bad example tries to illustrate. These are two media channels that both cover a lot of the same geography. How can extreme support on one channel show up as marginal support in the other, and do so constantly?

    Is it just that Internet users are a bunch of hip kids, and old farts are the only ones responding to the MSM and its polls?

    We might have myopia, but they have some sort of corneal blockage.

    How can a candidate, who has record-breaking grassroots support (which is the most important type of support at poll-time) be constantly portrayed as the outside loser in the race?

    I’m not saying it should be 1:1, but it seems to be that the disconnect between user-created content and MSM spoon-fed content is a lot more different than it should really be.

  19. Trent
    December 18, 2007 at 1:40 pm #

    Cool, no harm done. I really do agree with you on the fact we should not judge people by the actions of their supporters/followers. Unfortunately, we don’t live in a vacuum, nor do most people have the same ideals as us. The simple fact is that people judge things all the time by the way followers act, right or wrong. Take the church for instance. While it may be wrong for others to judge us on the way we act, that has never stopped the church from requesting we be kind, generous etc. BYU is explicit in stating that graduates are looked at as representatives of the church wherever they go in the world. it is an unfortunate thing, but it can’t be ignored.

  20. Trent
    December 18, 2007 at 1:46 pm #

    John, you are probably right that there is a disconnect, and I think that is probably where Ron Paul meets Fred Thompson. RP should receive more coverage than Fred, and I think in a real vote RP would be where Fred is, and Fred where RP is. However, the gap is not as large as you make it out to be. You underestimate just how different the ideals/beliefs of those that blog/comment/RSS online with the rest of America. The gap is huge. My parents didn’t even know what a blog was until I put one up for my family.

    Your comment,

    Is it just that Internet users are a bunch of hip kids, and old farts are the only ones responding to the MSM and its polls?

    Is actually pretty spot on. this country is very old, with the majority of Americans over 50. Even RP has admitted his message has resonated much more with the younger set. That isn’t to say it is exclusively younger Internet users, but the numbers show it is much more unbalanced than other candidates.

  21. Connor
    December 19, 2007 at 9:25 am #

    Glenn Greenwald also points out the media’s hostility towards Paul and other candidates who are enjoying some successes.

  22. Bishop Rick
    December 19, 2007 at 11:45 am #

    I will wager that 90 out of 100 people in the US have no clue who Ron Paul is. I dont see that changing anytime soon. I do believe that Ron Paul will cash a ton of speech checks in the future. Ron Paul WILL be paid for his efforts.

  23. Connor
    December 19, 2007 at 11:47 am #

    I do believe that Ron Paul will cash a ton of speech checks in the future. Ron Paul WILL be paid for his efforts.

    Riiiight… Because the guy who won’t take a Congressional pension, returns a portion of his budget every year, and hasn’t taken a single junket is in it for the money.

    Uh huh.

  24. Trent
    December 19, 2007 at 11:51 am #

    I had to check my eyes for a second. Did you just link to a salon.com article Connor? Blasphemy! In any case, I think his points were valid on Ron Paul, but Huckabee? I have heard the exact opposite from most media, that he has been covered too much lately. And then Edwards? I don’t know, any time a slimy lawyer isn’t covered is good to me.

  25. Connor
    December 19, 2007 at 11:55 am #

    Did you just link to a salon.com article Connor?

    You’re not the first to be surprised. As I’ve noted elsewhere, Brigham Young once said that truth can be found even in hell. Greenwald often has very good points, despite his background and beliefs.

    I don’t understand the nature of the Huckabee surge in the polls, but I do agree w/ Greenwald that instead of looking at issues and addressing valid concerns, they talk about subliminal crosses in commercials, Edwards’ haircut, and other irrelevant garbage.

    And we can both agree on your last point.

  26. L. Brown
    December 20, 2007 at 11:15 pm #

    There is only one truth. And it is every individuals duty to find it. Obviously, the media cannot tell us everything we need to know. Especially, if it’s in America. The news here is not the news in other countries. Regardless, to find truth, it must be sought after. Is Ron Paul the man for the highest position of this country? Is it Romney? Is it Rudy? Either way, it’s our duty to find the truth, and then to share it. Simple, short and to the point. Ron Paul holds the truth that the other candidates lack. I don’t know if he is going to win. But, I’ll do my part. In the end my duty is to protect our God given rights. The message of Ron Paul is short and to the point. There is no mistake of what needs to be done. Let our lives be the same and cut the bull crap we fill it up with.

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