WATCH: Jon Stewart Blasts MSM For Trying To Marginalize Presidential Candidate Ron Paul
Last Saturday (August 13), Presidential candidate Ron Paul came within 152 votes (behind Michele Bachmann) of winning the Iowa straw poll, only to find himself completely ignored and marginalized by ALL the mainstream media outlets who covered the contest.
Here are the straw poll results:
1. Congresswoman Michele Bachmann (4823, 28.55%)
2. Congressman Ron Paul (4671, 27.65%)
3. Governor Tim Pawlenty (2293, 13.57%)
4. Senator Rick Santorum (1657, 9.81%)
5. Herman Cain (1456, 8.62%)
6. Governor Rick Perry (718, 3.62%) write-in
7. Governor Mitt Romney (567, 3.36%)
8. Speaker Newt Gingrich (385, 2.28%)
9. Governor Jon Huntsman (69, 0.41%)
10. Congressman Thad McCotter (35, 0.21%)
On the Sunday morning political shows that followed, not a single news network invited Ron Paul to appear. Nutter Michelle Bachmann appeared on all five major networks: NBC’s Meet the Press, CBS’ Face the Nation, ABC’s This Week, Fox News Sunday and CNN’s State of the Union. Tim Pawlenty (who received less than half the votes cast for Paul) appeared on ABC This Week, and Shit4Brains Herman Cain (who came in 5th, receiving less than a third of Paul’s votes) appeared on CNN’s “State of the Union”.
Politico’s Roger Simon wrote yesterday: “Ron Paul just got shafted”, and he pointed out that most of the major newspapers’ coverage of the event, either completely ignored Paul, or trivialized him with a side note:
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.)”
Again, Paul won second place (out of ten candidates), and Michele Bachmann only beat him by 9/10’s of a percentage point to win first place.
To me, this just highlights the deep-seated contempt the elite media holds for democracy itself. It doesn’t care who the American people believe to be the best candidate(s) in a given race. The corporate media believes itself to be the custodian of the US political process, entitled to thin the pool of candidates down to the ones it deems ‘suitable’ for consideration.
So the logical question would be, “What is it that worries the MSM about Ron Paul?”
The MSM aggressively promotes ‘establishment narratives’ on a whole host of issues, which in turn become the ‘acceptable public discourse’ for ‘serious candidates’. Be it narratives on US Middle East policy, torture, Bush war crimes, the Federal Reserve, WikiLeaks, the Iraq war, the Patriot Act, etc — the MSM will not allow a candidate who doesn’t walk the line on these narratives to get the favorable exposure they need to win an election.
Makes no difference whether the candidate in question is from the right, like Ron Paul, or from the left, like Ralph Nader.
Personally, I disagree with Ron Paul on most of his ‘free market, anti-regulatory’ domestic initiatives, but this MSM ‘blackout’ serves as a great example of how the establishment marginalizes popular Presidential candidates who refuse to walk their line.
This Jon Stewart video is a must-watch. Stewart takes the MSM to task for their brazen effort to bury Ron Paul as a viable Presidential candidate:
Watch: Ron Paul Defends WikiLeaks To US Congress
Representative Ron Paul (R-Texas) — the self-pronounced Libertarian — takes the floor of Congress to defend whistleblower group WikiLeaks and its right to publish the information it has lawfully obtained.
This really is a must-watch speech. Paul calls out his fellow politicians for jumping the propaganda bandwagon and in doing so, jeopardizing America’s 1st Amendment Rights. He states that “the real reason for the near universal attacks on Wikileaks is more about secretly maintaining a seriously flawed foreign policy of empire than it is about national security.”
Here’s the transcript of Ron Paul’s speech (originally published by the Huffington Post):
WikiLeaks release of classified information has generated a lot of attention in the past few weeks. The hysterical reaction makes one wonder if this is not an example of killing the messenger for the bad news. Despite what is claimed, the information that has been so far released, though classified, has caused no known harm to any individual, but it has caused plenty of embarrassment to our government. Losing our grip on our empire is not welcomed by the neoconservatives in charge.
There is now more information confirming that Saudi Arabia is a principal supporter and financier of al Qaeda, and that this should set off alarm bells since we guarantee its Sharia-run government. This emphasizes even more the fact that no al Qaeda existed in Iraq before 9/11, and yet we went to war against Iraq based on the lie that it did. It has been charged by experts that Julian Assange, the internet publisher of this information, has committed a heinous crime, deserving prosecution for treason and execution, or even assassination.
But should we not at least ask how the U.S. government should prosecute an Australian citizen for treason for publishing U.S. secret information that he did not steal? And if WikiLeaks is to be prosecuted for publishing classified documents, why shouldn’t the Washington Post, the New York Times, and others also published these documents be prosecuted? Actually, some in Congress are threatening this as well.
The New York Times, as a results of a Supreme Court ruling, was not found guilty in 1971 for the publication of the Pentagon Papers. Daniel Ellsberg never served a day in prison for his role in obtaining these secret documents. The Pentagon Papers were also inserted into the Congressional record by Senator Mike Gravel, with no charges of any kind being made of breaking any national security laws. Yet the release of this classified information was considered illegal by many, and those who lied us into the Vietnam war, and argued for its prolongation were outraged. But the truth gained from the Pentagon Papers revealed that lies were told about the Gulf of Tonkin attack. which perpetuated a sad and tragic episode in our history.
Just as with the Vietnam War, the Iraq War was based on lies. We were never threatened by weapons of mass destruction or al Qaeda in Iraq, though the attack on Iraq was based on this false information. Any information which challenges the official propaganda for the war in the Middle East is unwelcome by the administration and the supporters of these unnecessary wars. Few are interested in understanding the relationship of our foreign policy and our presence in the Middle East to the threat of terrorism. Revealing the real nature and goal of our presence in so many Muslim countries is a threat to our empire, and any revelation of this truth is highly resented by those in charge.
Questions to consider:
Number 1: Do the America People deserve know the truth regarding the ongoing wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Yemen?
Number 2: Could a larger question be how can an army private access so much secret information?
Number 3: Why is the hostility mostly directed at Assange, the publisher, and not at our governments failure to protect classified information?
Number 4: Are we getting our moneys worth of the 80 Billion dollars per year spent on intelligence gathering?
Number 5: Which has resulted in the greatest number of deaths: lying us into war or Wikileaks revelations or the release of the Pentagon Papers?
Number 6: If Assange can be convicted of a crime for publishing information that he did not steal, what does this say about the future of the first amendment and the independence of the internet?
Number 7: Could it be that the real reason for the near universal attacks on Wikileaks is more about secretly maintaining a seriously flawed foreign policy of empire than it is about national security?
Number 8: Is there not a huge difference between releasing secret information to help the enemy in a time of declared war, which is treason, and the releasing of information to expose our government lies that promote secret wars, death and corruption?
Number 9: Was it not once considered patriotic to stand up to our government when it is wrong?
Thomas Jefferson had it right when he advised ‘Let the eyes of vigilance never be closed.’ I yield back the balance of my time.
How An Instant-Runoff Voting System Would Restore Democracy To America
One year ago — as Americans counted down the final months of the Bush Presidency — a progressive firestorm ushered the Democrats into power with a resolute mandate for CHANGE. The electorate had turned its back on nearly a decade of neo-con lies, the biggest warmongering con job in our nation’s history, war crimes, mismanaged disaster-relief efforts (Katrina), a gutting of the Constitution and the rule of law, a staggering debt, and the collapse of our entire financial system. The country (and the entire world for that matter) took a deep sigh of relief that the Republicans were gone and that CHANGE was on its way.
And here we are approaching Obama’s one year mark, wondering “where the hell did our CHANGE candidate go to?” The Democrats — though nowhere near as destructive as the Republicans before them — have proven to be every bit as corrupted by our two party system. I just recently blogged about this — pointing out that progressives would eventually have to punish Democrats at the voting booths for turning their backs on real change and instead pretending the status-quo was essential for bipartisanship.
The U.S. political system has become a government for and by the political elites and special interest groups — largely immunized from voter outrage by our ridiculous two-party system. The whole notion that this is a ‘democracy for and by the people’ has become something of a farce, not unlike Fox News calling itself ‘Fair and Balanced’.
Take for example, health care reform: an overwhelming majority of the American people want a robust public option as part of a health care reform package, as does an overwhelming majority of American Physicians. Well, TOO BAD for us, because that works against the interests of the political elites who are shoveling millions of dollars into their political coffers by the health insurance industry and lobbyists, as well as lining their spouses up with cushy high-paying jobs (i.e. ask Senator Joe Lieberman’s wife, Hadassah about that). And if you even think about voting against these corrupted Politicians — for say, a 3rd Party Candidate — then you’ll soon watch your 3rd Party candidate defeated, and know your vote unwittingly helped elect some Republican freak-show candidate a la ‘Michele Bachmann‘.
What is needed is an underlying overhaul of our system’s electoral processes. Something that would strengthen our democracy, by better aligning our politicians’ interests with those of the electorate. Two possibilities come to mind:
1) Publicly funded elections (i.e. ending all campaign contributions). This is the most obvious solution.
2) The Preferential Voting System (also called Instant-runoff voting)
Instant-runoff voting — adapted by the Australian and Irish Democracies, as well as by others — is one where each voter ranks a list of candidates in order of preference. The 1st choice candidates selected on the ballots are tallied, and if none of the 1st choice candidates gets a majority of the votes, then the candidate with the least amount of #1 preference rankings is eliminated and his/her votes get redistributed to the remaining candidates (the ones indicated by the #2 ranking preferences). This process repeats itself again and again until one of the remaining candidates has reached a majority of total votes.
EXAMPLE: Here’s a sample ballot for this kind of voting system along with fictitious candidates to show how it works:
Let’s assume you like John Citizen the best — he’s a Left leaning 3rd Party Candidate whose platform is in line with your own principles — so you make him your #1 Preference.
Mary Hill, the incumbent, is the Democratic Party candidate. She speaks a good game, but has proven to be beholden to special interest groups, and continues to legislate in a way that puts their interests above your own. You make her your #2 preferred candidate.
Jane Doe is the Libertarian Candidate. You find yourself on the same side as Libertarians on some issues, but at the polar opposite on others. You decide to make Jane Doe, the Libertarian, your #3 preferred candidate.
Then there’s the Neo-Con, Joe Smith (the Republican candidate), and Fred Rubble (another Far-Right freak show). These misfits won’t ever get your vote — so you leave them blank.
So the voting precincts close later that night, and all the votes are tallied. Your #1 preference, John Citizen only got 5,000 #1 preference rankings and the Libertarian Jane Doe (your #3) only got one thousand, and Fred Rubble (Freak Show) got a hundred. All three of these tallies are a mere pittance when compared to the top two-party candidates, Mary Hill (Democrat), and Joe Smith (Republican), though neither got a majority of all votes cast. Therefore, the candidate with the least #1 preference rankings (Freak show Fred Rubble) gets eliminated, his votes get redistributed to the #2 preferences, and the ballots get recounted, and this process is repeated again and again until a majority is reached by one candidate. Your vote for John Citizen ultimately gets converted to your #2 preferred ranking, Mary Hill.
When the dust clears, and a majority has finally been reached, it appears the Democratic Candidate Mary Hill BARELY wins, beating the Republican candidate by only two thousand votes.
Do you see what just happened here, and the resulting impact it would have on the U.S. political system? Your vote for the Left-leaning 3rd Party Candidate, John Citizen, didn’t automatically ensure the victory of the dreaded ‘Dick Cheney equivalent’ Joe Smith — who would have clearly won within our current U.S. electoral system.
In an Instant-runoff voting system two important things are achieved:
- There’s no longer an incentive to vote strictly along party lines. Citizens can vote their conscience without worrying about “throwing their votes away” or “ensuring that the greater of two evils gets elected.” As a result, many people would begin to vote for third party candidates, thus ensuring a gradual end to the current two-party stranglehold.
- The overall will of the majority always gets realized in the outcome of each election. In this example a majority of the electorate clearly wanted someone from the Left to win (either the Democratic Candidate, Mary Hill, or the Left-leaning Third Party Candidate, John Citizen), and they ultimately were awarded that — a winner from the Left. Under our current system, the candidate from the Right — the Dick Cheney equivalent, Joe Smith — would have won this election, despite the fact the majority of those who voted clearly preferred candidates who leaned Left.
Had we used this Preferential System in the 2000 Presidential Elections what would have likely resulted? Ralph Nader would have gotten a hell of a lot more votes, and Al Gore would have ultimately won a decisive victory over George W. Bush.
Just something to think about …