Selected, Then Elected
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CBS is owned by Westinghouse, one of the largest military contractors in the nation. The "debate" they sponsored is a perfect example of how corporate media selects candidates and de-selects others. The so-called "debate" was little more than an infomercial for the current media-anointed "top tier", and for a belligerent policy of military interventionism that will keep billions flowing from our pockets to the pockets of Westinghouse and their ilk.
People think that candidates get momentum because folks on the ground start liking them for one reason or another, but for the most part this is not quite what is happening. What is actually happening is that the media provides billions of dollars in free publicity for candidates they favor. Over time, that media attention turns into a surge for that candidate, which then allows them to cover the surge as if it was a grassroots phenomenon rather than a media-induced outcome.
The CBS debate was about foreign policy. Ron Paul was allowed only a minute and a half in that hour long televised debate. He spoke 258 words. Romney got well over a thousand words, as did Perry. Gingrich got almost a thousand words. Next came Santorum, who has insignificant poll numbers but is an enthusiastic proponent of our current policy of borrowing as much money as the Chinese will loan us and spend it on bombing a growing list of countries.
The top three plus Santorum endorse basically the same position. Only Paul has a contrasting position, but CBS chose to let these four echo one another. CBS gave each of them an average of five times as many words as they allowed the dissenting views of Paul.
In fact, Paul spoke fewer than half as many words as the candidate who spoke the next fewer number of words- Paul 258 vs. Huntsman 565. Huntsman has almost no poll support, and no money except that which comes from his own pockets. Ron Paul is #3 in fundraising, and has more donations from active duty military than all other Republican candidates combined. If it was really a debate, instead of an infomercial for selected candidates with positions that will get Westinghouse billions of taxpayer dollars, then shouldn't a candidate like that get at least as much opportunity to present his views as the others?
My point is that people who think they have heard Paul's postions refuted have been fooled. He hasn't been refuted, he's been shouted down. His opponents get 20 times the chance he gets to explain their views and condemn his. You haven't heard him explain his views, you have only seen him silenced on stage while his opponents are able to launch one misleading attack after another on his positions while he has virtually no time to explain where they are wrong. He is excluded from the debates even while physically present.
Voters in Iowa are paying a lot more attention that voters nationwide. Because the Iowa Caucus comes so early and is so important, candidates spend a lot of time on the ground there, and try hard to get their messages out there. People get a better measure of the real candidate instead of an image fashioned by corporate media. In other words, Iowa is less influenced by the drumbeat of corporate media coverage and more based on old fashioned retail politics. While Paul may not get a fair shake from the national media, in Iowa where things are decided by real people on the ground, Paul is winning. Not only is he in a statistical tie for first among likely Republican caucus goers, he has a large advantage among those who have definitely made up their minds as to who to back.