Thursday, November 8, 2007

The Truman Show Campaign

Another Commentary on Media 'Coverage' of Ron Paul

Ron Paul's fifth-place finish (9.1%) omitted by Fox Noise Channel

At the risk of preaching to the choir, I ask fellow Ron Paul supporters: Do you ever get the feeling that Ron Paul has a much greater support base of voters than what you're being led to believe --- like if the general election were held today, and he was up against Hillary, he could win 60/40?

I do, and it started for me after the first GOP debate on MSNBC, and only grew after witnessing Dennis Miller's smarmy interview of Dr. Paul and post-interview hit spiel. Since that time, it's become something more than just a feeling — not just about the debates, the online or post-debate polls, the 1,000+ international Meet Up groups, or the "same speech given for 30 years" by the Representative Statesman himself (although said factors would suffice). No, it was that, and then some — "some," of course, meaning corporate media "coverage" of him, his campaign, and his supporters.

Media manipulation of public perception in political matters is certainly nothing new; but in the case of the Ron Paul campaign, it has never been so easy to read and expose: patterns of behavior and techniques of "coverage" as blatant as ever, from political pollster Frank Luntz, telling us that his screened group of two dozen "undecided" voters in a Fox thought-controlled backroom "represents America," and is a litmus for debunking Fox's own poll where thousands of call-in voters overwhelmingly chose Paul — to the impotent, statist websites whose owners and editors have been sweating bullets over Ron Paul's success so much that they must cheat and deceive in order to make it look like Ron Paul's name doesn't belong on their Internet polls, in their comments section, or in the GOP race — to the intentional use of the wrong language to describe Paul's position on any given issue, e.g., isolationist as opposed to non-interventionist, Libertarian candidate as opposed to Republican candidate, or "get rid of health care," as opposed to "diminish federal subsidies," and so on.

Sometimes, the modes of deception are so common across domains of mainstream media, it's as though it's all been scripted by the same people. Google "Ron Paul" in the "News" search, and take a cursory scan of the reports and editorials of three different mainstream publications. You'll notice that they all use the same language in their opening two paragraphs. That's how corporate media frame the debate. They recycle the same old pigeon-holing phrases from the start, hoping you'll then base your reaction to their main body account of Ron Paul's activities upon that introductory frame. It's how media frame us into believing heads is tails and war is peace. It's how Hollywood D.C. scripts political "reality."

In the movie The Truman Show, the entire life of Truman, the main character played by Jim Carrey, is the subject of a television "reality" show --- only he doesn't know it. He grows up and into adulthood, unaware that cameras are recording every second of his life, and that all the town's citizens, and everyone he's seen on TV or in person all his life, including his wife and family, are actors and extras. He doesn't know, or at least is never told, that other communities and peoples and opportunities exist beyond the horizon (which itself is a prop). Only after examining conspicuous patterns of behavior over the years, does he begin to pursue the truth and eventually realize it. He finds out that there is a world out there --- one that is greater than the one he was basically forced to live in. He realizes that his whole life and what he was told was all fixed by Hollywood and corporate media. The only thing is, he never would've known it had he not noticed the signs and followed them.

A similar storyline is playing out in corporate media's presentation of the Ron Paul campaign's success. Playing Truman, perhaps, are the people who are unaware of how large and diverse the Ron Paul support base truly is, or what is driving all the grass-roots support. This might include Ron Paul and even his most fervent supporters. Also in the role would be those who watch the debates and interviews yet are still convinced — persuaded — by corporate media to disregard the candidate.

The main objective for corporate media is to keep up the constant backdrop — the fake horizon — comprised of myopic context and repetition of fluff and propaganda. Producers and directors must keep the wool over our eyes long enough to keep the show going on the financial up. They and their "chosen candidates" must therefore assure great PR success for each other. The candidates most politically and economically aligned with what greatly benefits the commercial endeavors of media elite are naturally shoe-ins ("just don't screw up and make us look bad, cough, Fred, cough, Mitt").

Their worst fear is that you should catch on to the signs and patterns denoting such behavior, and then call them out on it. But that's where statist talking points and general disinfo come in. They are the superficial linguistic devices meant to muddy the water, over-complicate issues, and transfer focus when the truth is otherwise liable to break out. And unfortunately for Ron Paul's detractors in statist mainstream media, it is also the easiest technique to pick apart. To wit, a few of the most typical lines, paraphrased:

"The Texas Congressman is barely a blip in the polls."

This talking point implies that land-line polls — those conducted over telephone, not cell phones or the Internet, which are directed at Republicans who voted "Republican" in the last general election and the 2006 mid-terms, and which, in many cases, don't mention Ron Paul — are a "scientific" barometer when measuring the success of the campaign. Keep in mind that we're talking about a Republican base that has shrunk considerably since '04.

All the while, omitted is the fact that Ron Paul is placing in the top-three in more straw polls than any other candidate. That's right. Straw polls. You know: those events where real people in towns all across the nation pay to watch the candidates speak, then vote for their favorite candidate. That straw poll: the one where all the candidates, even those not present, are on the ballot.Ron Paul's win-loss ratio vis-à-vis each candidate is also the best — despite his being omitted by GOP straw poll pseudo-sites. Oops!

Bottom line: Empirical and authoritative results don't lie. We're talking about registered Republican voters, live and interactive forums, and paper ballots counted and recounted.

Yet we're led to believe that he's "not electable."

"Many of Ron Paul's positions would turn Democrats and liberals away."

While it is not a falsehood, this red herring point is made to obscure several basic realities: that despite party affiliation, most Americans — if not all of us — would love not to be taxed on our labor by the IRS or any other rogue, central outfit; that virtually everyone wants to restore the dollar's integrity and value, as it would benefit all but the pirates; that on average, around 70% (± 2–3%) of Americans polled want to end the war on Iraq; that the lower and middle classes pay unduly for the wars, entitlements, and other federal ventures benefiting D.C. and industry elite; and that at the bottom of it all, the federal government is not authorized to subsidize, mandate, or ensure health care, education, and most other aspects of our personal lives in the first place, and as I'm confident most Americans will agree, has done a piss-poor job of it thus far, to boot.

In reality, "many of his positions" turn away more statists and corporatists across the board than they do any simplistic "side of the aisle," or ideological view. Ron Paul's constitutionally-ethical voting record should tell the discerning observer that his view on abortion, for example, will not be imposed upon the people from The Supreme Court, Capitol Hill, or The White House. His expressed ideal in that regard lets the people deal with that type of issue at the state or, preferably, local level. Such is the Constitutional way: the only way he's known, and the last way the statists in media and government would have it. To them, it's more ethical to tax everyone for the sake of a few and appear compassionate than to risk losing an incestuous but lucrative welfare contract paid for by US taxpayers and have to lobby elsewhere.

Furthermore, of the other Republican candidates, which one is likely to draw Independents, disenfranchised Democrats, and "uncommitteds" for the general election? Exactly: none. That is, if you don't count the — "fringe"? — neocons and other statists who walk the Hillariani fence, or who basically endorse the status quo of huge government, treacherous overseas intervention, and cronyism. Even a "liberal" Republican candidate will not garner measurable support for a policy of — if you can imagine it — a more powerful and just-as-secretive central bank, an eminent domain and national sovereignty monstrosity such as a "NAFTA Superhighway," or a more massive and intrusive Department of Homeland Security which, despite the absence of a foreign invasion, continues to coalesce more increasingly by the day with local and state levels of law enforcement in the Hollywood D.C. blockbuster "War on Terror."

Those who are unaware of, or ignorant to, the progressive collapse of the Republic will not likely support Ron Paul; neither will the ones who benefit off the destruction. Those who pay attention to what Paul and other sage, authoritative sources have been saying for decades will, however; as will those who therefore realize the truth and want to bust out of the movie set We the People are held within.

So don't expect corporate, statist media to give an ounce of credence to the very real People v. State contingencies any time soon. It's much easier for them to keep us focused on the more superficial Rep v. Dem and con v. lib arguments, and much more reliable to simply zero-out the legal and moral scales at obedience to the State. That way, the discussions remain focused on the superficial power struggle among lawmakers or among constituents, as opposed to the one between the former and the latter.

"Internet-savvy supporters."

This hackneyed phrase can be found in the first or second paragraph of most corporate media reports and editorials covering the Paul campaign. It implies that Ron Paul's supporters are better than the supporters of the other candidates, but only when it comes to clicking, scrolling, and — according to a few schizophrenic, statist, pro-war web sites — flooding online discussions and cheating on post-debate polls. Of course it's all a smear concocted out of fear. (Granted, the concerns are plausible, but in the end, it's sheer fraud in the face of continued and rising success of the Paul campaign.)

The "web-savvy" phrase is often used within the same context as the "barely a blip in the polls" fallacy to imply that the Ron Paul phenomenon owes itself to Trekkies, techies, and computer nerds who are somehow able to emulate a large support base the likes of which couldn't possibly materialize in real votes or campaign contributions.

Well, guess what. It has.

Thousands of additional campaign contributions each month and ≈20,000 new ones this quarter don't constitute the work of a "spambot," "botnet," or other techie tomfoolery. For what it's all worth, it's a real grass-roots "phenomenon." (That spambot story, by the way, has become so Swiss-cheesed by logic and common sense that it has lost just about all its Paul-smearing traction by now — not that it ever had much anyway).

Those straw polls aren't virtual. Those spontaneous and incomparably large crowds with which he is greeted when speaking on the campaign trail: those aren't Hollywood props or holograms generated by Paulian lab rats.

What they are is a complete refutation of the statist media fraud that has his support relegated exclusively to the Internet and the libertarian fringes of society.

Ron Paul supporters are also accused of voting more than once per poll, even when it is proved to be impossible. The only explanation for such a charge that the accusers appreciate the number of new hits and new memberships their sites accumulate as a result of the Ron Paul hysteria, even if, in the long run, they suffer the natural consequences that go with most people knowing they are frauds.

"Ron Paul is endorsed by [insert 'fringe' group label here]."

Some supporters of Ron Paul hold highly controversial or offensive ideological or social positions; therefore, Ron Paul must be forced to explain why he has caused those precious few to jump on his bandwagon. He doesn't know those supporters, and perhaps never will, yet he must assure us that he's not one of them. He must denounce their platform and give back the donations.

Silliness. It's guilt-by-association, when not a single crime has been even allegedly committed.

Not to be a transfer-happy hasbaranik or anything, but are Hillary, Giuliani, et al., not endorsed and financed from among the squeaky-clean and ever-patriotic defense/pharma/AIPAC/PNAC/"World War IV" crowd, and do they not hire individuals from that crop of talent as campaign advisors [sic]? Are we also holding such candidates at bay for the corporate, ideological, and political bigots, criminals, and traitors endorsing them?

Of course not. They're a-okay. That is, as long as mainstream media don't allow discussion on whether their definition of the foregone conclusion --- "a-okay" --- is a fallacy or fraud to begin with.

Clinton, Giuliani, et al., are the "front-runners" in "the polls"; they're supposedly way ahead of the pack. So with the sheer numbers they enjoy, and tech-savvy elite at their top-tier, corporate-funded fingertips, why do they still perform poorly online and under expectations in straw polls? Oh yeah. I forgot. Only Ron Paul's supporters are savvy enough to "stack the deck."

At least no-one can accuse them of being well-paid. [1]

No encore for the Ministry

In the most basic and vital political struggle, the State v. the People, corporate media cling to the State, and vice versa; while Ron Paul is connected very much at the hip to the People, and they, to him.

Which is exactly why they'd have us believe that he's not a serious candidate worth considering, or that he's a wasted vote.

According to corporate media "coverage" of Ron Paul, it's a fringe concept to be on the side of the People and opposed to the State's tyranny. But who are the actual fringe entities if not the statist, corporatist, and "neoconservative" candidates? Are they not among the ones who are the fewest yet hold the most influence? Are they not the ones most disconnected from the People, and the ones most connected to the entities our Founding Fathers advised us against --- the entities most definitive of those forbidden from the State by the Constitution? The tyrants? The counterfeiters? The war-profiteers? The enterprising state mafiosi? Are they not ultimately the culprits in the demise of the Constitution and the Republic?

The answer, of course, is in the affirmative; nevertheless, with their use of dumbed-down debate and simplistic Dem-Rep, con-lib, and good-evil talking points, mainstream media and "think-tank" mouthpieces are able to keep us shallowly fighting amongst ourselves and ultimately distracted from what are the actual root issues and limits to government. They keep viewers and readers isolated in one subjective landscape, where they're unable to see the sky for the humongous dome of a projector screen around them.

But we know better.

More and more people, every day, are beginning to realize that there is much more to this Ron Paul "phenomenon" than what they would have us believe. Corporate media can rig the apparatus all they want, but the curtain has begun to fall on their Truman Show.

[1] Clinton, Giuliani, et al., enjoy support through their corporate, statist paymasters. (Rupert Murdoch et al. endorse Hillary, Rudy's lawfirm represents News Corp., and so on.) Why, then, would media executives portray their cronies as anything but front-runners, despite most everyday people, even in their respective parties, being disgusted with them? Truth be told: Compared to Ron Paul's campaign, in terms of grass-roots support, they register a "blip."

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