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Why the Press Loves Jon Huntsman but Ignores Ron Paul

Kuros

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Why the Press Loves Jon Huntsman but Ignores Ron Paul (and Gary Johnson): The media is fascinated by protest candidates who critique their own parties, but it marginalizes those who attack the establishment

Conor Friedersdorf said:
Jon Huntsman won't win the GOP nomination, or so pundits assure us. But he is getting press attention anyway because he decided to start telling his fellow Republicans truths that they don't want to hear.

. . .

Rather than obsess over the horse race 15 months before a presidential election, broadcast, Web and print journalists are self-consciously covering [the Huntsman] campaign for its substance, even speculating that doing so might have a positive effect on the national conversation. As much as I agree with Sullivan, Fallows, Weisberg, and all the other journalists praising Huntsman for challenging orthodoxies of thought in the GOP, however, I am struck by the very different standards that govern coverage of two other candidates, Ron Paul and Gary Johnson.

Neither Huntsman nor Johnson nor Paul is likely to win. All three are challenging orthodoxies of thought in their party. In doing so, all have an opportunity "to affect the political conversation for the better" and to "shine light on the evasions of his rivals, even if it fails to change the outcome of the race."

Here is the difference.

Huntsman is challenging orthodoxies of thought that afflict the GOP alone, and taking positions that reflect the conventional wisdom in the media: evolution is a fact, so is climate change, and the debt ceiling had to be raised. In contrast, Johnson and Paul are challenging orthodoxies of thought that are bi-partisan in nature and implicate much of the political and media establishment.

There is a strong case to be made that their libertarian voices are more vital. The debt ceiling was already raised. Embracing evolution has some political costs in a GOP primary, but matters very little when it comes to the vital policy questions that the next president is going to face. Huntsman nonetheless wins praise for those stances. For questioning America's aggressive, interventionist foreign policy and its failed War on Drugs, policies that are tremendously costly, consequential, and executed in ways that are immoral and demonstrably damaging to our civil liberties, Paul and Johnson aren't given points for speaking uncomfortable truths, shining light on evasions, or affecting the political conversation for the better.

They're ignored, and the excuse given is that they can't win.

. . .

But American discourse is never going to suffer for lack of arguments already advocated by one of the two political parties. If the press is really seeking to air the arguments of protest candidates to shed light on evasions and improve the political conversation, as Weisberg suggests, it should seek out serious critiques that the establishments of neither political party want to acknowledge. So long as it doesn't, no wonder guys like Paul and Johnson have no chance.

This problem goes beyond the reviled MSM and bleeds into the web politico community.
 

Paulie

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I don't think I could have put it better myself.

It's always been obvious to me, but there's a lot of people who still don't seem to get it.
 
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Kuros

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Yup. Be controversial, just make sure you flatter the establishment consensus while you do so.

IOW, don't really be controversial.
 

rightwinger

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Ron Who???
 

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Ron Paul looks and sounds like a hobbit. Huntsman looks presidential. The same reason Chris Christie won't win at his weight.
 

J.E.D

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I agree that Paul has been ignored. The guy finished 2nd at the Ames straw poll (for whatever that's worth) and all you hear about is Perry. Huntsman has gotten some attention in the last few days, but I wouldn't say that the media loves him. He was pretty much ignored up until he started talking about the sad state of the Republican party. Bachmann says whatever crazy crap happens to pop into her head, Romney says whatever he thinks you want to hear, then Huntsman tells the truth and people start paying attention. Too bad for the GOP, Huntsman is too sane to get the nomination.
 
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Kuros

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Ron Paul looks and sounds like a hobbit. Huntsman looks presidential. The same reason Chris Christie won't win at his weight.

Yeah. You know what, continue the drug war and the foreign wars, because the optics favor Huntsman!

And you're right: the biggest problem with Chris Christie is his weight. Focusing on policies is for snores and bores.
 

JoeB131

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Neither Huntsman nor Paul will ever be the GOP nominee.

Sadly, they will be around as a peanut gallery as the fight is fought between the two guys likely to be the nominee- Rick Perry (R-Texas) and Mitt Romney (R-Kolob).

Huntsman would be a lot more home in the Democratic Party, why not run in the primaries there? I'd bet the liberal left would lose their enthusiasm for him if he did that.
 

Liability

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The main stream media likes Huntsman because, at his core, Huntsman is essentially just another Democratic.

If the lame stream media could somehow persuade the voters within the GOP to support an establishment candidate like Huntsman, and Huntsman took the GOP nod, the eventual race would come down to the false choice of a Democratic vs. a Democratic (by whatever name known).
 

bitterlyclingin

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If Huntsman were to win the GOP nod, the MSM would turn on him as viciously as they turned on the "Maverick" McCain in 2008.

The one they really fear is Rck Perry. Perry greeted a fact finding "jobs and economic renewal" delegation from California headed by former San Francisco Mayor, now Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsome with a recitation of Texas economic achievements and closed his remarks with "This is Texas, not some state where a man can marry a man"
Upon receipt of the transcript of Governor Perry's greeting remarks, the lads in the all male conga line at the NYT began hyperventilating, running bizarrely in circles, and hysterically screaming for airplane vomit bags.
"Pinch" Sulzberger, editor and publisher of the NYT, would probably go so far as to call in some of the favors he provided his friends in the the Islamofascist community during the George W Bush Presidency, ie the paper's incessant efforts to undermine the nation's war on terror efforts under GWB with the paper's revelations of the NSA Electronic Surveillance and Terrorist Money Laundering Watch programs, and ask if they could please provide some Holy Warriors to use against Rick Perry, anything at all to stop Perry's ascent to the presidency.
 

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