What’s the greatest threat to the U.S. national security? It could well be the fourth estate, the nation’s news media. They are failing to fulfill their role in the system of checks and balances our forefathers designed to keep government honest and responsive to the needs of the people.
It was hilarious to watch CNN as the Iowa Caucus votes came in Tuesday night. CNN, as with most mass media, had gone out of its way to avoid mention of Ron Paul in coverage leading up to the caucuses. All the pundits shook their heads and agreed vigorously that Ron Paul didn’t have a chance. Even in the run-up to the caucuses, when Ron Paul was polling 3rd or better, CNN was all over the First, Second, and Fourth and Fifth candidates, with no mention of Ron Paul.
I tuned into Wolf Blitzer’s “War Room” – er – “Situation Room” as the first counts were being made. The ballots were small squares of paper with names hand written on them by those casting ballots. How wonderful, I thought, are we going to actually see ALL the ballots counted live, on camera, with no chance of monkey business?
The looks of the reporters seated around the “War”, er, “Situation” table were grim. In the early counting, Ron Paul was coming in first. These reporters were all eating a full course of something they deserved: crow. The assembled multitude, dour looks on their faces, struggled to cover this outcome which, to them, was simply unbelievable. Some of the talking heads looked pale. Others were sweating profusely. OK, Ron Paul is consistent making all the others comparative flip-floppers, and Ron Paul sticks to his Libertarian values. He’s a hero to young voters, surely (in the mind of the press) the littlest and most inconsequential of the “little people”. Ron Paul will not be found out with a young bimbo: cheating on his wife. Ron Paul’s problem with the press is that he’s not part of the racket, and doesn’t have a lot of drama. It’s precisely why he has the popularity he has, but the press, with their heads stuck in that dark, warm, smelly place just doesn’t get it.
Eventually, the media got back to covering their media darling, who they had shilled relentlessly in the run-up, Rick Santorum. The cameras turned away from the ballot counting, and the numbers slowly shifted to where the press had said they should be.
It was one of those breath-taking media moments, like when a BBC reporter stood with downtown NYC as a backdrop, WTC building #7 clearly visible, and the reporter announced that building #7 had been destroyed. It was almost exactly one hour before the building actually came down. When questioned about it, the BBC responded that it must have been a scheduling mixup of the sort that could be expected in the midst of such chaos.
In conclusion, friends, if you believe what you see reported in the mass media, you have already drunk the Cool Aid.
CNN is right back to covering the First, Second, and Fourth finishers in the Iowa caucuses (Romney, Santorum, and Gingrich), with nary a peep about the Third place finisher, Ron Paul. Can you believe it?