Media people interpose themselves between current events and the news audience. They consider it their job to sort out “the issues” before news consumers even start thinking.
This is the source of media power.
Recent investigations into current media coverage of the GOP presidential race shows that the basic media bias may not be pro-liberal/anti-conservative, but, more generally, anti-libertarian. Ron Paul’s candidacy, though receiving an amazing amount of support from enthusiastic fans and generous donors (Rep. Paul has quite a kitty going into the campaign), has garnered (according to a recent Pew Research Center study) little news coverage to match his popular success: Less, even, than Santorum.
But is ideological bias at the root of the problem? After all, each candidate has a personality, and personality is obviously a big factor in show biz success. And politics, it has been said, is show biz for homely people. No wonder political coverage looks more like junior high and high school tribalism than a truly mature enterprise.
According to the irreverent H.L. Mencken, journalists like to play messiah. Thinking they can “save the day” every day, they tend to favor those politicians who treat the eternal rescue mission of government policy with a cheaply salable scenario. Paul, in identifying government more often as a problem than a solution, horns in on the public rescue biz.
Maybe this helps explain why “Ron Paul did markedly better in the blogosphere than in the press.” And why journalistic coverage swings more extremely than does blogosphere coverage.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.