“Ron Paul Ignored by the Media? Not So Much” was the headline on a National Journal post yesterday (12/21/11). “The Texan’s campaign has raised millions of dollars to combat the alleged media conspiracy that, they claim, is out to destroy the candidate the media fears most,” the Journal‘s Sarah Mimms reported. “There is just one problem: The Ron Paul revolution is being televised.”
By Mimms’ count, “since announcing his campaign on May 13, Paul has made 87 appearances on cable television and Sunday news programs. That’s more than any other candidate currently running for president.” She stresses that “he has appeared on Fox News 63 times since June 1, more than any of his primary rivals.”
It’s true that Fox News is an important outlet for GOP candidates. If Paul’s been on Fox 63 times, though, that means he’s been on other TV outlets at most 24 times; how that compares with other GOP candidates, Mimms doesn’t say. (Note: Of course, this doesn’t include Paul’s CNN appearance yesterday, when he walked off an interview with Gloria Borger about the racist newsletters he was publishing in the 1980s and 1990s.) She does acknowledge later down that on broader measures of media exposure, Paul is doing very poorly:
Paul is mentioned on air far less frequently than most of his rivals, including Bachmann and Texas Gov. Rick Perry, both of whom trail him in national and state-level polls. And when punditstalk about him, they frequently do so in a far more negative tone.
It is also true, as his campaign has asserted, that Paul gets less time to air his views in debates.
Here’s a graph from Pew’s Project for Excellence in Journalism (10/21/11) that gives a more informative impression of the relative attention paid to the various leading GOP candidates:
A more accurate headline for the National Journal piece? “Ron Paul Ignored by the Media? Pretty Much.”