In this clip from The Daily Show show, John Stewart puts forward the argument that Ron Paul is being ignored by the media, showcasing some convincing clips to that effect.

Are the clips referenced in The Daily Show an accurate representation of Ron Paul's media coverage?

  • Whether he's "actively ignored" is a question of motivation and intent, which are off-topic here. I'm not sure if this question can work on Skeptics, but it would probably need to be formulated more along "Does Ron Paul get less media coverage than candidates with a comparable share of the votes".
    – Mad Scientist
    Commented Jan 31, 2012 at 15:43
  • @Fabian OK, editing question. Commented Jan 31, 2012 at 15:57
  • You have to remember that media coverage is rarely proportional to share of votes. Among other things it depends on how interesting they are and how likely they are to win. Sarah Palin for one got much more media coverage than her vote share would indicate :-) Commented Jan 31, 2012 at 17:19
  • @DJClayworth good point :) Commented Jan 31, 2012 at 17:57
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    @matt_black - this is absolutely not the case. You're confusing media coverage with ad buys. Media coverage depends really on 2 variables only: how much will specific coverage increase ratings/viewership (and ultimately the revenue of the media source); and whether the specific coverage helps or hurts the candidate based on covering people's political opinions (as a standard example of the latter, see the coverage given to John Edwards' personal life vs. Cain's).
    – user5341
    Commented Feb 2, 2012 at 17:59

2 Answers 2


According to this article on Yahoo news (hardly a republican friendly news site)

After a brief spike in interest, the mainstream media coverage of GOP candidate Ron Paul is back to nearly nothing, according to the Pew Research Center's Project for Excellence in Journalism. This week, less than 5 percent of all campaign stories focused on Paul, the lowest point since Dec. 11.

A search of ABC's news site shows no links to actual news stories since Jan. 26 and that is only a single story. There are mentions on various blogs, though those are not really news... they aren't even journalists according to a federal court ruling. I get similar results for NBC and CBS (Google search)

So while "ignore" may be a bit strong a case could be made that they are at least indirectly marginalizing his campaign. Though, it could be that Paul is just not making the newsworthy quotes.

  • Personally I would be ok if they gave the same treatment to mitt and newt :p
    – Chad
    Commented Jan 31, 2012 at 19:35
  • 1
    @Chad-- but then who would be left?
    – mmr
    Commented Feb 1, 2012 at 0:28
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    @mmr - Kim Kardashian?
    – user5341
    Commented Feb 2, 2012 at 18:02
  • @mmr - Could give McCain another chance after all he did so well last time.
    – Chad
    Commented Feb 7, 2012 at 17:35

Jon Stewart is correct, Ron Paul gets less media coverage than other prominent candidates, at least from mainstream media.

Ron Paul does not get coverage commensurate with his delegate count, voting record, longevity [0] or influence.

Certainly as a candidate for the Republican nomination that has done as well as he has collecting delegates [1] he isn't as well known as Rick Santorum or Newt Gingrich, who also ran but didn't do as well in the end collecting delegates.

Ron Paul does not run on a traditional Republican platform and self-describes as a Libertarian running as a Republican [2][3][4].

If you believe that the media has a political agenda then it isn't hard to see that as neither a Democrat nor a Republican there isn't much motivation to give any coverage to what is essentially a third-party candidate (Paul ran as a Libertarian in 1988[5]). This might explain the lack of coverage as the major media outlets cover the candidates they agree with. Libertarian media outlets cover Ron Paul, such as reason.com, but those outlets are much lower in profile.

[0] en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ron_Paul

[1] www.cnn.com/election/2012/primaries/candidates/302

[2] www.ronpaul.com/tag/libertarian/

[3] www.ibtimes.com/articles/379552/20120831/ron-paul-2012-interview-gop-party.htm

[4] www.foxnews.com/politics/2011/11/06/paul-dont-want-to-run-as-independent/

[5] en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_presidential_election,_1988

  • My hyperlinks aren't "live" because I don't have enough reputation to post more than 2.
    – geoO
    Commented Sep 11, 2012 at 17:10

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