Following the Republican debate last week CNBC placed a poll on their website asking visitors to cast their vote on which candidate they thought won the debate. After a few hours Ron Paul had accumulated 75% of the votes. CNBC promptly took down the poll and left an “Open Letter to the Ron Paul Faithful” in its place.
We all know that American journalism and mass media is heavily skewed and censored, but this sort of one-way media manipulation just irritates me… and I’m not even a diehard Ron Paul supporter. One of my good friends, Nick, is a diehard Ron Paul supporter, so he emailed the following letter directly to CNBC. Even though this is off-topic for my blog, I feel strongly that Nick’s letter should see the light of day beyond some CNBC executive’s email trash bin.
Dear Old Media,
In response to your “Open Letter to the Ron Paul Faithful,” you only gave half of the story. While many of the claims you made were not outright false, your analysis of the situation is incomplete.
First, let’s stop with the childish implications of “hacking”. Nobody is hacking anything and you know it. Millions of Internet transactions take place securely every day that would be much juicier targets for hackers than a silly Old Media poll for which there is no gain and which is censored as soon as Ron Paul pulls ahead, as many of them have been – this is not the first. Just admit that several thousand real people took the time to go to your website and vote in your poll.
The Ron Paul Faithful will admit to organizing to vote in your poll. You claim this amounts to “…a well-organized and committed ‘few’ [throwing] the results of a system meant to reflect the sentiments of ‘the many’…” Perhaps, though I hope for the future of this great country and its future generations that we are a well-organized majority. That point aside, your claim is hypocritical because this is exactly what the Old Media and the “legitimate” polling organizations (as you call them) have been doing all along.
The Old Media is itself the well-organized minority that is throwing the results for the majority through censorship, misleading data and half-truths. Take for example the amount of questions and response time that Ron Paul is granted during these debates. He is consistently granted the least amount of time out of all the candidates, despite polling higher and raising more funds than many of them.
Let us also examine the “legitimate” polls that you reference to imply that Ron Paul’s support can’t be so high. As you well know, these phone polls are unscientific and biased. You are claiming that the opinions of a few hundred Republicans with land-line telephones represent the opinions of the majority. Furthermore, the polling companies regularly leave candidates like Ron Paul off their list of poll choices, naming only “mainstream” candidates to choose from. These polls that you swear by and reference so often represent the opinions of the majority no better than the poll that you took down when you didn’t like the results.
So who is the well-organized minority that is trying to sway the majority? Is it really us, a sincere group of citizens trying to get the word out concerning our candidate? Or is it you, an Old Media giant and biased polling community who tries to enforce their personal choices of “mainstream” candidates on the citizens of this country? We were not given equal voice in your format so we organized and took voice in our format, the Internet. We’d do it again.
The Old Media seems to have forgotten the meaning of, and it’s responsibility to, unbiased journalism. If you are going to present an editorial as news because it is more entertaining, you must strive to give equal time to all opinions. Otherwise, just go back to reporting the facts and keep your predictions and opinions to yourselves. When a well-organized few has such an effect on the opinions of the many and on the outcomes of our political process, I get very worried. You do the entire nation a great disservice.
The Ron Paul Faithful
A very well written letter… Isn’t it a shame that it will make no difference at all. 🙁
Barck Obama 2008 says
The MSM is constantly distorting… Everything. It’s really important that people look for alternative news sources and to stop basing their opinions on media selected soundbytes.
A company that is owned by one of the biggest war manufacturers in the world (General Electric) has no business reporting politics and news to the people without having at least 1/3 of the screen taken up by a sign that says “OUR PARENT COMPANY BUILDS BOMBS, FIGHTER JET ENGINES, AND OTHER DEVICES OF WAR, AND BECAUSE OF THIS WILL OBVIOUSLY ALWAYS BE BIASED AGAINST ANTI-WAR CANDIDATES” at all times.
Yes, in caps.
Someone who gives a crap.
Get back into the armoury and rattle them bombs and bullets, Harwood. There’s a good boy…
I am a journalism student and this is one of the reasons I want to go into the media field. Blatant disregard for the truth is disgusting, and should be stopped. Sometimes it seems I am the only one who cares about the ‘real’ news, and that is disheartening, but then I read and hear things about people speaking their opinion. And, even if the people at cnbc never raed this blog post, you are doing your part by speaking your opinion and sharing it. Which, honestly, is all any of us can truly do. I appreciate this post very much. Thank you for caring.
Also; to ‘Barack Obama’, When all media sources are each presenting a skewered reality, it can be very difficult to gain the truth from it. Sure, find another source is one way to solve the problem, but I think the real solution is to fix the media sources themselves.
Sorry, but the poll was bombed “hacked” by a well known online group that regularly decide to “social engineer” on line polls, contests, etc.
For the republican leader decision they have chosen Ron Paul as thier candidate and will continue to adjust any poll involving him
You have my email, I’d gladly tell you how.
Lucas Brenhaug says
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I find it amazing how much this coincides with current election politics and media. Thank you for sharing it.