Friday, January 25, 2008

Ron Paul Shunned In Blatantly Unfair MSNBC Debate

Congressman given less than a third of the time afforded to Romney, half the questions

Paul Joseph Watson
January 25, 2008

According to those that recorded the time afforded to each Republican candidate during last night's MSNBC debate in Florida, Congressman Ron Paul was again given the least coverage, being allowed to talk for less than a third of the time and receiving less than half the questions compared with Mitt Romney.

Here are the final speaking times as compiled by The ConnieTalk blog.

Romney: 21 minutes, 11 seconds (12 answers and asked 1 question)
McCain: 16 minutes even (12 answers and asked 1 question)
Giuliani: 13 minutes and 50 seconds (10 answers and asked 1 question)
Huckabee: 12 minutes and 11 seconds (8 answers and asked 1 question)
Paul: 6 minutes and 31 seconds (5 answers and asked 1 question)

Establishment candidates were lavished with time and allowed to ask each other more questions uninterrupted while Paul was shunned and marginalized, despite the fact that he has clocked up back to back silver medals in both the Nevada and Louisiana caucuses.

It was symptomatic of the way the establishment media has treated Paul since his presidential campaign began, terrified of the momentum he would rapidly build if he was given the equal face time that establishment candidates have enjoyed all along.

Viewers also noted how Romney, Giuliani and McCain were allowed to crack jokes and enjoy pops and cheers from the audience, but when the audience responded to Ron Paul they were politefully told to shut up.

"The first time it happened, MSNBC reminded the audience no "outbursts...or applause." The second time Paul got the studio audience cheering - when he said we never should have invaded Iraq - the audience was reminded to hold back "pent up energy." Nothing was said when any of the other candidates told jokes or inspired audience interaction," according to ConnieTalk.

Several viewers also reported that the pre-debate promo ads featured photos of all the Republican candidates bar one - Congressman Ron Paul.

Bloggers are encouraging Paul supporters to sign a petition in protest of MSNBC's skewed and unfair coverage, which ranks alongside Fox News' style of bias and crony fixed debates.

In another bizarre moment, following a question from Tim Russert directed at Mitt Romney in which he asked, "Will you do for social security what Ronald Reagan did in 1983?" a hushed voice is heard to whisper "raise taxes" before Romney responds, "I'm not gonna raise taxes".

Is Romney wired? Is he debating with the aide of the infamous Bush bulge? Who was the voice in his ear helping him clarify the question? A fellow establishment candidate or some kind of remote audio hook up? Whatever the explanation, it was an odd occurance to say the least.

"Some have speculated that the whisper is a prompt for Russert to add on the rest of the question, "raised taxes," to what Russert said about Reagan, but listen to how incredibly fast the whisper comes after Russert finishes his sentence. Seems mighty fast to have been someone trying to get Russert to finish the question - how does the whisperer know that Russert is done? It sounds much more like a prompt for Mitt," writes blogger E. Stewart Rhodes.

Watch the clip

For what it was worth, here are Ron Paul's answers (within the paltry time MSNBC graciously afforded him) at last night's debate

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