Early in the Republican primary, the media gave Ron Paul a free pass. He could go on Don Imus and Lawrence O’Donnell and talk about US hegemony for a couple minutes, the hosts facetiously nodding, then thanking him for at least being honest.
Well, those days are over. Ron Paul’s numbers are dangerously high. The media’s not having any of this anti-jingoistic talk from a prospective presidential candidate.
Paul visited the agenda-setting media for Sunday, Face the Nation, where host Bob Schieffer ‘confronts’ his radical view that the terrorists don’t actually hate us because we’re free and prosperous.
Watching Schieffer pretentiously interview Paul reminds me of how small and constricted the spectrum of debate really is in the US; particularly in the agenda-setting media where shit matters. Perhaps Paul is used to going on Neil Cavuto’s weekend show or talking to Reason magazine, but on Face the Nation, one should expect various forms of pressure to conform to the interests of systemic power and privileged audiences. If your lines don’t conform, expect to be framed as ‘anti-American’ and ‘from Neptune,’ as ABC’s Jeff Greenfield once described Noam Chomsky. And that’s exactly what Schieffer just did.