Inside the Beltway: Ron Paul, media mogul

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And now we know: Ron Paul will launch the feisty Ron Paul Channel on Monday with all original programming either live or on demand, available by subscription for $9.95 a month from the one-time Libertarian presidential hopeful. He says 200,000 potential subscribers expressed interest within hours of the project going public.

“Americans are tired of the games and the lies of today’s media. They want the truth,” Mr. Paul says. “Imagine this. No censors, no barricades, no statists. We will be able to engage viewers directly on subjects that matter most to them, from finances to civil liberties to foreign policy.”

The broadcast will be streamed live online, available via computer, tablet, smartphone and any Internet-connected TV. The technology “will allow me to engage directly with viewers. With the help of social media we can cut through the noise and get straight to the truth about subjects that matter most,” Mr. Paul notes. Such thinking served him well during the 2012 campaign, when his legions of young followers promoted a “Who is Ron Paul?” campaign faithfully online and in organized meet-ups.

The man in question could draw a healthy audience, meanwhile. A new Harris Poll finds that a third of Americans now watch TV programming on an electronic device; that number rises to 57 percent among those younger than 34 — a demographic that has long been drawn to the onetime Texas congressman, whose programming will originate from the Lone Star State.


President Obama used the term “phony” so many times in recent days that the little word is now in contention for the 2013 Top Word of the Year, says Paul JJ Payack, founder of the Global Language Monitor. As a cultural exercise, the Houston-based research group uses computer software to track the popular use of words and phrases in 250,000 print and electronic news sources each year. Phony is having its moment, apparently.

“President Obama has rescued this relatively informal term from obscurity with his ‘phony scandal’ offensive; synonyms include bogus, spurious, sham and fake,” says Mr. Payack, noting that the political descriptor “the optic” is also in the running.

“Before the 2010 mid-term elections, ‘the narrative’ was the top political buzzword. Three years later ‘the optic’ is threatening to overtake it. Neither bode well for an informed political discussion,” Mr. Payack observes.


Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus has picked up an unlikely ally in his quest to prevent CNN and NBC from broadcasting documentary films based on the life and times of Hillary Rodham Clinton, scheduled to air just as the 2016 presidential race gets rolling.

That ally is David Brock, an analyst with Media Matters, the progressive watchdog group that normally dwells on the sins of the right-leaning press.

In identical letters to both networks, Mr. Brock calls for both film projects to be canceled because “the timing raises too many questions about fairness and conflicts of interest ahead of the 2016 election.”

Mr. Brock also wanted to know if CNN and NBC are willing to tarnish their names in “pursuit of ratings” and if each network was “prepared to respond to criticism that it is not providing equal time to all potential candidates.” But Mr. Brock added a little parting shot.

“How will your network respond to the right-wing noise machine that is already pressuring you to adopt its ideological lens on Clinton?” he asked in conclusion, citing Fox News’ demands that the films would be “airbrushed,” “revisionist” and omit “phony scandals like ‘Travelgate,’ ‘Filegate’ and ‘Whitewater.’”


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