For the first time Ron Paul says he doesn’t want White Supremacists’ money. Good for him, and about time. ~ Lo
Dec. 14, 2007
At the intersection of the Internet and politics, presidential candidate Ron Paul’s supporters are rewriting the rules of political campaigns. NOW explores how the Texas congressman and his supporters are using the Internet to attract voters—and massive campaign contributions—from across the political spectrum. Supporters include anti-war progressives, anti-tax libertarians, civil libertarians, and even some white supremacists. The common theme is anger over where the country is heading.
“Ron Paul’s campaign is so extraordinary to many of us because even while it was getting massive online traffic, you’d be lucky to get a whisper of his campaign in a lot of media outlets,” said Zephyr Teachout, Howard Dean’s former online organizer and now a Duke University professor.
An Interview With Zephyr Teachout
Dec. 14, 2007
In this extended interview, NOW talks with Zephyr Teachout, the former director of online organizing for Howard Dean’s presidential campaign and current Visiting Assistant Professor at Duke University Law School. Teachout compares Paul’s campaign to Dean’s 2004 run. She also explains what Ron Paul’s campaign is doing right with the Internet and what other campaigns can learn from Paul.
NOW: How might Ron Paul supporters change the way a candidate is judged?
ZEPHYR TEACHOUT: One of the things I love about the Ron Paul campaign is how it challenges mainstream media’s idea of what are the right metrics of a serious candidate. Typically the mainstream and the blogosphere media says, “Well, somebody’s serious if they raise a lot of money.” Well, Ron Paul’s raised a lot of money. Somebody’s serious if they get over four percent in the polls. When he’s getting over eight percent now in New Hampshire polls. But there’s still this real resistance to calling him a serious candidate.
So he’s challenging our ideas of how we measure seriousness. For the past 30 years we have started to think about measuring seriousness in large part because of measuring seriousness through money, in large part because of the cost of TV ads. But what that’s meant is that you raise money as a candidate in order to get taken seriously by the mainstream media.
And the value of raising money is more in the earned media, than it is in the actual ad buys itself. We saw that with Howard Dean. He raised millions of dollars in a single day. He spent those millions of dollars on ads, but earned tens of millions of dollars in free media and earned what in campaigns you call “earned media.”
And campaigns are very aware of this. And I think it’s sad, because we don’t actually want to live in a polity where how much money you can raise determines seriousness. And I like the challenge that this is posing.
I think it will force all of us to go to different metrics. When Ron Paul’s supporters say, “Well, we have more YouTube views than about else,” and The New York Times says, “Well so and so raised more money than anybody else”, it’s not clear why we should—as democrats—small-“d” democrats value one more than the other. One measures people’s attention online, one measures how much money they’re willing to give. Which is often a proxy for wealth. So maybe we have to reconsider that.
Bill Moyers Interviews Representative Ron Paul
In October 2002, Representative Ron Paul (R-TX) talked with Bill Moyers about his stand on the situation in Iraq, and the 35 questions he wanted to see addressed by Congress before going to war. As Paul prepares to speak at the 2004 Libertarian Party Convention, he joins Bill Moyers by satellite to address what he thinks are the key issues in the upcoming election and how he sees the war in Iraq.
A piece on Ron Paul on PBS Now.
I apologize for losing about 30secs of footage due to rain fade, I will try to catch it when it is on again later to fill the gap.
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PBS Now Preview: The Ron Paul Phenomenon (video)