In mid-August Republicans held a presidential straw poll in Iowa. The media went wild. The cable news networks set up shop for the weekend in Iowa, breathlessly reporting on every movement and utterance from the candidates. Then when it was over they ignored Ron Paul's very close second-place finish to Michele Bachmann.
Since then much has been made of the media's apparent dismissal of Paul's candidacy. If it is any consolation to Paul, he is not alone -- now the media are ignoring Herman Cain. Is it because the media have decided that neither one is a "serious" candidate worthy of their newsprint, digital space or airtime?
Well, there was a straw poll in Georgia over the weekend.
If you didn't know about it, it's because it received virtually no coverage. Perhaps it was because of Hurricane Irene. But perhaps it is because it was a foregone conclusion that Georgia resident Cain would win.
Cain did indeed win with 26% of the vote. Paul finished a close second at 25.7%. Alleged frontrunner Rick Perry had 20% followed by Newt Gingrich at 18%. Rounding out the top five were two more media favorites -- Mitt Romney and Bachmann, with 6% and 3.3% respectively.
So to recap -- Cain and Paul destroyed the rest of the field, and nary a mention in the media. Had Perry won, you could be sure there would be headlines blaring, "Perry Sustains Frontrunner Status." A Bachmann victory would have seen "Bachmann Wins Second Straw Poll."
But the media apparently does not want to waste time on Cain or Paul, since they are not going to win the nomination anyway. Therefore, any poll that shows them on top is not be taken seriously or reported upon.
But who are the media to make that judgment? Aren't the media supposed to report the news, not what they think is going to happen and tailor their coverage to their preconceived notions?