Ron Paul's 2012 presidential run is embroiled in another scandal -- an anonymous professed Paul supporter posted a YouTube video against Republican rival Jon Huntsman that was tinged with racism and targeted Huntsman's daughters.
Huntsman took the opportunity to paint himself as a wronged victim, even though the video was posted by an anonymous user. To his credit, he confined his attack to the video and largely left Ron Paul alone, except to call for Paul's campaign to condemn the video, which it did.
The Republican establishment, clearly threatened by Paul, went further than Huntsman. Cindy McCain, wife of 2008 Republican nominee John McCain, tweeted @ronpaul shame on you.
Reporters from multiple publications were all too eager to jump on this story of a Ron Paul supporter being racist and ridiculous.
Some of them had enough decency to use terms like professed supporter or apparently a supporter. Others simply wrote Ron Paul supporter.
The articles then went on to highlight the offensiveness of the video and associated it with Ron Paul himself. Almost none of them mentioned how questionable of a connection the video had to Paul or one of his known supporters.
By doing so, these reporters have engaged in irresponsible, unethical and biased reporting. Whether intentional or not, they have waged a smear campaign against Paul.
The Huntsman video was posted by an account named NHLiberty4Paul, which was created on the same day the video appeared. The video was the only one posted under the account, which contains no information about the identity of its creator. The handle NHLibert4Paul has no established history outside of YouTube. The Huntsman video itself does not identify its creator, either.
In short, no one - reporters included - has any clue about who posted the video, and the media should therefore not proclaim that a Ron Paul supporter made it. The account does profess support for Paul, but anyone can pretend to be a Paul supporter.
Plus, the video itself is utterly ridiculous; I doubt someone who truly wanted to help (and not smear) Paul's 2012 campaign would actually make that video.
Even if the video were made by a Paul supporter, why would the media devote so much attention to an anonymous YouTube user and somehow implicate Paul's campaign?
After the Huntsman video was posted on NHLiberty4Paul, it was re-posted on YouTube under the accounts of NH4Santorum and NHfreedom4Romney. The Santorum account professed support for Santorum and the Romney account professed support for Romney.
So, are reporters now writing Romney supporter creates racist video on Huntsman or Santorum supporter creates racist video on Huntsman? Predictably, they are not.
If I were a betting man, I would guess NH4Santorum and NHfreedom4Romney were accounts created by Paul supporters to make a point.
But that perfectly valid point is the blatant media bias against Ron Paul.
It does not like to focus on the multiple instances of Paul turning down money out of principle, like declining Penn State's track scholarship, rejecting his Congressional pension, refusing to take Medicare and Medicaid payments as a doctor (but treating patients for free if they cannot afford it), urging his children to not apply for government scholarship money and mostly avoiding pork barrel spending for his district.
How many Washington politicians can claim this extraordinary kind of reputation?
Mitt Romney, meanwhile, is largely given a free pass by the media on his links to big corporations and lobbyists and this controversial picture. Ironically, hecklers call out Romney on these issues more often than the media does.
On Ron Paul, though, the media manufactures groundless controversies and relentlessly badgers him on irrelevant decade-old racist newsletters that he has repeatedly denied writing and disavowed.