Friday, December 16, 2011

Appearances, not content

Ron Paul, member of the United States House of...
The allegedly unpresidential-looking Ron Paul. Image via Wikipedia
Earlier this year, I wrote over at SolarServer about my surprise at how Germans were willing to listen to nuclear experts who looked like hippies. I also blogged about it here:

My feeling is that, whatever their actual expertise, critics of nuclear power would need to look like conservative businessman to be heard out [in the US].

My observations were unfortunately spot-on, as we can now see in the coverage of presidential candidate Ron Paul. As the folks over at FAIR point out, the Washington Post starts off with the claim that Paul simply does not look right for the job. Another article in the Post also claims that Paul does not look "presidential."

Such reporting is indeed not uncommon in the US, where articles often start off with or at least include a description of the person. But as FAIR correctly states, the media are acting like it is unfortunate that we pay so much attention to appearance when, in fact, they could simply stop talking about it themselves and report on what Paul has to say – and I say that as someone who is diametrically opposed to many of his views.

Paul looks like a conservative businessman. The media's neglect of him on grounds of his looks and mannerisms is enough to make the Little Prince cringe.

Last week, I published this interview with British author Peter Watson, who agrees with me that Germany is far too grown-up for such shenanigans. (The German version is here if you want to read the [mostly negative] comments from German readers.)
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1 comment:

  1. Who cares what Ron Paul looks like?? The media always says it wants to be more substantive, than focuses on silly little details like that!