Ron Paul officially launched his Ron Paul Channel this week, an online news source that purports to be the “next chapter of our revolution” and comes with titles, interviews with key players and lots of Ron Paul talking about libertarianism.
Filmed in the little town of Clute, Texas, and Los Angeles, the Ron Paul Channel will publish three 30-minute shows per week. Its slogan: “Turn Off Your TV. Turn On the Truth” suggests a combative tone, while those behind it say there has been an “outpouring of interest” in the first few days.
It’s Paul’s first major initiative since retiring from Congress in January. He told the Guardian that he opted for a news channel “because the mainstream media is not telling the stories that Americans really need to know”.
“There is no space for people to have a real discussion about the Fed or drone strikes abroad or the pharmaceutical industry, let alone how our freedoms are being infringed upon by big government,” he said. “These are issues that affect Americans daily and this channel aims to address that directly.”
At the centre of it all is Ron Paul – which the title credits make clear. To the strains of vaguely patriotic music, we are treated to the various ages of Paul. Photographs of a young Paul wearing a stethoscope disappear to be replaced by an older Paul smiling at the camera. Then the younger Paul makes a return, this time in military garb.
The words “Ron”, “Paul” and “channel” weave around before eventually settling into place. As they fade, Paul appears in person, the veteran libertarian sat behind a smart desk with photos of family, along with a statue of a swooping eagle, visible in the background.
As the titles stopped playing on Thursday’s show – editions of the Ron Paul Channel will air on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday each week – Paul declared that his new forum was “the one place where I can finally express my opinion, unfiltered and uninterrupted”.
That certainly seems to be the purpose of the channel – to air Paul’s views to his legions of fans for $9.99 a month. That purpose seems to jar slightly with the current format, however, with Diana Alvear, a former correspondent for NBC News and ABC News brought on board to give guidance and presumably journalistic respectability, but effectively serving only to help Paul up on to his soap box.
On Monday Alvear, who is based in LA and described by Paul as being “in our newsroom”, ran through news of US drone strikes in Yemen, before actually saying this:
They’ve killed a total of nine suspected militants, and Ron, I know you have lots to say about these measures.
Paul then explained why he was “in favour of a non-interventionalist foreign policy”: “You be friends with as many countries as possible … but you don’t invade them, you don’t bomb them.”