CNBC Dismisses Complaints Over Online Poll

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Ron Paul fared a little too well in a post-Republican debate poll run by CNBC, prompting the news site’s managing editor to believe astroturfing had taken place, forcing them to take down the poll.

Allen Wastler, managing editor of CNBC.com, said in an open letter to Ron Paul supporters that the candidate’s supporters “ruined the purpose of the poll” by their actions:

It was no longer an honest “show of hands” — it suddenly was a platform for beating the Ron Paul drum. That certainly wasn’t our intention and certainly doesn’t serve our readers … at least those who aren’t already in the Ron Paul camp.

Some of you Ron Paul fans take issue with my decision to take the poll down. Fine. When a well-organized and committed “few” can throw the results of a system meant to reflect the sentiments of “the many,” I get a little worried. I’d take it down again.

Wastler blamed hacking or a targeted campaign for skewing the numbers in favor of Paul: more than 7,000 votes, with 75 percent in favor of the Texas libertarian.

Suggesting a hack took place borders on a criminal accusation. Wastler may want to back off that line of thinking unless CNBC’s IT staff can prove that happened.

But as far as people organizing and taking part in a poll en masse, isn’t that kind of the point of participating in the election process? Would a 75 percent share for Republican front-runners Mitt Romney or Rudy Giuliani have prompted CNBC to pull down the poll, suggest a hack took place, call out supporters for voting as a dedicated block?

Wastler missed a great opportunity to ask a question of the Republican camps besides Paul’s – why aren’t your supporters working the Internet as fervently as those of Ron Paul?

CNBC Dismisses Complaints Over Online Poll
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  • J.P.

    Thanks for verbalizing what I’ve been thinking. The accusation that it was a hack was extremely offensive.

    • http://travistube.com Travis

      “why aren’t your supporters working the Internet as fervently as those of Ron Paul?”

  • Jim Dwyer

    To whom it may concern:

    In “An Open Letter to the Ron Paul Faithful”, Allen Wastler stated:

    “When a well-organized and committed “few” can throw the results of a system meant to reflect the sentiments of “the many,” I get a little worried.”

    Does this mean that CNBC will soon be doing more stories about the unjust and undue influence that the banking, corporate and Zionist lobbies exert in Washington?

    Just kidding. I know that you all would be out of business if you actually told the truth.

    Jim Dwyer

  • History is unfolding

    I agree with your article 100%. You spoke my mind exactly. I emailed the editor nicely by what methods he had determined this scullduggery and that writing up his methods would be an interesting follow up article to his dismissal of this online poll.

    Guess what, perhaps this is an Artificial Intelligent machine putting this comment on?

  • AZ

    Good article – the “hacking” accusation is ridiculous. In fact, it’s clear Harwood doesn’t even know what hacking means.

    ** Attn Ron Paul supporters: you MUST REGISTER as a Republican in order to vote for Ron Paul in the primaries. Some states have early registration deadlines, including TODAY in NH. Tell your friends – it’s unfortunately not enough to just show up at the polls on election day. You have to do the leg work; in this case, that means registering R ahead of time.

    Have a great weekend.

  • Craig Craft

    Most people in the old media are guilty of confusing support in random telephone surveys with a candidate having actual supporters. Worse still, they base their coverage (and airtime in debates) on it.

    If you call 400 people at random, 300 of whom aren’t even following the election yet, it’s not surprising that most of them mention Giuliani or Thompson or McCain — they have heard those names before.

    Out on the campaign trail, Giuliani, Thompson, and McCain have trouble drawing any kind of crowd. Ron Paul routinely speaks to crowds of over 1,000 wherever he goes. He now has over 50,000 volunteers signed up in almost 1,000 local Meetup groups — more than all of the other candidates combined.

  • Garry

    In my opinion, the real story is that according to Allen Wastler, CNBC has an ineffectual IT department and that their site can easily be “hacked”. I guess we can’t trust any of the stories on CNBC’s site anymore because outside “hacks” can break in at will and replace content. In my opinion, they know very well that the site was not hacked…

  • drew

    a hack!! what a buch of BS!!I tried to see if the web site would let me vote twice and it didn’t. with ron paul being such a HUGE hit on the internet why would that surprize anyone? that is so true if it was rudy or mit with huge #’s it wouldn’t be an issue. people really are underestimating how much support RP really has.

  • Bob Coffey

    If there’s a way to go after these guys by taking legal action, I hope that someone finds it and goes for it.

    These vile scum of the earth are finally tipping their hand. Cone the revolution (the one that will take place if they succeed at scuttling Paul with their illegitimate, and hopefully illegal–and actionable–tactics), the media will be the first up against the wall. Well, maybe the second after the bankers. LOL. Well, maybe the third after Congress!!!!


    • Gary Triestman

      I seriously wonder if CNBC’s unfounded decision to remove Ron Paul’s public poll is actionable.

      I mean, here we have an open offering by CNBC pledging to keep tallies of the relative opinions of its viewers, and to honestly report those results to the public at large.

      I would assign that duty as the performance promised pursuant to an open contract to the public and to all those who have voluntarily entered into the agreement of participation of those services with the expectation that CNBC would fulfill its legal obligations.

      For them to unilaterally and selectively remove THE most significant results of that promised service, on an unfounded opinion, I believe to be a breach of that public offering and the contractees it engaged in, and a possible fraud upon the public.

      In order for CNBC to preemptively insulate themselves from suit, it is incumbent upon them to PROVE the allegation that the results of the poll that they censored was the result of some unfair scheme or conspiracy that utilized technology to subvert true results of the poll.

      This I doubt they can do, because I believe the poll simply showed the true result of the viewers who were motivated to actually fill out the poll. There was no hacking going on here.

      • Melody Kiley


      • Kat

        Touche, I am just a simple woman and I could not have said this any better. so is the poll back up?

  • http://freedomjoyadventure.blogspot Richard in Austin

    Allen Wastler:

    I’m not buying your garbage. We Ron Paul supporters are way more numerous and way more dedicated than you’d like to admit.

    But it seems you have your head stuck in a dark place.

    Your attempts to marginalize Ron Paul are obvious, and now a matter of public record. CNBC stinks, frankly.

    Have a nice day.


  • Bo

    The media claims that Ron Paul supporters are made up of kooky conspiracy theorists and it is MSNBC that has the kooky conspiracy theory about Ron Paul supporters. Maybe the MSNBC should report the facts instead of making up one of their own.

  • Ohenry

    I only know one person who will not vote for Ron Paul. There are 18 voters in our immediate family all for DR. Ron.
    People wake up!
    America is sick and needs a good Doctor! DR. Ron is an answer.

    • Guest

      america is not sick just a large part

  • Melody Kiley

    These people don’t want to believe the truth. It was proven that no one could vote more than once as there is such a thing as a URL.
    Wake up Newsmedia this is a Ron Paul REVOLUTION!!!
    We are sick and tired of lying, war mongering, spendthrift candidates!

  • Kat

    You have got to be kidding me, right?! Get your head out of the sand or where ever they told you to put it and look around you.

    Even in the CNN DEBATE he did well inspite of all the efforts of the handlers to make him invisible. Have you heard, the PEOPLE are mad as hell and you all are in for a rude awakening. Maybe you can get a refund on the sale of your soul because you were sold a bad bill of goods.

    Instead of trying to tear him down and us in the process, why not look at what he will do for you. How about bringing back some integrity to an otherwise corrupt and totally controlled business. Instead of being the Government Media Complex you can actually report the news and hey with honesty and integrity.

  • Justme

    Hmmm, seems, based by this comment section that there are truely more supports of Ron Paul than anyone else.



  • Guest

    The media thinks only ACORN should be allowed to steal polls or elections!!

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