NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Congressman Ron Paul was narrowly bested by Michelle Bachmann in the 2011 Iowa Straw Poll (an early measure of the viability of Republican presidential candidates). Bachmann beat Paul by 0.9% -- the second closest vote in the history of Ames polling -- but you'd be hard-pressed to learn this from the majority of U.S. political coverage. So argues Jon Stewart.

Stewart, the outspoken comedian and host of Comedy Central's

The Daily Show

, poses a question to the media: Why is everyone still ignoring Ron Paul?

In a humorous montage, Stewart points to several instances in which Fox News, CNN and other media outlets gloss over the Texas representative's name when delivering poll results, make on-air jokes about Paul or, in one instance, appear to roll eyes in response to Paul's crowd-pleasing anti-war stance in the Ames debate.

"We were turned down by all the Sunday talk shows, including "Fox News Sunday," which promised us an interview," said Jesse Benton, Paul's campaign manager in a

statement to Politico.com

. "And we were turned down by all the shows today."

The Daily Show
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However, not all in the media have ignored Paul.

CNN's Piers Morgan made the airwaves available to the congressman in a Monday night interview. Paul used the time to dispel the notion that he is a

fringe candidate

.

When asked about his stance on the "legalization of heroin," Paul stated: "I've never used the word heroin once in a campaign ever, in 30 years, that was somebody in the media ... all I'm saying is that people should have freedom of choice..."

Morgan also asked Paul why he is "opposed to same sex marriage." The congressman retorted, "I think you're mixed up. I'm against the marriage amendment, and I believe people can do what they want."

With Rick Perry, Michelle Bachmann and Mitt Romney emerging as favorites for the Republican presidential nomination, the Paul campaign is facing an uphill battle. Nevertheless, Paul's supporters remain optimistic.

"These straw poll results, our growing poll numbers and our strong fund-raising show that our message is resonating with Iowans and Americans everywhere," says campaign chairman Jesse Benton said. "Our message was the same in 2007 as it is now in 2011, but this time we have quadrupled our support. That means our message is spreading, our support is surging and people are taking notice."

-- Written by John DeFeo in New York City

Follow @johndefeo

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