For the best commentary I've yet seen on why that happens, read this text from one of the Economist's bloggers.
I think Mr Paul's influence on the ideological cast of American conservatism has been underestimated and underreported, but to take even his influence, if not his candidacy, more seriously would require the talking haircuts and the newspaper typing corps to wrestle with a charged set of geopolitical and economic topics they would rather continue helping Americans not understand.
Over the last decade, I've been more and more disturbed by the direction politics is taking on both sides of the Atlantic. All our polities seem to be less and less willing to engage in any debate on real issues, and instead all major political parties and the media seem dedicated to confining political debates to symbolic non-issues. A perfect Finnish example is the current fixation on immigration policies, which, frankly, are the least of our problems right now. But none of the big systemic problems with the Finnish economy are even mentioned in the media, or were the subject of any real discussion during the parliamentary elections. Instead, candidates tilted at windmills of their choosing, which gave an impression of politics without any actual content.
Pretty much the same thing is happening in the US, where Ron Paul seems to be one of the only candidates who even brings up real political issues. And for that, he gets resoundingly ignored by the media.
Our representative democracies are mostly shams. The whole representative political system is a theater, constructed to deceive us into thinking that we have some input into the political decision-making process that goes on in our countries. In the meanwhile, the real political elite, which in Finland consists of the party bosses, senior civil servants and others, make the real political decisions, which includes deciding what non-issues the plebes will be allowed to "debate". Real issues will be kept off the media radar.
It'll be interesting to see what non-issues the coming US presidential election will be fought over. Rest assured that no big questions on America's future will be addressed, because that way lies the kind of treatment Ron Paul gets.
As a postscript, I add a word of caution, in the form of a New York Times op-ed, to anyone who thinks the Tea Party is a positive force in US politics.
And while the public image of the Tea Party focuses on a desire to shrink government, concern over big government is hardly the only or even the most important predictor of Tea Party support among voters.
So what do Tea Partiers have in common? They are overwhelmingly white, but even compared to other white Republicans, they had a low regard for immigrants and blacks long before Barack Obama was president, and they still do.
More important, they were disproportionately social conservatives in 2006 — opposing abortion, for example — and still are today. Next to being a Republican, the strongest predictor of being a Tea Party supporter today was a desire, back in 2006, to see religion play a prominent role in politics. The Tea Party’s generals may say their overriding concern is a smaller government, but not their rank and file, who are more concerned about putting God in government.
You know, if the fact that Bachmann seems to be nuts didn't tip you off.