Have you heard of Ron Paul? He is running for president. He has a blimp. He would like to abolish the government and bring back the gold standard. His internet fans are legion, and they are also nuts. Did we mention that they got him a blimp? And whenever Ron Paul is mentioned, on the internet, in just about any capacity, on sites large or small, the Paultards show up en masse to argue in the comments and berate the regulars. Then they spam Digg with it. It's called The Ron Paul Effect. Would you like the hear the headline of the single worst press release of 2008 so far? It is: "MySpace Community Chooses Barack Obama and Ron Paul as Leading Presidential Candidates in Nation's First Presidential Primary." See? And everyone on the internet can play along.

The Ron Paul Effect helps explain why Jeff Bercovici and Silicon Alley Insider both covered Fox's decision to uninvite Paul from the next GOP debate, and stuck Paul's name in their headlines (much like we did!). Duncan Hunter, similarly uninvited by Fox, got no such treatment.

Bercovici admitted the whole game to acting Gawker Managing Editor Nick Denton:

I wanted to write the item anyway but putting his name in the hed was definitely a traffic ploy. I tried to get "Julia Allison liveblogging" in there also, but it wouldn't fit.

(Ron Paul Ron Paul Ron Paul Ron Paul Ron Paul.)

Sorry, Ron Paul> Why Fox Should Limit Debate [Portfolio]
Fox Snub Boosts Ron Paul [Silicon Alley Insider]
Related: The Ron Paul Blog Bomb [Anti-Positivist]