Gore Vidal: Dennis Kucinich unfairly excluded from Iowa debate

December 19, 2007 | By | 13 Replies More

You can read Vidal’s article at Truthdig:

I don’t know how many of you were as appalled as I was at the way that the presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich was totally erased from the last Democratic debate held in Iowa.  This was a decision that was made, I can tell, jointly by the one-time voice of AIPAC, Mr. Wolf Blitzer, and, at the same time, The Des Moines Register—or whatever it is called—a paper of no consequence for the United States of America.

Kucinich’s exclusion is infuriating, for the reasons discussed by Vidal. 


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Category: Censorship, Politics, Uncategorized

About the Author ()

Erich Vieth is an attorney focusing on consumer law litigation and appellate practice. He is also a working musician and a writer, having founded Dangerous Intersection in 2006. Erich lives in the Shaw Neighborhood of St. Louis, Missouri, where he lives half-time with his two extraordinary daughters.

Comments (13)

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  1. Erich Vieth says:

    "There will be a televised Fox News presidential candidate forum on Jan. 6, and yes, Rep. Ron Paul was not invited when the other candidates were a week or so ago." http://www.swamppolitics.com/news/politics/blog/2

  2. Erich Vieth says:

    Kucinich took great umbrage to the network's decision to disallow his participation, on his own behalf as well as that of the American people. "It's indefensible that ABC should be able to determine who the next president is going to be," he said. "That's not their role, as a matter of fact, the airwaves don't belong to them, it belongs to the people."

    Kucinich further said that he was considering legal action against the network, saying that "ABC will be called to an accounting." Said Kucinich: "We are not through with them — I'm looking at various types of legal action, that are going to go long after this election, and ABC is going to be challenged. And they're gonna find out that they've met the one person in this government who isn't going to back down from them. They don't own the airwaves."

    Here's the full article at Huffpo.

  3. Erich Vieth says:

    In a press release, state Republican Party chairman Fergus Cullen said, "We believe all recognized major candidates should have an equal opportunity to participate in pre-primary debates and forums. This principle applies to tonight's debates on ABC as well as Sunday's planned forum on FOX. The New Hampshire Republican Party believes Congressmen Ron Paul and Duncan Hunter should be included in the FOX forum on Sunday evening. Our mutual efforts to resolve this difference have failed."

    <a href="http://unionleader.com/article.aspx?headline=State+GOP+withdraws+as+FOX+debate+partner&articleId=fecf75e6-240c-4ef4-80f0-637736adf6fd " target="_blank">Full article here.

    Also see this:

    The latest Rasmussen Reports telephone survey in New Hampshire shows John McCain leading Mitt Romney by five percentage points. It’s McCain 31% Romney 26%. The survey was conducted Friday night, the night following the Iowa caucuses. As noted yesterday on Rasmussen Reports, <a href="http://dangerousintersection.org/public_content/politics/election_20082/2008_presidential_election/iowa/republican_iowa_caucus&quot; target="_self">McCain was one of the big winners on Thursday in Iowa. The current poll is a reversal from a <a href="http://dangerousintersection.org/public_content/politics/election_20082/2008_presidential_election/new_hampshire/new_hampshire_romney_31_mccain_27&quot; target="_self">pre-Christmas survey when Romney had a slight advantage.

    Ron Paul earns 14% of the vote and Mike Huckabee gets 11% as the only other candidates in double digits. Rudy Giuliani attracts 8% of the vote, Fred Thompson 5%.

    <a href="http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/election_20082/2008_presidential_election/new_hampshire/election_2008_new_hampshire_republican_primary&quot; target="_blank">Full article here.

  4. Erich Vieth says:

    It has been clear for some time now that the corporate media is actively excluding John Edwards from its coverage of the 2008 race.

    After Iowa, there was every reason for the corporate media to have started including John Edwards in its narrative. After all, even though Edwards had been third place since the summer, trailing Hillary by double-digits in several polls, he erased that gap completely, and he did so on a relative shoestring budget. As BruinKid has shown, Hillary and Obama each spent twice as much per vote as Edwards.

    But instead of paying more intention to Edwards, since Iowa the corporate media is paying less attention. The corporate media blackout of John Edwards continues, and it's getting worse.


  5. Erich Vieth says:

    On Bill Moyers' show, Dennis Kucinich alleges that the health insurance industry is responsible for excluding him from recent debates. http://www.pbs.org/moyers/journal/01042008/watch3

  6. grumpypilgrim says:

    "But instead of paying more intention to Edwards, since Iowa the corporate media is paying less attention."

    This is an invalid conclusion to draw from the data. The statistics provided merely compare the *relative* coverage among Obama, Clinton and Edwards; they do not give any absolute numbers, so we cannot know whether the media is, in fact, paying more or less attention to Edwards. All we know is that his share has dropped relative to two of the other candidates. Furthermore, from the commentary, one might conclude that coverage of Edwards had dropped off the map, when in fact it only dropped a few percentage points.

    There is perfectly obvious explanation for the data: attention grew for Obama because he won and it grew for Clinton because she lost, while Edwards neither greatly exceeded nor greatly disappointed expectations.

  7. But Edwards had a very small budget; everybody was surprised that he managed to get the second place. He is the outsider who got a respectable second place, so it seems weird if the media do not cover him as much as the rest. The media usually love outsider/underdog-wins-stories.

  8. Tim Hogan says:

    Shame on you, grumpy!

    Don't be a facist corporatist apologist and demean the demeaning of Edwards as a candidate. If you look at what Edwards has done his whole life, he is the antithesis of the facist corporatists which only want voters to be educated enough to be greeters at Wal*Mart and take their daily reaming with a smile on their faces as they swill down their local product.

    Edwards has "beaten them, beaten them and beaten them, again!" If you can't control the man, you can control how he's covered in the media! Just look, the major news magazines (Time and Newsweek)recently had both Hilary and Obama on their covers and ignored Edwards.

    Of course Edwards doesn't get the coverage of Obama and Clinton, they take their money from the same "right" people. Edwards doesn't take PAC money and as a result isn't tied to the facist corporate media's masters who call the shots in the age of W, Cheney and their ilk.

    (Yes, I support John Edwards for President!)

  9. grumpypilgrim says:

    "The media usually love outsider/underdog-wins-stories."

    Indeed, they do. Unfortunately for Edwards, Obama was a much better outsider/underdog-wins story, so he got the coverage. Edwards, relative to the two others, was a much less interesting story.

  10. Erich Vieth says:

    Kucinich, a member of Congress, has now been excluded from a presidential debate in Las Vegas.

    Rep. Dennis Kucinich won't be taking part in MSNBC's debate in Las Vegas on Tuesday. It certainly won't be the first time that Kucinich was excluded from a recent Democratic debate. But the difference is Kucinich was initially invited, and had met the criteria, for the MSNBC debate. Then, MSNBC changed the criteria and told Kucinich he was uninvited.

    Here's the full post.  No, Kucinich doesn't have a substantial amount of support in polls, but he is a member of Congress.  Kucinich is also a vocal critic of big media.

    Check out the rationale: 

    "The original criteria for the debate called for the inclusion of the top four democratic candidates in national polling. With Bill Richardson dropping out of the race last week, that moved Kucinich to fourth place in polls. NBC decided to change the criteria, featuring the top three Dem. candidates: Sen. Hillary Clinton, John Edwards and Sen. Barack Obama."

    Why is it so important to have these statistically minority voices heard?  The problem was demonstrated by psychologist Soloman Asch. See here. 

  11. Erich Vieth says:

    Here is a video explaining why Kucinich was excluded from the Nevada debate. http://alternet.org/blogs/video/73663/

    And today a judge ruled that Kucinich must be allowed to debate, or the Judge threatened to issue an injunction halting the debates. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/huff-wires/20080114

  12. Erich Vieth says:

    Kucinich and Ron Paul have both been excluded from the NYT "Election Coverage." http://politics.nytimes.com/election-guide/2008/r

  13. Erich Vieth says:

    I just spoke to Dennis Kucinich who told me he had been included in the upcoming CNN debate but has been uninvited. After a poll placed Kucinich at 4%, CNN quickly announced the criterion of 5% for participation in its next debate in South Carolina.


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