January 13, 2008

 

That's 212-664-4444

.
UPDATE BELOW

Well it wouldn't be an election year and this wouldn't be my blog if I couldn't start things off on the left foot with a good rant and a plea for support. I'm sorry if I'm bouggin' ya (I don't mean to boug ya) but there's this thing that's got me a bit steamed, and I think it's important enough to post and try to roust up some help here at 2:00 a.m. (and I've only had three beers, okay?). It will only take a few minutes of your time if you are so inclined to read/act.

Here's a pared-down version of a letter I got from the Dennis Kucinich presidential campaign (obviously I'm a supporter, but you don't even have to be a Democrat to see the validity in this):

Dear Friends,

Once again, America is faced with questions about the rights of Americans to decide for themselves who they should be allowed to vote for in this crucial Presidential election. In Nevada, it's a question of whether the GE-owned NBC television network should have the power to decide who your choices should be for President.

The decision by NBC to exclude Dennis from next week's Presidential debate - even though he met the criteria - is outrageous. NBC and MSNBC have made a corporate decision to exclude the one and only voice who represents you and those things that the Democratic Party should stand for. If you are as outraged as we are, please call NBC/MSNBC at 212 664-4444 and ask for the Comment Line or email them at letters@msnbc.com

PLEASE share this message with everyone you know so that the voice of the people will be heard.

Strength through Peace,
The Kucinich Campaign


Okay, a little more background for those who may need some convincing.

In an email to the Kucinich campaign on Wednesday, January 9, Democratic Party debates consultant Jenny Backus wrote:

“Now that New Hampshire is over, we are on to Nevada and our Presidential Debate on Tuesday January 15. This letter serves as an official invitation for your candidate to participate in the Nevada Presidential Debate at Cashman Theatre in downtown Las Vegas. You have met the criteria set by NBC and the Debate.”

NBC also sent a congratulatory note and an invitation to Rep. Kucinich to participate in the debate in Las Vegas, but less than 44 hours later the network notified the campaign that it was changing the announced criteria, rescinding its invitation, and excluding Kucinich from the debate.

NBC Political Director Chuck Todd notified the Kucinich campaign that, although he had met the qualification criteria publicly announced on December 28, the network was “re-doing” the criteria, excluding Kucinich, and planning to invite only Senators Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama and former senator John Edwards. This marks the third time since the Iowa Caucuses that Kucinich has been excluded from a national debate for spurious, if any, reasons.

The criteria announced last month included a fourth-place or better showing in a national poll. The USA/Gallup poll earlier this month showed Kucinich in fourth place among the Democratic contenders. In the recent ABC/Facebook sponsored New Hampshire debate from which he was excluded, Kucinich, according to Facebook’s own figures, ranked fourth in popularity among Facebook members, AHEAD of New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson, who participated in that event but who has since dropped out of the campaign. By the way, Dennis Kucinich has won more than a dozen major on-line polls and post-debate surveys, including Democracy for America, Independent Voters of America AND one conducted by ABC News. He also scored high if not on top of the exit polls of the debates in which he has participated.

The Kucinich campaign filed an emergency complaint with the Federal Communications Commission last week because of ABC’s decision to exclude the candidate from a nationally televised debate, and is considering legal action to address “the blatant disregard of the public interest in silencing public debate that dissents with the views of NBC, its parent company GE, and all of the military contractors and their candidate-funding corporate interests. Corporate control of the media is one issue. Corporate media control of the information that is allowed to reach American citizens is much more dangerous, much more sinister, and much more un-American.”

“When ‘big media’ exert their unbridled control over what Americans can see, hear, and read, then the Constitutional power and right of the citizens to vote is being vetoed by multi-billion dollar corporations that want the votes to go their way,” the Kucinich campaign said.

Folks, I'm not voting for DK because I think he has a chance, I'm doing it because I think his voice needs to be heard (quite specifically so that he could earn some delegates to the Democratic National Convention and be allowed to speak and influence the party platform). To exclude dark horse candidates like Dennis Kucinich and Ron Paul from debates is to say to the American people, "Here's your monologue, folks, enjoy the show."

What is NBC/GE, afraid of? All I am asking is for the opportunity to have the person who represents the thoughts and feelings of a significant portion of our citizenry be able to share his views with the nation. Is that just too inconvenient for NBC and the front runners in this election? Could it be because Kucinich is the only remaining Democratic Presidential candidate who voted against the original Iraq War authorization in 2002 AND every war-funding measure since; voted against the so-called Patriot Act; advocates a national, not-for-profit health system that covers all Americans; has called for the repeal of NAFTA and withdrawal from the WTO?

Probably, but if you please, call NBC/MSNBC at 212 664-4444 and ask for the Comment Line or email them at letters@msnbc.com to tell them you don't think it's in the interest of democracy to exclude a U.S. Congressmen who has put forth a valid effort in the presidential campaign to be excluded from national televised debates. Feel free to forward this to anyone who may be interested and by all means encourage a friend or three to contact NBC as well.

Thanks,

Tim the crazy politico

THIS JUST IN:

Judge says MSNBC debate must include Kucinich
Andrew Malcolm of the Los Angeles Times:

A judge in Nevada has just ordered MSNBC to include Rep. Dennis
Kucinich in Tuesday's Democratic Party presidential debate in
Las Vegas or he will cancel the forum.

Senior Clark County District Court Judge Charles Thompson vowed
to issue an injunction halting the nationally televised debate
if MSNBC failed to comply. Kucinich had filed a lawsuit seeking
to be included just this morning.

The judge ruled it was a matter of fairness and Nevada voters
would benefit from hearing from more than just Hillary Clinton,
John Edwards and Barack Obama. Kucinich had been invited to
participate in the 6 p.m. Pacific debate Tuesday, but that
invitation was rescinded last week ... So set up a fourth
podium.

RIGHTEOUS ! ! But I would not be surprised if corporate sponsors pressure MSNBC to let the judge cancel the debate in order to give their lawyers time to file appeals that would keep DK out.


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Comments:
i feel your pain, tim. having participated in what we are told is the political process since 1976, i am less hopeful than ever before.
thanks for the info, though... and i am damn proud of dennis for initiating a recount of n.h. not necessarily for his 2%, he says-but to make certain that every vote was counted correctly.
 
[auxiliary rant] The recount was the other half of the e-mail from his campaign, but I didn't want to overwhelm people. His campaign, already strapped for cash, has to pay for the recount. The man has principles of iron.

I e-mailed this same thing out to several folks on my list, and one of my libertarian pals inquired, "where were you when FOX excluded Ron Paul from their debate?"

I was in fact incensed by FauxNews' maneuver on Paul as well, but not to the blood-boiling point of action. This thing with Kucinich gets me because he was already invited and confirmed that he met the criteria for Las Vegas. They don't want him because in the debates he has been in he's pretty much outscored or kept pace in the exit polls with Hillary "Wafflefrau" Clinton, Barak "Change Is In The Air (And Air Is My Platform)" Obama, and John "What Wall Street Hedge Fund?" Edwards.

Big media in this country is now officially just as scary as any other bloated amalgamation of wealth and power, and is really heating up the sheets in the bed they share with Big Politics. They paint the dark horse guys, who generally have the best ideas, as wingnuts. AllTim Russert can do when after 30 minutes he finally asks Kucinich a question is smirk about DK's assertion that he saw a UFO at Shirley MacLaine's house, and FOX was downright rude to Ron Paul. But by god Kucinich and Paul are the most principled candidates of any of them, calling out their respective party's frontrunners for what they are - THE SAME OLD SHIT.

I know DK has a snowball's chance in hell of getting the Democratic nomination, but I agree with his policies and his statement that a courageous vote is the only one worth casting.

[/auxiliary rant]
 
"Could it be because Kucinich is the only remaining Democratic Presidential candidate who voted against the original Iraq War authorization in 2002 AND every war-funding measure since; voted against the so-called Patriot Act; advocates a national, not-for-profit health system that covers all Americans; has called for the repeal of NAFTA and withdrawal from the WTO?"

At a guess, I'd say YES.

God forbid that someone in these debates chooses to not simply mouth all of those cringeworthy platitudes about 'change' and actually starts to say something...
 
that's the best news, tim.
really. looking forward to tuning in for a dose of reason.
 
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