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Ear to the Ground

ABC Debate to Exclude Kucinich, Gravel

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Posted on Jan 4, 2008
Kucinich and Gravel
cnn.com

ABC News has announced that Democrats Dennis Kucinich and Mike Gravel (at right) and Republican Duncan Hunter failed to meet its benchmarks and will not be allowed to participate in Saturday’s New Hampshire debate. On the Democratic side, that leaves four candidates in the debate; Joe Biden and Chris Dodd dropped out of the race after poor showings in Iowa.


AP via Google:

The Republican debate will include Iowa caucus winner Mike Huckabee, John McCain, Rudy Giuliani, Fred Thompson, Mitt Romney and Ron Paul. It starts at 7 p.m. EST.

Shortly after that 90-minute forum, Democrats Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, John Edwards and Bill Richardson will take the stage at St. Anselm College in Manchester, N.H.

The network set rules to narrow the field. Candidates had to meet at least one of three criteria: place first through fourth in Iowa, poll 5 percent or higher in one of the last four major New Hampshire surveys, or poll 5 percent or higher in one of the last four major national surveys.

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By rage, January 9, 2008 at 11:08 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

“No force on Earth, no amount of stamping of feet and screaming is going to change the fact that neither of these guys is going to win on Tuesday.” Timothy1119

Had the 4th estate not utterly and most deliberately failed us in deference to the will of corporatocracy, who’s to say that Ron Paul or Dennis Kucinich could not have fared better? They have better ideas and more policy making experience each than all the front runners combined. By right, Super Tuesday should be spelling the end of the road for the very pinheads the media has put a great deal of effort into cramming down our throats. We should be worrying about a three-way dogfight between Bill Richardson, Dennis Kucinich, and Chris Dodd, with Edwards struggling for Vice Presidency on the Dem side, and the struggle between Ron Paul and John McCain on the Rethug side, with Slim Fast Elmer Fudd and Mitt “Magic Drawers” Griswald being soon kicked to the curb. Instead, the rodent animators at ABC have combined with the propagandists to give us the Corporatocracy’s perfect plan for continued hegemony. We get to think we’re voting for the next divisive junta.

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By Timothy1119, January 7, 2008 at 10:56 am Link to this comment

If you can’t even poll 1% within a week prior to the election then be adult enough to admit that it a waste over everyone’s time to have you at the debate.  As is the case with Ron Paul, he simply does not have enough support.  No force on Earth, no amount of stamping of feet and screaming is going to change the fact that neither of these guys is going to win on Tuesday.  It seems entirely reasonable at this point in the primary schedule to limit the debate to those who have at least some hope of winning.  Honestly has Dennis Kucinich even polling whole numbers yet?

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driving bear's avatar

By driving bear, January 7, 2008 at 2:28 am Link to this comment

I totally disagree with you on this one. The true problem with the electronic media is the fact that it is regulated by the government. In essence in order to speak on the airwaves the broadcaster must have permission of the government via an FCC lic. The FCC should only regulate the technical parts of broadcasting. Any one should be allowed to broadcast as long as they do not cause harmful RFI ( aka jam) another broadcaster. Also when the government by the FCC tells broadcaster what they must air it is as dangerous if not more to free speech as telling them what they cannot air. I say let Gravel, Kucinich, Ron Paul and Ducan Hunter hold their own debate and let another broadcaster air it and let the American people decide which if either debate they want to watch.

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By cyrena, January 6, 2008 at 6:41 am Link to this comment

I’m with Jackpine Savage and GW=McHammered.

Put it on CSPAN, or NPR, and let the League of Women Voters ask the questions. (and decide what the questions will be).

Ya wanna know about the SUBSTANTIVE issues? Yep, let the little old ladies ask the questions. (even some little middle-aged ladies). And NO! NOT Oprah. I’m talking genuine little old ladies who know about stuff that matters.

So yep, that’s an EXCELLENT idea. I’d love to grab Ron Paul by one of his pointed little ears, and see what he has to say for himself about starving kids, home schooling, and perpetuating ignorance.

Then I’d ask Huckabee if he’d be willing to run against Jesus, if God sent him back to run on the Democrat ticket.

And, that’s just for appetizers/starters/warm up. THEN we’d move on into the real substantive stuff.

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By cyrena, January 6, 2008 at 6:22 am Link to this comment

Ah,

You’ve got a good point here, except of course that would mean that we wouldn’t get to hear any of them.

(or at least not the Dems, since the repugs would never boycott anyway).

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By rage, January 6, 2008 at 5:09 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

ABC gave us the revisionist history for the events surrounding 9/11. So, I am not surprised, yet no less thoroughly disgusted.

We shouldn’t allow a network whose specialty is animating rodents to set the rules on which Presidential candidates we get to see and hear in a public forum. The airwaves belong to the public, WE THE PEOPLE, not just the American Broadcast Company fascist propagandists. AMERICAN VOTERS should get to hear from ALL the candidates who are still running for the Oval Office, both the vacuously hollow yet highly popularized as well as those blacklisted by the behind-the-curtain controllers of the spin. ABC’s job it to give the voters unbiased needful information on all the candidates, so as to arm us with the weapon of information needed to make a viable choice. Instead, ABC is grossly interfering with the voting process with these fake debates in much the same way the criminal underworld fixes horse races at the local track where the racing form only features the nags on whom the crooks need us suckers to bet the house note. Since fixing a horse race is ILLEGAL, how much greater a criminal injustice and prosecutable offense should “handicapping” a Presidential election be?

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By jackpine savage, January 5, 2008 at 3:05 pm Link to this comment

Politics has devolved under the unnatural selection of mass media.

The “second-tier” candidates aren’t going to be heard because they don’t have that lifestyles of the rich and famous, celebrity draw.  A debate run by any major network is not about informing the voting population, it is about ratings and advertising revenue.

And those networks do not want the voters hearing in-depth policy discussions, as that would allow the public to make their own decisions rather than relying on the network pundits.

Bring back the league of women voters, let them run not only the debates but the entire campaign process.  If there’s one thing that politicians are afraid of, its little old ladies.  And if there’s one thing little old ladies aren’t afraid of, its a politician.

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By reason, January 5, 2008 at 7:27 am Link to this comment

Although I don’t picture myself voting for these candidates, I like it that they have a voice in debates. As other commentors have stated, they seem to be willing to state their opinions and are willing to discuss them. At the very least this keeps the other candidates honest.
It is much to early to dismiss any candidate and if they are dismissed it will diminish the quality of the debates. The only interests served in excluding Kucinich, Gravel and Ron Paul are those of Washington insiders and national political committees. I am swayed to Obama and Edwards at this time and I think it is a good thing that the voices of Kucinich, Gravel and, Ron Paul are there so the largest number of issues are addressed to the largest audience possible.

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By Jaded Prole, January 5, 2008 at 7:04 am Link to this comment

The corporate media couldn’t play “decider” if the FCC was doing its job. They set the rules by which licenses are issued on our public airwaves. The FCC could require equal time for all candidates in the running and prohibit discretionary exclusion by private interests.

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By TL Anderson, January 4, 2008 at 11:53 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Mickey has the spoon, and feeding us a load of crap. I think elections should be decided by voters, and only candidates should pull themselves out of a race. While ABC claims it will provide more focused talk among the chosen, it has excluded the Nation from hearing the smaller voices. I hear Disney has been giving contributions to each of these chosen candidates, and it seems a bit transparent what the real motives might be.

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By GW=MCHammered, January 4, 2008 at 10:41 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

All this should be on PBS and CSPAN. Get major media out of it permanently.

How about We The People’s Channel?!

Just what the hell are we paying/playing for anyway? Frigging Twilight Zone Heaven for a bunch of Social Zombies.

Vote your head.

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By Enemy of State, January 4, 2008 at 8:47 pm Link to this comment

This is one of those increasingly rare circumstances where I actually believe the media made the right call. The debates so far with so many candidates have allowed little more than soundbite responses. We need to see if the leading candidates grasp of issues extends beyond sixty second summaries. The eligibility rules were published ahead of time.

  Now if only they could get past “gotcha journalism”, and start discussing substantive issues. Including not allowing candidates to get away with lies, distortions and half truths unchallenged.

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By Virginia from Virginia, January 4, 2008 at 8:04 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Hey ABC,

  How much FREE, FREE, ALL FREE publicity did you give those “winners” of the Iowa caucuses prior to your upcoming debate? I’d like someone to analyze the constant coverage of “front-runners” compared with the coverage of those you deemed second-tier.  Like how much air time (throw in newspaper columns of ink) did Hillary get compared with any mention of Dennis.  I guarantee if you had provided Dennis Kucinich or Gravel the same news coverage as you provided Hillary or Barack, Dennis and Mike would have by far been Iowan winners.

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By Virginia from Virginia, January 4, 2008 at 8:00 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Hey ABC,
  How much FREE, FREE, ALL FREE publicity did you give those “winners” of the Iowa caucuses prior to your upcoming debate? I’d like someone to analyze the constant coverage of “front-runners” compared with the coverage of those you deemed second-tier.  Like how much air time (throw in newspaper columns of ink) did Hillary get compared with any mention of Dennis.  I guarantee if you had provided Dennis Kucinich or Gravel the same news coverage as you provided Hillary or Barack, Dennis and Mike would have by far been Iowan winners.

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By Terradea, January 4, 2008 at 6:57 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

If all the other candidates really cared about democracy and free elections, they would boycott the debates unless all candidates are included. Anything else demonstrates support of a media-run election.

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By laughoutloud, January 4, 2008 at 5:35 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

hilarious.  thank you abc for being such a great spoon in delivering us such a neatly controlled product.  Can you tell us who’s holding the spoon?

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