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That ABC Blackout Of Kucinich Campaign

 

By James Donahue

 

It is obvious that someone in the Walt Disney studios and at ABC News, a Disney-owned enterprise, does not like the blunt, down-to-earth and voter-friendly campaign message offered by Democratic Presidential Candidate Dennis Kucinich.

 

Kucinich, who is campaigning from the heart and not influenced by big business interests, was eliminated from ABC prime-time debates this week as were Mike Gravel, a fellow Democrat, and Duncan Hunter, Republican.

 

A spokesman for ABC noted that the three were eliminated from the debate because they failed to meet benchmarks for their support as outlined prior to the Iowa caucus. Under ground rules set by ABC News ahead of Tuesday’s New Hampshire primary, only candidates who finished in the top four in Iowa or polled five percent or more support would be included.

 

While Gravel and Hunter have remained nearly unknown, Kucinich has carved a name for himself and has been an outspoken leader projecting a somewhat Libertarian viewpoint in American political circles. He has gleaned grass roots support from a number of impressive groups. And we wonder why Iowa caucus goers should have the power to set standards this early in the game for barring any candidates from full disclosure while they remain in the race.

 

A last-ditch effort by Kucinich and his lawyer to get a judge to force ABC to let him in on the Saturday debate failed. Thus his message was blocked from public inspection at a critical time in the campaign. As New Hampshire voters help set the pace for the Democratic candidates this week, the damage done to the Kucinich campaign may have been severe enough to assure an inability of this outstanding candidate to recover.

 

Kucinich is fighting back. On Friday, his campaign filed an emergency complaint with the Federal Communications Commission, charging that ABC violated its “obligation to operate in the public interest” when it barred Kucinich from the Saturday debate. The complaint argues that he has unique ideas on major issues and that excluding him “is contrary to the public interest to afford reasonable opportunity for the discussion of conflicting views of issues of public importance.”

 

He accused ABC News of being the first primary, which was wrong.

 

Kucinich also is using his power as an Ohio Congressman to launch an investigation into issues surrounding the FCC. He appeared last weekend at a convention for the National Conference for Media Reform in Memphis, TN, to announce he would be heading up a new House subcommittee designed to put some heat on the commission.

 

He said the committee would be holding “hearing to push media reform right at the center of Washington. “We know the media has become the servant of a very narrow corporate agenda,” Kucinich said. “We are now in a position to move a progressive agenda to where it is visible.”

 

We perceive Kucinich to be among the best of the candidates seeking presidential office this year because he is not only speaking out against the Iraq war, he is the only Democrat running for office who voted against authorizing that war, and funding it. Instead of guns and bombs, he advocates diplomacy and a return to statesmanship as a path to strong international leadership.

 

The Kucinich platform also promotes a universal “Not-for-Profit” health care system for everybody, wants to work to save the environment, rebuild the nation’s failing education system, restore the Social Security system and work to provide jobs for the American working class.

 

While much of the platform sounds like campaign rhetoric, we believe this Ohio congressman has the charisma and the heart to lead America out of the ugly slump it has found itself in under the failed Bush Administration. If American voters really want a change this time around, they should be given an opportunity to give this candidate a close examination.