That ABC Blackout Of
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
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.