Thursday, December 13, 2007

Shame on The Des Moines Register, Iowa Public Television and CNN

The better to dumb down political discourse and marginalize dissent, the latest and last of the Iowa debates did not include the two candidates with by far the most to offer – Dennis Kucinich and Mike Gravel. The rationale (said to have been concocted at The Register, though Iowa Public Television, the co-sponsor of the debate, didn’t object, and neither did CNN which carried it for all the world to see) – that neither candidate has an office or paid staff in Iowa. [No matter that Kucinich, at least, polls as well or better than some of the safer candidates that the guardians of the status quo felt comfortable including.]

In the other debates, Kucinich and sometimes Gravel were included. But what they had to say was ignored -- not just by the masters and mistresses of ceremony, but by the other candidates as well. At least The Register doesn’t bother to pretend. Ironically, there is virtue in that -- hardly enough, though, to wipe away a not insignificant crime against democracy.

As for the debate itself, predictably no one had much of interest to say. Everybody was more or less in (familiar) character except maybe Hillary who, seeing which way the wind was blowing, seemed to let a bit of light get between her position on trade and that of her better half. She said that parts of NAFTA, her husband’s crowning achievement, should be “reviewed.” But, of course, a Clinton will say whatever she or he must. For that twosome, sincerity and consistency are “the hobgoblins of little minds.”

To his credit, John Edwards lambasted corporate power at every opportunity. What he said was generally ignored too – by the CNN pundits who popped up as the debate ended and by the other candidates. But at least they can’t silence him. If Iowa caucus goers rise to the occasion and do the obviously right thing, that message won’t be so easy to ignore in the next round.


dl004d said...

Not having a campaign office or paid staff in Iowa strikes me as a sign that they aren't really running. If we allow into the debate everyone who isn't campaigning, then I deserve to be up there on that stage.

Ryan said...

Are you insane? It isn't just some yahoo, it's the former Senator of Alaska and Dennis Kucinich. They represent a large part of the democratic grassroots in terms of ideals, whether or not that necessarily relates directly to electability. These are not merely armchair actors that are being kept off of what ought to be the most inclusive debates to which we're subjected. They're the sort of people that are probably closer to the great majority of the United States Public in terms of purported interests regarding the future of our country and world. Consequently, the commoners are more or less banned from the planning of our future in effigy if not in fact.

This is of course all without thinking about the fact that it may very well be the case that everybody ought to have a chance to get up and have their say!