I recently watched and blogged about MSNBC’s Democratic Primary Debates in South Carolina, and while I am a supporter of Dennis Kucinich, I was highly impressed by former Senator Mike Gravel’s passionate, blunt and truthful commentary on the so-called “front-runner” candidates and on their calculated half-hearted stands on the Iraq War. Even more impressive is Senator Gravel’s ideas on the issues and his initiative for more participatory democracy. We need to see more truth speakers like Congressman Dennis Kucinich, Senator Mike Gravel, and Republican Congressman Ron Paul who talk about what we need to hear and not what they think we want to hear. We need more voices like this if we are to have a real debate about ideas instead of the usual nonsense.
That is why I am angry (although not surprised in the least) to learn that “in a pre-emptive statement issued on March 16, CNN, WMUR TV and the New Hampshire Union Leader declared their intention to exclude Democratic Presidential candidate Mike Gravel from their tri-sponsored debate on June 3rd.” Not only do the corporate media act to anoint certain candidates as worthy of attention and thereby illicitly influence the vote of the public, but also they often exclude the non-anointed candidates from debates that might actually improve a candidate’s standing and allow the public a better chance to become informed. The media should not have this power to control the viability of candidates and influence voters.
If you care about democracy, then I encourage you to support giving the public every opportunity to become an informed citizenry when it comes to exercising the right to vote. Act today to put pressure on those responsible for censoring an important and critical voice from the upcoming CNN debates. This isn’t about left or right or which candidate you currently support. This is about fighting for a healthy democracy!
Please note that if you decide to take action that some of the responses you will receive might say misleading things about how Mike Gravel is not being “excluded”, but rather that he is not being “invited” because he doesn’t meet some unstated criteria. If part of those criteria is poll numbers, then we have a pernicious Catch 22 in that candidates not graced by constant media exposure have an extremely hard time getting name recognition and poll numbers without the opportunity to appear in televised debates. Also, notice that there are only 8 official Democratic Primary candidates and that only Senator Gravel has not received an invitation.
Here’s what you can do:
- Sign this petition to allow Mike Gravel to participate in the CNN debates: http://www.thepetitionsite.com/takeaction/283054100
- Contact these individuals to voice your support for inviting Mike Gravel to the debates:
- Andrea Jones, ABC News, Washington D.C. (202) 222-6896.
- E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Alex Jasiukowicz, WMUR-TV. (603) 641-9073.
- E-mail: email@example.com
- Charlie Perkins, Editor of the New Hampshire Union-Leader. (603) 668-4321×321.
- E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Call Jim Walton, President of CNN Newsgroup, personally in his office at 404-878-1720. Let him know that you wish to see Senator Gravel participate in the debate on June 3rd.