Your thought for the weekend: Why can’t tell the difference between a candidate and non-candidate?

You know, if you’re CNN, you could at least try to get it right.

Go to’s Politics page and scroll down a little. In the right column there’s a box that says WHO’S IN THE RACE?

Who's in the Race?

Click on the gallery right under it. There you have “a look at who’s running for president, who might get in the race and who won’t.” Select the Democrats tab, where you’ll find them riffing through a list of candidates who are in (Obama, Hillary, Edwards, Dodd, Richardson, etc.), some who might get in (Gore), some who say they aren’t getting in but apparently are just too damned sexy not to mention, anyway (Clark, and over on the GOP tab, Condi and Jeb), and some who either were in but bailed or who have announced they’re not in (Vilsack, Bayh, Kerry).

CNN's Democratic candidate lineup sans Gravel

Fine – speculation is fun, especially when we’re talking about the next Leader of the Free World®. But if you’re going to play the game, can you at least acknowledge those who are, in fact, officially and genuinely in the game. Why in the hell do you waste space on Vilsack and Bayh when you don’t bother to mention Mike Gravel, a guy who was in last night’s debate?! Do CNN political writers not have the Internets? Are they trying to exclude a guy they think has no chance (if so, does he have less chance than people who aren’t running? Or this loser?) Is he too old, or not pretty enough?

Once upon a time was my home page, but I finally got disgusted, and this is an example of why. Even when they aren’t being actively evil (like in the infamous Elian Gonzales Cropping Swindle) they’re being sloppy and inept.

Or am I being silly to try holding one of our premier “news organizations” to, you know, journalistic standards?

Meanwhile, if you really want the scoop on who’s in and who’s out, please, let me direct you over to Politics1 where they take the task seriously…

11 replies »

  1. Wow. Well said. Probably the only one out there who wasn’t giving the american people the run around was Gravel. While everyone is cleverly crafting their answers in their head, Gravel gives us THE AMERICAN PEOPLE the truth! Not to mention a voice. Yes, I lost my respect for CNN after many dispicable acts and hey, don’t you just love to figure out who’s DNA sample matched Anna Nicole’s …? I will see you there

  2. I just hate that it’s gotten to the point where you can’t trust MSM organizations. They miss enough that no matter what they tell you, you feel the need to go find some verification.

  3. I agree. Gravel was a breath of fresh air. I heard him talking and I ran back into the room to see who was making so much sense!! Of course the rightwingers must just hate hearing the truth on nat’l television. Everyone else (including dems) talk in sound bytes. Gravel just said it like it is. I especially liked his interview afterwards where he flat out told Matthews that the media are a big part of the problem. HILARIOUS and TRUE.

  4. Thank you for writing about this. Even though I don’t agree with everything Gravel supports, I do think that his voice is very important in this campaign.

    I e-mailed CNN and some other organizations early this afternoon when I noticed this myself, now lets see what else is done about it 🙂

  5. Mike Gravel, Democratic presidential candidate

    Although I am a “political news junky,” I never heard of him before yesterday’s debate. Now that I have, I must say, I am extremely impressed! What a sad commentary on the state of America that hearing plain truth spoken on the mainstream media (and to Power) comes across as SO brisk and refreshing. I need to look into the details of his specific policy proposals more closely, but my gut reaction tells me he just converted a die-hard Kucinista from 2004. Although since you’re 77 years old, you should keep him around as veep. Or Ron Paul.

    Detailed policy scrutiny will come. Initial red flags include eliminating the federal income tax (unconstitutional already) in favor of a national sales tax, which will be regressive and national referendums/initiatives, which in many cases (California especially) have proven to be easily manipulated by Big Money, not People Power as hoped.

    All that aside, I heard righteous anger spoken with precision and force against candidates and a political-economic-military system all-too-accustomed to letting uni-party, blow-dried, finger-to-the-wind, cardboard cut-outs get away with saying nothing whatsoever while sustaining the imperial program of endless war and corporate rapine.

    That critique is what I want to hear more of, and lots of it. Gravel, give me hope in America again. Maybe then this blog will stop calling America Amerikkka.

    Gravel, be careful you don’t get “Wellstoned” or “Deaned.” And expect to be called a “kook” or – the worst epithet of all – “unelectable.” But stick to your guns. America is hungry for your message.

  6. I think the fact that we’re stunned to hear the straight truth from a candidate tells us something about the state of our nation. I doubt politicians have EVER been terribly willing to tell it like it is, but here in the age of image consultants and spin doctors and absolutely out of control megamedia it’s about as bad as I can imagine it getting.

    Even when a candidate impresses me, I have to stop and remind myself that unless you’re born a billionaire, it’s just about impossible to rake together enough cash to get in the game without selling your soul to SOMEbody.

  7. Or, go to cspin and try to find any video of Kucinich and the impeachment of Darth Cheney. Searching “Kucinich,” the most recent file is a 4/4/07 hottie entitled “Rep. Kucinich At Politics And Eggs Breakfast In New Hampshire.” Fifty seven minutes they let the cameras run on that one, but apparently a U.S. Rep introducing a 3-count impeachment motion against one of the true monsters of our age…that’s “not news” for the programming schlemiels at Cspin.

    The only thing surprising about Gravel’s treatment or lack of it by CNN is that they haven’t yet trotted out one of those “sources say” items alleging that thirty-seven years ago, upon the death of some close relative, Gravel was prescribed six Miltown tranquilizer tablets. “Gravel On Psych Meds Says Ex-Nurse” would be a likely title.

  8. Mike Gravel rocked my socks. He’s insane in a good way. No chance of him getting close to the front runners, but he does have some cojones on him.

    I, personally, blogged CNN/AP’s “news” coverage of the event, which was more of an editorialization. Pretty egregious stuff for “front page, breaking news”:

    “Democratic presidential hopefuls flashed their anti-war credentials Thursday night, robustly criticizing President Bush’s Iraq policy in an unusually early first debate of the 2008 campaign.”

    “There were moments of levity, as when Williams referred to Biden’s reputation for “verbosity” and asked whether he had the discipline to be a player on the world stage.

    ‘Yes,’ the Delaware lawmaker replied with uncharacteristic brevity.

    Not surprisingly, Bush’s Iraq war policy found no supporters on the debate stage.


    Please. Just report the news and let me come to my own conclusions, thankyouverymuch.

  9. sen. gravel was on c-span a while back. i too was very impressed. immediately i called my sister. hasn’t anybody noticed the only presidential candidates woth getting noticed on cnn are the wealty ones. if anyone caught bill moyers last week on pbs, he came right out and said the whitehouse began threatening them and they buckled under. i think what all of us need to do is start an e-mail and phone campaign to all the major news stream medias and let them know we will chose our candidates. not them.

  10. Also of note is that you actually have to select the “Democrats” tab — due to the Republican tab being set as the default. I’m interested in why the Republican tab is set as the default, and is the left-most tab. One would think the unbiased choice would be to set the tabs in alphabetical order.

    What was the thinking?