NBC, in its infinite political wisdom, has declared that Democrat Dennis Kucinich should not be exposed to the public as a candidate for the presidency of the United States. While he may be qualified, he is not viable, NBC has summarily declared.
Only two days ago NBC had invited Rep. Kucinich to take part in the network’s Jan. 15 debate co-hosted by the Nevada Democratic Party. But, according to today’s The Hill, NBC “disinvited” him.
NBC had invited the long-shot candidate on Jan. 9 but rescinded its decision Friday morning, when NBC Political Director Chuck Todd informed the Kucinich camp that the network was â€œredoingâ€ its participation criteria, according to the campaign.
The lawmaker had qualified for the debate by coming in fourth in a national poll with 3 percent.
However, NBC changed its criteria to focus the debate on the three candidates with a realistic shot of winning the nomination â€” Sens. Hillary Rodham Clinton (N.Y.), Barack Obama (Ill.) and former Sen. John Edwards (N.C.).
Rep. Kucinich says he may sue. He ought to, because the NBC decision is disingenous on so many levels. Changing the rules in middle of the game is un-American. Going back on your word is un-American. Narrowing the range of ideas offered through your news division is un-American (but probably highly corporate).
Aren’t we all tired of news organizations deciding who voters should or should not hear from? The Iowa caucuses had a turnout of about 347,000 people. New Hampshire had a turnout of about 527,000, about 60 percent of the state’s registered voters. Both turnouts were records.
That’s not even 1 percent of the approximately 122 million Americans expected to vote in November, a 17-million increase from the record 2000 presidential turnout of 105 million. (See estimate, turnout study.)
Yet media adopt early “winners.” The “winners” cash in with more campaign donations. Those candidates whose strengths lie in other geographic regions, such as New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, are penalized. Still other candidates, such as Kucinich, who, we must admit, carries a certain “kook” factor, see their efforts â€“ and their thinking about public policy issues â€” shown the door instead of the podium.
I have no fervor for the candidates catching the media’s fancy on both the GOP and Democratic sides. Perhaps I will at some point.
But at the moment, I’m tired of my choices being limited by network news nitwits.