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Media and the Presidential Election

(Photos by Robin Holland)

In her conversation with Bill Moyers on this week’s JOURNAL, Kathleen Hall Jamieson discussed the media's influence on ‘outsider’ candidates like Ron Paul and Dennis Kucinich:

"Those two have provided a clear alternative in the debates and expanded the range of discourse within each political party. Alternative parties don’t get to have debates. They don’t get that kind of television coverage. We don’t have any way to have those ideas percolate back into the mainstream. We don’t have any way for the public to see that those are legitimate and viable options and as a result, potentially, to rally behind them. And so, when those voices are marginalized, where people are taken out of the debate, that’s problematic for the process.”

Dennis Kucinich agrees. Having been rejected from THE DES MOINES REGISTER debate before the Iowa caucuses and now the ABC News debate before New Hampshire, Kucinich tells Moyers:

"How can you have a debate if you don’t have a voice that challenges all the others? Right now every other Democrat on that stage will be for keeping our troops in Iraq through at least 2013. Every other Democrat on the stage will be there to keep a for-profit healthcare system going with all of these Americans who don’t have coverage. Everyone else on the stage will be there for the continuation of NAFTA and the WTO. I mean, my position on the American political scene is to show people there’s a whole different direction that America can take here at home and in the world. And the Democratic Party in narrowing the choices and the media in trying to block the point of view that I represent is really doing a disservice to the American people.”

What do you think?

  • Do you agree that media and its political coverage has too great an influence on the elections?

  • Does mainstream media effectively serve the public interest in elections and create informed voters? If not, what are ways in which it can improve?

  • Do you think we have too many or too few debates? Are we including enough participants in the debates?


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    I don't hate Kathleen Jamieson but she is what she is and I value her absence from the Journal. Barack and Hillary ads are on in North Carolina, so we get enough of the horserace (whore's race?).

    It is so neat how Moyeristas have learned to editorialize and answer their original questions without resort to an authority or historical figure. If I use Herbert Spencer or Frederick Engels to underwrite my thoughts they really lose meaning. I believe great culture is built upon innocent plagiarism. Let's avoid authoritarianism and put down our agendas and links-Do our own thinking for a moment.
    This week the only new categories were McSorley (a genuinely caring person) and the Ridenhour Courage Award (somewhat self-serving). It was a good time to go back and fill in on previous pages.

    Let me also assert that I think some of the "off subject" posts are the best I've read. Some of us are trying to impart courage to the Journal and encourage a riskier approach. For instance, the worthy subject of hunger this week was rather more maudlin and superficial than it might have been. Yet I can't help but think complaints by my Folk School people and others steered Bill to the food issues. We fear a world famine, and believe this is related to but more urgent than global warming. We had a member die of esophageal cancer recently, starvation by inability to swallow and fed up with tubes, and the idea of otherwise healthy people starving has been very much on our minds. We read Lester Brown's Plan B 3.0 several weeks back which gave us a good assessment of the hazard. (I know. There I go using the authority/expert crutch.)

    My advise is not to be ashamed of an organized campaign on an urgent issue.
    My hope is that we bloggers help steer coverage. I have been discouraged by the fading of the 9/11 truth issue. You can use this blog to praise or criticize other media.
    Criticism: Seeing Douglas Feith, a war criminal featured as a book author this week in the major media was disheartening. Feith held a similar position to and exhibited a likened demeanor to Adolf Eichmann during his 1963 trial in Jerusalem. Eichmann you may remember was Hannah Ahrendt's poster boy for "banal evil."
    Praise: This morning's Diane Rheim show included a call from the father of a soldier in Iraq. He was a blue collar workingman but his suspicions about the testimony of General Petreus and Ambassador Crocker showed great insight and intelligence. He also worried about our country and his little grand daughter's quality of life without her 3rd tour father. He showed that many common people conceal their understanding because of an unfounded confidence in leaders and experts, and that these smart working people are beginning to rise up and demand answers. Its not only the price of gas, but grassroots patriotism motivating our good working people. (Damn! I'm beginning to sound like Hillary Clinton, and there is a tear in my left eye.)

    Anyway, you literary anarchists keep writing. Keep giving me an old age education.
    Nice Post-SirScud

    INCOMING>>>>>>
    Rep. Dennis Kucinich said, in part:
    "....my position on the American political scene is to show people there’s a whole different direction that America can take here at home and in the world. And the Democratic Party in narrowing the choices and the media in trying to block the point of view that I represent is really doing a disservice to the American people."
    In response Prof. Kathleen Hall Jamieson observes, in part: ".....when those voices are marginalized, where people are taken out of the debate, that’s problematic for the process."
    While the latter may be acceptable conservative academic jargon, it fails to accurately characterize the depth of the damage done to our political "process", "problematic" to what degree? It seems that if the intention was to convey a truthful depiction of the seriousness of this problem, a properly placed adverb or two would be appropriate. While "seriously problematic" would be a small step in this direction, from my view "fatally problematic" would certainly convey a more accurate portrayal of the real political circumstance.

    You ask:
    (1)Do you agree that media and its political coverage has too great an influence on the elections?


    (2)Does mainstream media effectively serve the public interest in elections and create informed voters? If not, what are ways in which it can improve?

    To the former, the shame of it is that the answer is a resounding YES!
    The reasoning that confirms the voracity of this sad affirmation, can be found in a response to the second query.
    The dissemination of factual information has several obstacles to overcome in our current cultural contagion. Corporate and governmentally induced censorship and manipulation through the monopoly of the distribution of all media is at the core of all the problems our citizens have regarding open access to any one conveyance, be it journalism, literature, or even art and music.
    This is not a problem unique to the United States, historically speaking, but it must be considered antithetical to the founding principles espoused by the likes of Franklin, Jefferson, and Madison. The problem goes much deeper that the current concerns over the so-called mainstream or corporate media, it has burrowed its cancerous fingers into the very textbooks we provide our children; which subliminally promote intellectual complacency and indifference through the use of historical revisionism and intentional omissions.

    I salute Bill Moyers, his wife, and all those who fight the good fight. It seems to me that it would be in all of your interests to investigate and report on the scope and depth of censorship that exists in our country, and to keep beating this drum until the people awaken to the significance and depth of this problem. As I am sure you know, more than I, there are thousands of examples to be cited, and as was referenced earlier, an excellent place to begin would be a thorough investigation of the production and distribution of text books in our publically funded schools; from primary thru university levels.
    The majority of our people are not simply uninformed, they are intentionally misinformed, and "disinformed!" This is not the time to be academically correct, which is nothing more that a term of sophistry in place of admitting intellectual cowardice.

    http://change-congress.org/

    Luv-yer-sho... Thank you, fer-takin-my-cull!
    Go ahead, Jack in Charlotte, you're on the air.
    Can you hear me OK. I'm on a cell blerp.blerp.blerp...buzz
    I think we've lost Jack...
    No, I'm here Diane, Hello Mr. Mudd. I've always admired your work.
    DESPITE THE BULLCRAP ABOVE I heard a really good interview with Roger Mudd (once Walter Cronkite's understudy) on the Diane Rheim Show yesterday in which he read a quote where he questioned
    the underlying nature of television as a medium. (This quote was from 1970 and his career suffered for it.) Mudd reckoned TV vastly inferior to the printed word for conveyance of useful information because it is dominated by action images, a medium in which violence and physical feats always dominate. Such is a good explanation for "what bleeds leads." He rated radio a little better , but still inferior to print.
    Having studied the drug -like effect of TV in the 80s as part of my anthropological training I can attest that its effects are worse than Mudd knew. The addictive properties are shared by surfing and gaming, the synthetic worlds of manipulated action images. Real life experience, and a familiarity with Earth physics, are offset by time spent in these nether worlds. It has been discovered they don't even translate well to the aircraft cockpit or ordnance battery.This might be understood as a shortcoming of human neurology had we not downplayed these traumas for so long. It must be to special interests' advantage, or to short term market or social control advantage, to delay rectification.
    But beyond this affliction are choices in the use of communications technologies. There are presentational and editorial nuances discussed openly only by scientists and social scientists. I myself have brought up the shortcomings of documentary work on television, calling it the harry reasoner method of instilling complacency. Harry and others deserve blame for their careless straying from the Murrow integrity but I also agree with Mudd that there is a third limitation beyond the druggy effect and editorial choice. The proximal unreality of graphic images in TV also produces a hermaneutic effect similar to the after-effects of prolonged and intense religious or philosophical contemplation. Dare I, a probable atheist, call it a fatigue of the soul. It is a condition where normally heart rendering events become mundane and even boring, so that they are shed like dust from our minds. I like to think I am a materialist but the phenomenologist Hannah Ahrent described this condition best as "banal evil." I believe what repelled Roger Mudd from TV was banal evil, the nature of the beast.
    Bill Moyer's journalistic career has been one of trying to overcome the condition I've tried to describe. Sometimes he has done it for some viewers, but often not. He is not as good a writer as a broadcaster, so he has persisted in trying. Like a zen master he is working against the worldly reality some call MAYA, and is counting on some exceptional Karma. (Please excuse my language. I'm not a Bhuddist.) Anyway, let me congratulate Bill Moyers for coming the nearest of anyone I know to overcoming TVs' impediments and embedding the good attributes of printed language in his presentations. His use of words is imprecise but honest and his use of graphic aids is strategic. That is why this blog works so well to augment the Journal. It would not be nearly as useful had Moyer's bloggers the ability to submit video.
    The only thing I wonder is why Moyers hasn't worked more in radio, which I speculate would be easier.When we say he is a hostage at Beret Co-op, maybe what we mean is that he is trapped in TV, just like Roger Mudd.

    Al Gore and the UN both say two years to go before climate deterioration becomes irreversible. First year we have a popularity contest and call it an election process. The second year we'll have an untried president. Smart? No, nuts! Why isn't anyone suggesting Al Gore for president. He has more Washington experience and world prestige than any of the current runners.

    Everyone who has power is a social engineer. TV and the Internet are both influential on the public. People are not normally as dumb as they act and sound, but if you bombard them with ignorant repetition they become parrots. I think all TV except for educational and public affairs programming should be pay-per-view with a federal tax designed to finance regulation. We already pay for the Internet with ISP fees.
    How wonderful it is that after years of talking back to TV unheard I can now write on a blog or post a video.
    To make your submissions meaningful they must originate with you and not be spam reflected from some other interest. Please people, don't be a Me-too.
    Tell us what you see and think from where you are right now. There is nothing wrong with original thought. Don't tell the readers and Bill Moyers what you think they want or expect to hear. Find something to say from your point of view, input to make you a social engineer.
    I don't know if this is possible, but I would tell our new President not to read TOO much. Use your life experience to decide what is truth and generally beneficial action. Don't be dreaming a fantasy (like W or Bubba or REagain did), but be fully awake and aware. Be original, not prejudiced by clever tongue waggers and so-called great people from the past. The old ways don't work anymore or we wouldn't be in these messes.The world we knew is ended. Caring and love for humanity and our planet are what matter most. Use your best mind and your kindest heart, even while dispensing strict justice. Social engineering has a high degree of difficulty. Hold on, Buddy. Ask all of us for help. Four years will fly by.

    The media has always been no more than gossip. Basically it's a relationship to be compared to all types of relationships. Communication is sharing so the media shares the way they see things. The reader can only understand what is shared by the way the shared material is processed in their minds. Surely the pattern of one who gossips about others shows shallow minds of ignorance. A lack of reasoning has the majority of our society joining in with opinions judging what's right or wrong by what's told them. The right or wrong assessment is a singular belief that harms the society that's plural. To attempt to make sense of those that join in on the media's game is draining and such a loss of life along with a total distraction in making the path to our society's survival right. I compare it to looking at a road map going straight to hell.

    What book the next President should take along to the House besides the Bible? Having Our Say!The Delany Sisters First 100 years.A true story of a century of American History.That will forever change the way any President looks at living,love and family.

    I would like to add another vote for "The True Believer," by Eric Hoffer as the one book the next president should take to the White House.

    The book that I would like the next president to read is: "The Politics of Hope".
    It outlines the opposite of the current politics of fear, that the current administration has implemented.
    Here is a link to the author's website:http://www.politicsofhope.com/main/

    To your question; "What book should the next president take to the Whitehouse?"...I would reply Dalton Trumbo's "Johnny Got His Gun"...I read it as the Viet Nam war was tearing this nation apart...it made a tremendous impact on my beliefs about when a country should go to war...and when it should not...but then again, in order for it to be effective, the reader would have to have a heart and some level of moral consciousness about his fellow man and not be a blood-thirsty profiteer.

    About what book for the next president to take to the Whitehouse? Read several good ideas, ie, "The Four Agreements" by Ruiz; John Lennon's "Imagine". and Lou Dobbs suggestions. I'd like to see them not only take to the White House, but read and share them with the entire staff, "A Course in Miracles", from a Foundation for Inner peace, and Jack Kornfields "Buddha's Little Instruction Book". "A Nature of the Soul" by Lucille Cedercrans, would be great too, but would require too much study and contemplation to be of practical use for a busy president. Actually what I'd really like is for someone to become president who has already read all these books and has no other reason to be president than altruistic ones, no ego involved. but I am afraid that person isn't running for president. That person is probably too smart to want to be president.

    My nomination for the one book the next president should take to the White House: "The True Believer," by Eric Hoffer

    Thank you very much for the program. One of my four children will be voting her first presidential election -- or I had hoped she would. She has come to the decision that it's the media who decides who are top candidates will be ultimately who gets into office. They chose who can run the best campaigns -- which require $$ -- and not the candidates with the best positions on the issues.

    I have to tell you that her view is not uncommon among our younger voters who are paying attention.

    While I support Edwards, it was wonderful to hear from Ron Paul and Kucinich.

    I'd welcome more question and answer style sessions with the individual candidates, and I learn more when the questions come from the audience. Really enjoyed the interviews on MTV. I'd also like more radio debates so that no one had to play to a camera.

    Media most definitly has a strong influence on voters and the elections. (see my comment on DEMOCRATIZATION and FOREIGN POLICY on this site) The propaganda started when they promised a TV in every home. As the Bankers and their pawns buy and own more and more media outlets the votes are being molded. The Media exercises their power over EASY information by broadcasting and printing that which favors those who sign their checks. The Politicians who agree to PLAY by their rules get recognition. Those who favor the people and the Constitution are locked out. You see, it's all about the preservation of "lifestyles". The Elite/Big Corp want to protect their lifestyle and Ron Paul wants to protect the American citizen's lifestyle. It is very clear and very simple.
    The candidates that get the media attention work for the Slave Owners (Elite/Big Corp) and they are against the slaves (the US citizen)being free... Those who work for the slaves (the US citizen) are outcast (Ron Paul)and blacked out by the Slave masters (The Global Elite and bankers). Whoever the media promotes through coverage and broadcasts are the "bad political candidates" (for the Global Elite and Corp) the ones that the media blacks out and avoids are the "good candidates" (for the people). I want to thank the media for making my research into the right candidates a much narrower field. They just tell me who is against my prosperity and freedom. Thank You.

    “The man who reads nothing at all is better educated than the man who reads nothing, but newspapers.”
    Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826)

    Cordially
    J Morgan

    An Open Letter To Clinton, Obama & Edwards

    You people missed the boat. Each of you had a golden opportunity to show the country what you were/are made of. To demonstrate your leadership and your sense of compassion, just once all you had to do was step forward and defy Big Media.

    Prior to last Tuesdays (so-called) debate, Dennis Kucinich was invited…then uninvited to participate. He sought evenhandedness in a Nevada court and for a time it looked like justice would prevail when MSNBC was ordered to reinstate the invitation. However, Big Money, Big Media flexed their Bill Gates & G.E. muscles and the Nevada Supremes came to the rescue.

    Any one of you could have stepped up and spoken out against this travesty… “Hey MSNBC, if you choose to exclude Kucinich, then count me out”. I guarantee the other two would have joined the fairness chorus and you all would have looked like heroes.

    Alas, it was politics as usual. In your defense, it must be uncomfortable having a real voice for the American people on the stage.

    Too bad you missed the opportunity but in retrospect maybe we did get to see what you are made of.


    Paul McQuaid
    Vancouver, WA

    Thanks for having Kucinich and Paul on. I agree that a debate between them would be wonderful, and I think that you could offer a great way for each candidate to get equal time. I appreciate that you gave Dennis Kucinich a chance to speak out, but it appeared you gave Ron Paul more opportunity to speak about his platform and you challenged Kucinich about why his supporter in Iowa was upset with his choice to make Obama the second choice if he didn't get the 15% he needed for the first vote. Kucinich has very strong issues and you could have given him more opportunity to show how he IS such a different voice by not being a media darling and supporting the corporatocracy that is spewed by the other candidates who accept their money and owe them something for that gift. Dennis is who America needs, but until the media really understands that it is we the people who choose (and give us the chance by hearing from all the candidates) I fear that he will not be the President we get. Its too bad; Kucinich has a great deal to offer.

    Your program is always helpful and though I often come in late in discussion of it, it is as relevant today as it was last week.

    I say this even as I decided to personally boycott reading the NYTimes after they hired Bill Kristol to give commentary. I asked a friend today whether the Times thinks I'm stupid or is it the Times that is stupid? Either answer makes them irrelevant.

    My network for news has changed significantly in the past six years as has my cynicism. I distrust before I trust. I want to see the video not the written quote now. I want to see the entire speech not 20 seconds of it. Finally, and most emphatically, I don't want someone telling me what something means.

    I was never stupid and never will be.

    I think we can all agree the media has too much influence on the presidential elections. They consistently deny equal coverage to lower tier candidates like Kucinich, Graveel, Nadar, Paul and others, which is wrong.

    But what really stands out this election cycle is the blackout on a top tier candidate that is actually calling for substantial change! John Edwards. It seems like that should be the bigger story considering it shows how blatant the corporate media has become. We are actually making negative progress with regard to our mediaocracy.

    The two most important things to keep in mind in this charade known as the American Presidential Selection Process are:

    (1) The impeachment of Richard Cheney and George Bush (in that order). With their lies they continue to trash this country, at home and abroad;

    (2) Getting out of Iraq as soon as possible.

    Is there something in the water here in America that leads people to listen anymore to the likes of Hillary Clinton OR any of the Republican candidates other than Ron Paul!

    As Ron Paul puts it: Don't try to claim later that nobody warned you about what is happening to this country. America has lost its way in even considering any of the presidential candidates other than Dennis Kucinich or Ron Paul.

    But, I fear, they are voices crying in the American moral wilderness. At this point, I am convinced that this country will not accept and do not deserve either Paul or Kucinich as president.

    Ms. Jamieson's comment recently made that she does not think politicians are actors is most curious. In my career as a film/video maker, I have had considerable contact with politicians and actors and have come to the theory that they both share a common ability - that of being able to present consistently a persona or facade which is not necessarily their own core personality. It is, therefore, quite legitimate,in my view , to question the authenticity of Hillary Clinton's recent "emotional" performance. It may only reflect the intensity of her wish to gain the office of president.

    I appreciate the fact that Bill Moyers gave Dennis Kucinich some air time, even though it's like a drop in the bucket. It is a real shame that this country speaks about 'Democracy', but will not uphold the values that it touts......when will WE THE PEOPLE experience the Democratic life that we were promised? I am behind Dennis Kucinich because he is the one man who is fighting for the rights of the American people.

    The televised eight-way debates are ridiculous; it feels like my favorite candidate always gets about 5 minutes air time in 90 minutes. Debates are designed to be between two people, so why not have a series of 20 debates, two candidates at a time. Pick winners and let the winners go to the playoffs.

    While I support the Writer's Guild in the current strike, I wonder what impact the strike has in our election process. Since I do not watch David Letterman or Jay Leno, I don't know what influences they bring to politics. I do miss Stephan Colbert, though.

    Kucinich cuts to the core of issues upsetting the status quo. Thank you for putting him on your show!

    Great to see Dennis Kucinich and Ron Paul on your show. However, regarding the Ron Paul interview, there are many important questions that needed to be asked that weren't about his libertarian views. For example:

    How do the libertarian views square with our FCC rules preventing too much media consolidation? Would Ron Paul agree with Kevin Martin on allowing more media consolidation?

    What is the libertarian take on the growing concentration of wealth at the top in our society--not a problem? What about the shrinking middle class, the increasing poverty, the shipping of our jobs overseas, NAFTA, and so forth--just let the free market solve these problems?

    What about the need for health care reform--do libertarians see a problem, and how will the free market approach deal with it?

    What about election reform--do libertarians think the current system of campaign financing is working fine?

    Please have Ron Paul back soon to answer these questions.

    Note to Mugsy:

    You need to look more closely at Dennis Kucinich's ideas. He has practical plans for every change he advocates. You just haven't heard about them because the press thinks they're running the elections.

    I hope the people of New Hampshire show ABC that the people have the ultimate say in our elections.

    Mr. Moyers -Thank you!
    I have heard much criticism of the "MSM" from all sides, but, sadly, it is not only the MSM that has failed to give Mr. Kucinich the hearing his positions deserve.
    As someone who voted for Ralph Nader in the last 3 (yes, 3) Presidential elections, and frankly would do so again, I do not come by my "Progressive" positions lightly. I voted for Nader in '96 because of the Clinton/Gore/"New" Democrat support of NAFTA/WTO. I cheered for the Seattle protesters, then watched in dismay as too many sold them out and voted for free trader Gore in 2000, while the Democratic Party engaged in outrageous maneuvers, not to debate Nader, but to keep him off the ballot, then had the gall to blame him for the Bush victory. I marched in NYC against the war before it began, worked to get Kucinich on the ballot, then watched in dismay as too many of my fellow marchers and petitioners voted for pro war Kerry in '04. Since then I have been watching/reading several versions of the supposed "Progressive" media and to varying degrees I have found a marked failure of nerve. They will rail against the MSM, relentlessly point out the disasters and corruption of the current administration, criticize corporate Democrats, and even advocate for real solutions - single payer health care, revoking our absurd "Free Trade" treaties, ending this absurd war, impeaching this absurd administration - yet when it comes to backing the one and only candidate who has championed these causes from the beginning and has actually introduced legislation to further them, long before it was politically popular to do so, they fail miserably. I suggest that one of the biggest reasons we are failing to elect people like Kucinich who clearly champion the causes and propose the solutions that so many of my countrymen have shown, in poll after poll, they not only are ready for, but know that we need, is because our "Progressive" leaders and opinion makers persist in telling us that these policies "can't" win and these candidates are "unelectable" and so we must settle for less than we need, less than we deserve, because it's the best we can get. We are our own worst enemies.
    I thank God that such distinguished "progressive" gurus did not hold sway in the late 1770's. If the Founding Fathers and Mothers of our land had listened to such as them they would have "realized" that a revolution was "unwinable", freedom was "unattainable" and settled, for what? lower taxes? a better governor? cheaper tea?
    I have been in the health care field for over 30 years. I have seen it wasting away as the Business/Market paradigm slowly but surely sucks the life out of it and out of the people who have given their lives to it. A Single Payor system will not solve all its problems by any means but it is an essential step and I do not care what the odds are. There are many persons who are walking the streets today because some health care person(s) refused to give up on them though their odds of survival were zip. Miracles don't always happen, but they never do if we give up.
    So, Mr.Moyers, I thank you for sticking to what you believe - that courageous views championed by honest people who have paid the price of admission deserve a fair hearing no matter what the "experts" think and for being willing to provide a forum for them when too many of even their "friends" will not. The stakes are too high to allow them to be dismissed.



    Bravo, Bill Moyer's, for your interview with Dennis Kucinich.
    Mr. Kucinich finally had a chance to have his views aired country-wide and what a breath of fresh air blew in to the TV viewers. He is one of the few common- sense candidates and I hope many will pick up his pennant and get to work. There has ben a creeping cancer in this country where the rich few are buying-in or being elected into the highest offices of this country. Not only is the Media bought and sold in this country, so is big business of which media is only a part. With it goes very bad policy favoring the rich. Tax policies, when looked at closely, always favor the rich. This group has been paying smaller and smaller portions of their income since the inception of income tax. And, historically, unfair taxation is the death knoll of a vibrant, sustainable country.
    For those working and lucky enough to get health coverage, you find that the coverage is shrinking or being cut off entirely. The only way to run health programs that make any sense, in terms of coverage, huge savings and in ethical treatment of patients is to run them as non-profits.
    Dennis Kucinich is 100% right; 100% right for this time and country.

    Bill's interview with Kucinich has been, quite frankly, disrespectful and disappointing. I am grateful that he gave Rep. Kucinich the opportunity to speak on some issues, but Mr. Moyers seemed obsessed with calling his tenacity irrational. It really is not for Kucinich to explain to the media why the media won't pay attention to substantive policy debate. Look in the mirror, Bill. Look at your colleagues. Interview Kucinich with the goal of assessing the legitimacy and worth of his ideas and policies. The rest is self defense.

    I was really moved by the interview with Mr Kucinich and my already great respect for him grew 100 fold after watching this. I have always felt that he talks just plain truth about our current affairs, state of 2 party "democracy" and their shortcomings. If everybody, just for a moment suspends their party affialiations and biases and listens to what he has to say thinking in terms of pure societal terms and really picks their collective consciousness, I am sure they can hardly find any flaw in him. The fact that money and mainstream media controlled by a handful of corporations (ABC did not allow him to sit in on last night's debate) have such a great influence on shaping things in the superpower nation of the 21st century is profoundly disturbing. And the fact that such negative influence also comes from within his own party is even more disgusting. I wish somebody raises that question in one of the upcoming debates.

    I salute Mr Kucinich for keeping at it and still planning to do so in spite of all the stumbling blocks thrown at him all these years. In spite of what everyone says about the United States, I think the country still has a long way to go before being called a true democracy that's inclusive (and not exclusive) of all types of voices no matter how small they are.

    I'm astounded that abc did not allow Dennis Kucinich to participate in the debate! This is America, and ALL the candidates should be heard! Years back, during the cold war, my Mom would talk about the 'radio-free' countries, and how their access to news was controlled and slanted...I feel that is slowly hapenning in our country, now. Would it help if we all wrote to abc, demanding they give Kucinich equal time? (I'm probably being very naive....)

    Thank You PBS For Actually Presenting The Views Of Politicians Who Care About How Terrible Our Economy And Foreign Policy Really Is. Ron Paul Has Really Touched My Life With His Views. Hopefully , U.S. Citizens Will Realize That The Roman Empire Fell When They Stopped Exporting Natural Resources (Steel) And When They Overextended The Military And Their Currency Collapsed. When OPEC Switches To The Euro, We Will Be Finished...God Bless Ron Paul!!!

    WOW! First of all,thank you for such fine journalism! What courage for you to do these interviews! Bill Moyers I commend you! I'll be back for more of this! It is clear that you are not harnessed as are most of the journalists today! I watched all three interviews; Ron Paul,Dennis Kucinich and Kathleen Hall Jamieson! I enjoyed all three!

    Do you agree that media and its political coverage has too great an influence on the elections?
    Yes indeed! I did not realize the extent of the blantant bias of the main stream media until recently.Fox has a very good name,although they are not as sly as they think!

    Does mainstream media effectively serve the public interest in elections and create informed voters? If not, what are ways in which it can improve?
    No, not in any consistent way! They are very biased,and very few check the facts before spouting lies,some very intentional, and distorting the candidates statements. I watched a Fox panelist (Charles K) after showing a clip of Ron Paul explain the difference about being a non-interventions(sp) not an isolationists, blantanly call him an isolationists,and continue to put him down! Let's have a fact check on the msm and rate them according to thier ability to speak the unbiased truth!

    Do you think we have too many or too few debates? Are we including enough participants in the debates?
    I think that we do not have enough debates and I don't think anyone should be excluded as long as they are in the race!
    I would love to see more of the interviews like the ones by Bill Moyers. I think that many people have a hunger for the truth, but have a hard time finding it in the msm!
    Thank You PBS and Bill Moyers!

    I really appreciate the professionalism of Bill Moyers in his interview with Ron Paul. All journalists and newspersons should learn from his example. It is very refreshing to see an interview where the person getting interviewed is not being constantly attacked and/or interrupted.
    I did not see the interview with Dennis Kucinich but I am so glad that he was given a chance to give his stand on the issues. It is really disturbing to me that both Ron and Dennis have messages that need to be heard and the mainstream media decides for us who we can and can't hear!
    I would also love to see Ron Paul and Dennis Kucinich run in the general election! For the first time in a very long time, I would not feel like I am voting for "the lesser of two evils." They both have something that is almost unheard of in politics today...integrity!
    Go Ron and Dennis!

    My already great respect for Moyers is now greater. Kucinch and Paul are being penalized in a system that caters to candidates who seem to have been elected over a year before we go to vote. Regardless of your inclination towards these candidates, they have a right to speak ad we have a right to hear it.

    Thank You!

    Thanks Bill Moyers for these enlightening interviews of Ron Paul and Dennis Kucinich. These are two men who are passionate, not polished. I do not want a Clinton in office. I'm voting for Ron Paul, even if I have to write in his name.

    I have said for months, that my dream election would be Ron Paul vs. Dennis Kucinich, because either way we the people would win. If Dennis Kucinich wins, entrepreneurs like my wife and myself would not have to worry about health care for our child. If Ron Paul won, New York State could finally implement a one payer system for health care and we would have the same result. There is more than one way to do things, but it frightens me that all of the media darlings are promoting the same wasteful government subsidized corporatism that destroys competition and actual choice. If neither wins their party's nomination, I hope they run together and offer us a real choice.

    As a New Hampshire Kucinich supporter, I very much appreciated reading about the experience of the Iowa Kucinich supporter. I am saddened by the poor treatment of this candidate by the Iowa Democrat.

    I am extremely angry with ABC's decision to exclude Dennis and others from last night's debate, especially when it decided to include Fred Thompson who, according to the Jan. 4-5 CNN/WMUR (New Hampshire's ABC affiliate),
    poll only shows 1% support among likely NH Republican voters, putting him at number 6. Kucinch polled 2% and is number 5.

    How would Dennis have answered the question about nuclear terrorism? I'd have liked to hear his answer to that and maybe the 23% still trying to decide before the Democratic Primary voters would have, too. (This is a different figure than Brendan's info, but both are correct, just answers to different ways of asking the question. It's true that even the decides are not definite.)

    I'm struggling with my vote this year, as are many other people I know. Dennis is the first choice of many people I know, people who will be voting for their second choice in this election.

    He tells the truth, which makes power uncomfortable. Power needs to be made uncomfortable. Here's what he says in his complaint to the FCC: "ABC's “arbitrary and capricious decision causes irreparable harm to the public interest by robbing the voters of the opportunity to hear his policy platform, including his pro-peace initiatives.”

    "ABC should not be the first primary."

    He also says, ABC “is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Walt Disney, Co., whose executives have contributed heavily to other Democratic presidential primary candidates, including Senators Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, former Senator John Edwards, and Governor Bill Richardson."

    Personally, I'd have chosen to hear Dennis' answer to the nuclear terrorism question instead of ABC's choice to engage Clinton and Obama in a "debate" about "change" and the elementary school concern with "people like Obama more than Clinton." But, as a mere citizen, it wasn't my choice. It was ABC executives' decision. They, their local affiliates and the FCC will hear from me, the citizen, and I hope millions of others. Check out a summary of Kucinich's complaint on http://www.dennis4president.com/go/alerts-%11-left/abc-violates-public-interests,-endorsing-chosen-candidates/and do your job as a citizen.

    By the way, the NH Republican party withdrew its cosponsorship of today's Fox Republican debate, which is excluding Hunter and Paul, saying in part, “The first-in-the-nation New Hampshire primary serves a national purpose by giving all candidates an equal opportunity on a level playing field. Only in New Hampshire do lesser known, lesser funded underdogs have a fighting chance to establish themselves as national figures. Consistent with that tradition, we believe all recognized major candidates should have an equal opportunity to participate in pre-primary debates and forums."

    Amen.

    *APOLOGIES, I MEANT TO POST THIS IN RESPONSE TO THIS BLOG, NOT THE ONE ON THE TWO-PARTY SYSTEM.*

    Thank you many times over to Moyers ability to thoughtfully approach and attempt to equalize, in some small measure, the travesty of the media's stifling of Kucinich, Paul, and others' exposure.

    I have to say though, what I think about Rep. Kucinich's exclusion from the ABC/WMUR debate on Jan. 5th (the LAST Dem. debate prior to the New Hampshire primary on the 8th). In a Jan. 2nd WMUR/CNN poll, it states: “However, only 42% of likely Democratic primary voters say they have definitely decided who they will vote for, 27% say they are leaning toward a candidate and 32% said they are still trying to decide.” That statement from one of WMUR’s OWN polls, discredits their basis for excluding Kucinich, because they base it on how high candidates are polling; that is, it is clear that the polling is not a valid justification for this, given that upwards to 58% of Dem. voters are undecided–as in, they could, to overstate the obvious, choose Kucinich, they’re simply looking for more information still. Therefore, the question becomes, if only 42% of these New Hampshire Democratic primary voters have "definitely decided," how will the other 58% make up their mind? Well, one might think it reasonable that they would watch the final Democratic debates, held a short three days before the New Hampshire primary. Not only is that reasonable, but is it not likely that many were waiting for this final debate to make up their mind? And what conclusion might they draw after tuning into this highly publicized media frenzy? Might it slightly (read: almost entirely) make them think that the only real options are the four candidates participating? These numbers and this quote are at the bottom of page one in the survey, located here: http://www.unh.edu/survey-center/news/pdf/primary2008_d emprim10208.pdf A more involved post of my own on this topic, analyzing this a bit more, is available here: http://election2008options.blogspot.com/2008/01/obama-clintons-calls-to-include-all-in.html

    The other quick point is to say that if Obama and Clinton truly felt this was an encroachment on the primary process, as they stated, then they should have refused to participate in tonight’s debate.

    Thank you Bill Moyers for allowing these candidates, who have been denied a forum by the corporate-controlled major media, a chance to tell it like it is.

    I'm very disturbed by the trend of excluding the voices for real change in the most recent debates. Since ABC decided to deny Mr. Kucinich his right to be heard because of some ludicrous technicalities, I decided not to watch any of the debate. I will now boycott Disney and ABC sponsers and will encourage others to do the same.

    I am even more resolute than ever to vote for Dennis Kucinich, no matter who the media swine present as the most electible candidate. Not one of the other candidates has done a thing to Impeach or hold accountable the current criminal administration; only Dennis has. He's shown true courage at a time when it is most needed, and my vote will be a small way of thanking him for doing what is right.

    Why won't the other candidates question his exclusion from these debates? They obviously don't believe we should be allowed to hear the important voice for Impeachment, stopping funding for the war, ending NAFTA and the WTO, and creating a single-payer national healthcare sytem.

    GO KUCINICH!

    The Media is a incredibly powerful tool.
    The ability for Media Giants to expand and Monopolize the viewing markets is becoming easier.
    This is becoming very dangerous for true Freedom Fighters.
    Wake up America, you're being lulled into submission by Corporate America.
    It's time for CHANGE.
    Give Dr. Paul 4 years and go from there...

    I was disappointed at the interview with Ron Paul. After playing the clip of him on Meet the Press talking about fascism coming to the US due to corporations having too much power, you did not ask the obvious followup--what should be done about this? Nor did you ask him other important questions facing our country and how he proposes to deal with them, such as the growing concentration of wealth at the top, increasing poverty, the shrinking middle class and the shipping of our jobs overseas. It seemed that the only question on your mind Bill was media reform, and Ron Paul kept tapdancing around it, repeatedly, but you missed so many other critical topics, such as health care reform and election reform--how is libertarianism going to keep the influence of money in politics under control? How are we going to address our health care problems if it's just the free market operating--isn't that where we are today? Please have Ron Paul back sometime and ask him some serious questions next time.

    Dennis does have a transitional plan. I have heard him explain it. No one will loose their job and folks will be served where they are the focus, not the profit. If he was give the opportunity to be heard even more folks would support him. That is why he is shut out. We live in a sound bite society just the way the corporations want it. Bill Moyer while it is note worthy you had both Paul and Kucinich on I am curious why you thought you had to play devil's advocate. Rather than point out his position on the football team why not point out what he did for Cleveland? George Bush was a cheerleader does anyone point that out? You had constitutional experts on your show stating impeachment was the only way to keep the power balance, yet it was only mentioned in a brief momnent. That was when Dennis pointed out that was what was needed. He has been the one to put it up for motion in Congress. He did not vote for this illegal war and he is winning in the polls. Why Bill Moyer did you back down when it matters most?

    Mugsy makes a great point, furthering the idea of Mary — a debate between Ron Paul and Dennis Kucinich, these two giants, two saintly men, as is also Bill Moyers.

    I watched Paul first, and thought, "here's Moyers, arch-Liberal, and Paul, arch-Conservative, in perfect accord". Something transcendent is happening in America. The true faces of the Enemy, and of the Faithful, are becoming clear,

    But Mugsy's point, that while Ron Paul so clearly and rightly fingers the corporations as the corruptors of government, the fear of many — most — Liberal admirers (like me) is

    1. he named his son after Ayn Rand
    2. he quotes Reagan ("the nine most terrifying words in the English language are, I'm from the government and I'm here to help")
    3. he quotes Grover Norquist ("shrink government down to the size where we can drown it in the bathtub"), Norquist who was Jack Abramoff's college roommate and fellow College Republican

    can he be trusted to follow thru on the defense of America against those same corporations?

    I actually think Ron Paul sees it clearly, and that his "transitions" allow for all the problems that will occur. But we can't leave that to chance. The beauty of this moment, Bill, is the opportunity to air every one of these issues with Paul, with Kucinich, making sure no hidden frailty exists in the system either one envisions.

    They are good friends. Imagine Bill Moyers reading the following:

    "Is it just possible that their seemingly opposite solutions to what are admittedly equivalent assessments of the problem are ultimately resolvable to a common end, a central place where both visions overlap?

    "If all Ron Paul demands is that the people pay for what they ask for, and with the, by his vision, vanishing difficulty of paying for health care and retirement, based on the removal of parasitic interference by the Banking-, Medical-, and Insurance-Industrial Complexes which he readily names, could Dennis Kucinich see his way clear to find room to accommodate such within his own vision, given the vast sums which would indeed be made available by ending the American Overseas Empire?"

    But what we need to hear is someone ask pointed questions of Ron Paul, as to how deeply he distrusts corporations, and how his "hands off" methods don't leave the hen-house utterly unguarded.

    Somebody ought to follow that thread to its ultimate end. I somehow think he is on the level here too, but until it's chased down, we won't really know.

    Can someone please tell me why conspiring to fix the results of a presidential election isn't covered by the RICO statutes? We have one corporate party controlling everything, and silencing anyone who doesn't want to go with the program set by our corporate owners. It's ridiculous.

    No debate should be allowed that doesn't include every candidate. Keep in mind that Bill Clinton would not have qualified for the ABC debate based on his results in the Iowa Caucuses in his first bid for office. It is indicative of exactly nothing. Barack Obama's numbers were superficially high because everyone who turned out to support Kucinich, Richardson, Gravel, Biden and Dodd went to him when they didn't meet the 15% requirement.

    I think that the current state of the political process is a monopoly that should be broken up - we have anti-trust laws on the books, don't we? Or are they a thing of the past, like freedom of the press or democratic rule? Any way, the two major parties should have to 'double down' - the Democratic Party should have to send it's Progressives to the Green Party and let the DLC shills have the stupid name since it means nothing anymore; The Republicans should have to send it's real conservatives to the Libertarian Party and let the Christo-fascists have what's left. Then, we restore the Constitution to its ORIGINAL form, which was SPECIFICALLY designed to prevent our government from devolving into a two-party system. Our founders were smart like that, but someone along the line talked people into letting the current system slide into place. It has to go, now.

    As far as I'm concerned, every candidate that participated in ABCs sham of a debate tonight is a scab and a party shill with no respect for democracy. I'll be participating in the boycott of ABCs news, the Walt Disney Co., and their advertisers, and not another penny of my money will go to the Democrats - I'm throwing 100% of my support behind Dennis Kucinich and ONLY Kucinich. If the establishment is so afraid of him that they won't even let him in the room, he's doing something right. If he'd go to the Green Party, I'd leave the Dems behind in a New York minute.

    Once the parties are broken down, a real debate that includes everyone who will be on the ballot - including the aforementioned 4 groups, and every other valid party no matter how small, should get to participate in 3 equal debates and run their campaigns on nothing but public financing. Corporations can't vote, so they shouldn't be allowed to participate in any way.

    The one thing that we did learn from Iowa is that the status quo is on its way out - the people want a revolution, and they'll have it one way or another, though it will start with the casting of ballots. This is not a good day to be a bad guy - things are about to change.

    The media has corrupted the system beyond recognition. They declared Mitt Romney winner of Montana with less than half the votes counted. Where do they get the collective balls to be so arrogant? Why do they participate in this brainwhacking? Where do they decide to run crap like this and seak as if it were true? The lies and deception by the large media corps is mind boggling. They are picking our candidates for us by excluding candidates from debates and asking only soft questions. Talk about emasculating a nation...

    The media has corrupted the system beyond recognition. They declared Mitt Romney winner of Montana with less than half the votes counted. Where do they get the collective balls to be so arrogant? Why do they participate in this brainwhacking? Where do they decide to run crap like this and seak as if it were true? The lies and deception by the large media corps is mind boggling. They are picking our candidates for us by excluding candidates from debates and asking only soft questions. Talk about emasculating a nation...

    Its a sad thing when we have come to the point that the NH Republican party that is hosting the primary has no say in who gets a say in the primary...everyone should think very hard about this and its implications and being a moderate Republican I believe Ron Paul to be in the right and I will vote for him....we are way off track from Reagan 80's

    On Bill Moyers’ Journal, on PBS Friday Jan 4,they talked for an hour about the candidates, but coming in second in Iowa wasn’t good enough to include Edwards in the discussion with Kathleen Hall Jamieson. Moyers only mentioned Edwards once during the broadcast and that was in passing in the interview with Kucinich. On Sat. Jan 5 the New York Times also didn’t find the Edwards’ second place position in Iowa worthy of any comment in the editorials. Gail Collins was the only opinion piece to mention Edwards when she suggested he is a William Jennings Bryan populist (Wouldn’t that be more appropriate for Huckabee, the anti-evolution candidate?) I did even find a New York Times news article on Edwards until page 10; the others were on page 1.

    I am a registered Democrat interested in John Edwards’ presidential campaign because he has the best viable plan for universal health care. However, it seems as if the media are thwarting John Edwards’ nomination with a news blackout.

    The theme of this show was exclusion of policy ideas by media. Maybe it was justice that John Edwards was slighted because I saw a piece about him approaching H. Clinton in an effort to exclude "second tier" candidates from the debates. Bless his sick wife, bless his hair. I used to support him.

    Media diversity and net neutrality have been Moyer's major themes over these last years. I suspect Ron Paul cannot comprehend the urgency of these issues even as his campaign belatedly benefits from our protests. Moyers and he must be very close friends for Bill to indulge this free trader who would auction our information domains to the biggest wolves. I call him Dr. Sheepskin!

    Last night I listened very closely and noted that Ms. Jamieson, who mentioned every other leading candidate (certain ones repeatedly) and most minor ones, never once spoke the words "John Edwards"-- which is altogether too like the MSM's dismissive approach for my taste.

    I truly don't understand why you never spoke his name, either, except when trying (in vain) to get Dennis Kucinich to explain in any reasonable way why he threw support to Obama, instead of Edwards. We all know Kucinich was miffed by Nader's endorsement of Edwards and by some ads run by a group on Edwards' behalf. A few days ago, I heard Kucinich pitch a fit about those ads on Air America. He wouldn't even try to answer Thom Hartmann's questions about how he'd stop a similar group if one tried to support him, given that laws bar any communication between campaigns and outside groups. He just kept sceaming about changing the laws and blaming Edwards for the situation. It was a tantrum worthy of Shrub on his worst day, during which he lashed out at Thom, too.

    John Edwards is, in my view and that of many, the leader whom we urgently need -- and the candidate whom the corporatists desperately need to stop.

    From your own published speeches, I know how strongly you feel about the economic injustice perpetrated on the rest of us for 30 years by the ultra-rich, so how about interviewing the one honestly progressive candidate who's easily electable? Polls show Edwards can defeat any Republican more decisively than Clinton or Obama.

    Shame on you Bill Moyers!!
    I really appreciated your introduction and discussion with Kathleen Hall Jamieson. Your interview of Ron Paul was fair and informative. However I was stunned by your interview and interaction with Dennis Kucinich. While the Paul interview was very positive and upbeat (allowing him to present his "message"), the Kucinich interview was very negative and downbeat, a series of interruptions by you, questions aimed at getting Kucinich to respond to accusations made by his critics and opponents, not allowing him to present his "message". You were frequently frowning or looking puzzled and in general acting as an adversary. Where is the fairness, Bill, for which you criticize the other media of not adhering to??
    You should take a look at the two interviews and judge for yourself if they were a fair presentation on your behalf. You should apologize to Kucinich and fess up to your devoted listeners such as my wife and me.


    Never mind a media capable of "connecting the dots". The U.S. public needs the solid information our conventional news outlets are so far proving incapable of providing. Does corporate news wake up to understand the global and long term stakes involved in its failure to support a process requiring an informed public (?), or does U.S. politics continue its slide into the quagmire of delusion, disinformation, and fear, fed by media shocks and mergers, and concentrations of power and wealth that presently drive this process ? In search of, freedom from manufactured fears, openness, and common purpose let’s encourage the “great debates”, expression and discussion of ideas, at all levels of society that subvert the closed and repressive atmosphere to which we have become so accustomed.

    … Thank you, Kathleen Hall Jamieson, Bill Moyers, Dennis Kucinich, and Ron Paul,

    Farley Andrews

    Yes Bill, the media is to controled by the corperations who have an agenda. It is amazing an chilling that Kucinich and Paul both Maverichs of their parties have so much in common. Thanks for bringing them on. I will continue to be a veiwer to hear these points of view.

    As is usually the case, the Journal reminds us that "mainstream" media doesn't necessarily reflect what is really going on in our country, our politics or our foreign relations. And even when it tries, you seldom hear the whole story, or even hear it accurately without bias or "spin". This week's Journal, however, failed similarly. While pointing out the reality of modern campaigning in this new age of Capitalism vs Democracy, you neglected to mention the other candidate who has been ostricized from the beginning. One who has already proven himself many years ago by exposing the Pentagon Papers and single-handedly stopping the Draft, thus helping to force an end to the last war, in Vietnam, which polarized our nation in the same way the war in Iraq has. That candidate, of course, is Mike Gravel. Name any other candidate on either side who has done anything in their political career that is equal in scope or consequence. Senator Gravel has been done the kind of injustice that belittles the American political system. He has worked tirelessly, without regard to his own prosperity or well-being, to bring power back to the people, particularly through his efforts online with the National Initiative for Democracy (NI4D.org). He has not dropped from the race, and it would be only fair if the Journal would do something to bring attention to his voice in this critical timing, as you have done so well with Dennis Kucinich and Ron Paul. They are all "birds of a feather" afterall, and any of them would do more to help America than most all of the other candidates combimed.

    I am writing in reply to the comment posted on the Bill Moyers Journal blog. Posted by: Sue S. | January 5, 2008 04:24 AM "let everyone see what a whacko Ron Paul is!" Really? Remember the GOLDEN RULE? With respect to Kucinich, he is better off without this type off slander.

    Respectfully, Cheryl

    Disappointed in show. We don't need another layer of expert telling us what to think. The lady who explained the media and Iowa to us was a total waste. Americans are not really that stupid. But the media is. I don't want to see Ron Paul on your program. Libertarians are anti everything. Why is it that liberals have to BEND OVER BACKWARDS TO PUSH OTHER VIEWPOINTS? Why not report real news -- like the FDA and cloned meat? And the Mexican trucks in the U.S.?

    What happened to Moyers? He used to report the news. Now he is part of the media pack giving us crapola -- "soft news" as in explaining things to us.

    Instead of these so-called "experts", why not just get someone, anyone, who is a living breathing citizen and sick of all the b.s. spewed daily, hourly and by the minute and second on us.

    Mr. Moyers
    Thank you for the excellent program and discussions with Congressman Kucinich and Dr. Paul. It is truely chilling to consider the reality of Corporate control in media and government. Most of America is numbed by the narcotic of commercial media. It's a "capitolistic" version of 1984.
    Oh, I do have a disagreement with one of your comments related to the Iowa. You said Iowa was so much different than the rest of the nation.
    I travel a lot for business and pleasure. I live in Iowa. We may dress a bit differently, especially in winter, but we are not different. We are probably better informed than most, as open minded as any but not heavily scewed left or right. Give us our due we take our politics seriosly and work hard at it.

    Bill Moyers:

    Thank you for your very informative and provocative interviews with Ron Paul and Dennis Kucinich. Both of these gentlemen have much to contribute to what ought to be a much more open discussion of the issues facing our country at this critical juncture.

    The fact that they have been arbitrarily excluded from the Presidential debates by the main stream media strikes me as the antithesis of democracy.
    However, there are alternatives -- such as the Internet.

    It would be great to see a debate between Ron Paul and Dennis Kucinich. Since each occupies opposite ends of the political spectrum, such a debate would be very provocative and would prompt us all to give serious consideration to the fundamental issues that each of them raise.

    Here's an idea Bill. Why don't you and/or PBS sponsor such a debate either on your show or on the net? It might have the effect of opening up a process that's currently far too restricted.

    Thanks again for your great reporting. You consistently set the highest standards in TV journalism and I'm confident you'll continue to do so.

    RON PAUL MUST BE EXCLUDED!!
    Only the MEDIA ELITES should decide what The American People can see and hear! They have access to much more information than you do and will make better decisions.
    Just pick from the ones they allow you to see and it will be much easier to get things done!

    Thanks for taking the time to give Ron Paul and Dennis Kucinich a chance to be heard. I have to say after hearing it, I believe that much more that Ron Paul is the right guy for the job, but I believe that Kucinich's views deserve to be heard as well. The one common view that I agree with both of them on is that we should bring our troops home ASAP, and none of the other candidates seems able to see that. I also agree with Ron Paul that the "empire" building attempt we are engaged in will result in the fall or the American empire as result of its cost, and is both unconstitutional and unamerican in nature.

    We need to hear the voices of these two guys, Kucinich and Paul. A debate would become a real debate if they were included, e.g., Ross Perot in 1992.

    Couldn't PBS host a couple of prime time debates with all candidates included?

    Thank you thank you thank you!.

    I have been a longtime supporter of Dennis Kucinich. Thank you for taking the time to allow him to speak. The MSN has failed this country.

    There are alternate ways to obtain our news. Your show... as well as Podcasts etc... I HOPE that the people will get so sick of the Corporate controlled media that they will reject it all together and unite under a new communication revolution.

    THere is another excellent podcast called COMMON SENSE with DAN CARLIN.

    I urge everyone to check out his podcast. He is a very well reasoned voice for both Left Right and Center.

    There are many others, I am sure.

    We don't have to let ABC or the DesMoine Register tell us who we should support or listen to!

    Peace

    Many thanks to Ron Paul for calling our faux democracy what it is: "facism"; I guess he calls it soft-facism--I'm sure that countries who have been on the receiving end of 20th/21st century US policy would disagree that it's "soft."

    As a student of history and with interest in the REAL reasons our government has gone to war (for business interests disguised as national security), I find this "brand of facism" has been going on for many many years.

    When will every day Americans refuse to be the aiders and abetters of elite Americans and their tireless efforts to fill their own pockets and bank accounts?

    SLC, Ut. pre-empted your program, too. I'm furious.

    Bill, great show with Ron Paul and Dennis Kucinich. You are the only host who has not tried to smear these guys. Even your old Now show smeared Ron Paul. Please keep up this great work. Mike from Arizona.

    Thank You PBS and Bill Moyers for showing the truth leaders of our country. Dr. Ron Paul and Dennis Kucinich.

    We should PULL the plugs and boycott FOX NEWS & ABC NEWS FOR A MONTH.
    AND ALL DISNEY PRODUCTS FOR GOOD.

    I do support the candidacy of Ron Paul for President.

    He wisely understands that people vote on their core beliefs, the Mormons and Evangelical Christians for example. And their preachers maybe telling them "you're not a real Christian unless you vote for (fill in the blank) like they did in 2004. He appeals to those of us who believe that the office of the President should not espouse any religious views.


    A debate between Ron Paul and Dennis Kucinich would be very enlightening. And when the time is right, a real foreign policy discussion between Ron Paul and Barack Obama.

    Thank you.

    Thank You! I am convinced that given time to explain his positions and transitions the majority of this country would rally behind Dr. Paul! It is refreshing to see Mr Kucinich and Dr Paul as both are men of integrity and honest in their beliefs
    TE

    Thank you!!!The media in general does a lousy job in informing and educating the public. They just want to entertain us.. and shirk any responsibility...well,real news and civil discussion of important issues facing this country and the world is not entertainment.
    Media,large corporations and the government are way too enmeshed, and basically I believe that it is their goal to keep us ignorant...Nero gave the Romans circus games, our media does the same by giving us inane entertainement and shouting matches.

    Yes, the media controls too much. People want to see ALL the runners in the debate and hear their views. Why should the media decide who I don't want to hear. This is the first time I have ever actually heard Kucinich speak, and I like what I heard! I especially appreciate the fact that you had him on the show. That says a lot--mostly about fairness more than anything. I can't stand the entertainment side of CNN, so switched to your show, and was so very glad with what I saw. I agree-YOU should run a debate!

    Thank you Bill Moyers for your persistence toward enlightening our minds and hearts.
    Of all the candidates I have found refreshing truth in the words of Dennis Kucinich and Ron Paul. It has been exceedingly angering to see them and other candidates marginalized by the corporate media. It is as if the corporate media has already chosen for us. What an insult. I will be boycotting Disney products and ABC I hope others do the same. We the people have the power. We can tune out. We can cancel our cable for one month. Get their attention. We need to exert influence to reverse the actions of cable television charging in the future for access to local program channels. If everyone cooperated, flexed our democratic public power...they would suddenly realize that, as Mr. Kucinich reminds us, the public owns the airwaves, not corporations, they exist to serve, not dictate. Frankly, the broad corporate media coverage exclusion of Dennis Kucinich is in direct response to the fear he puts in them and all the power mongers of giving the power with which they have surreptitiously absconded back to the people. Corporate media mind control is rampant and began when President Ronald Reagan sold, our built with tax dollars, public communications satellite to private enterprise. It was wrong then and fears of irresponsible corporate domination of the airwaves, censorship of information, and now the most immoral, outrageous, criminal censorship of viable candidates to the highest leadership of our country is taking place which makes it impossible to elect the candidate the majority of people desire as our leader, as they are not equally presented. We need to fire ABC and all other corporate for profit media who are stealing our country by not doing their job of presenting facts. Instead they present a lie which is what half truths are. We fire them by turning off our televisions. Discuss and debate with your friends and neighbors over coffee. If the other candidates had any moral backbone they would boycott the debates themselves in protest to the media control which is victimizing the entire process.

    Dennis Kucinich has it all right, he would be a dynamic, purifier of a process corrupted by greed. He would put the emphasis where it belongs and resurrect the full impact of the United States Constitution. Is the media afraid of the impeachment of Bush and Cheney because the investigation would reveal their complicity and they could be charged as co-conspirators? Go Dennis Go.

    Thank you again for letting us hear from Dennis Kucinich and Ron Paul.

    Thank you Bill Moyers for your persistence toward enlightening our minds and hearts.
    Of all the candidates I have found refreshing truth in the words of Dennis Kucinich and Ron Paul. It has been exceedingly angering to see them and other candidates marginalized by the corporate media. It is as if the corporate media has already chosen for us. What an insult. I will be boycotting Disney products and ABC I hope others do the same. We the people have the power. We can tune out. We can cancel our cable for one month. Get their attention. We need to exert influence to reverse the actions of cable television charging in the future for access to local program channels. If everyone cooperated, flexed our democratic public power...they would suddenly realize that, as Mr. Kucinich reminds us, the public owns the airwaves, not corporations, they exist to serve, not dictate. Frankly, the broad corporate media coverage exclusion of Dennis Kucinich is in direct response to the fear he puts in them and all the power mongers of giving the power with which they have surreptitiously absconded back to the people. Corporate media mind control is rampant and began when President Ronald Reagan sold, our built with tax dollars, public communications satellite to private enterprise. It was wrong then and fears of irresponsible corporate domination of the airwaves, censorship of information, and now the most immoral, outrageous, criminal censorship of viable candidates to the highest leadership of our country is taking place which makes it impossible to elect the candidate the majority of people desire as our leader, as they are not equally presented. We need to fire ABC and all other corporate for profit media who are stealing our country by not doing their job of presenting facts. Instead they present a lie which is what half truths are. We fire them by turning off our televisions. Discuss and debate with your friends and neighbors over coffee. If the other candidates had any moral backbone they would boycott the debates themselves in protest to the media control which is victimizing the entire process.

    Dennis Kucinich has it all right, he would be a dynamic, purifier of a process corrupted by greed. He would put the emphasis where it belongs and resurrect the full impact of the United States Constitution. Is the media afraid of the impeachment of Bush and Cheney because the investigation would reveal their complicity and they could be charged as co-conspirators? Go Dennis Go.

    Thank you again for letting us hear from Dennis Kucinich and Ron Paul.

    Thank you, Bill Moyers, for your interviews of Dennis Kucinich and Ron Paul. I hope that you will broadcast more discussions with Kucinich and Paul in the future and that both Kucinich and Paul will have time to elaborate on their plans. Americans need to hear discussions of real issues, it is something that is foreign to them. Thank you for being a true journalist. Thank Dennis Kucinich and Ron Paul for being honest and principled leaders instead of power hungry, greedy politicians.
    It is very unfortunate that Kucinich and Paul are met continually with derision and suppression. This should alert Americans to listen intently and hear what Kucinich and Paul are saying. Please give them equal time next time.
    http://www.dennis4president.com/go/resources/issues-library/

    Thank you for having these candidates on your show, Bill. But it pains me to say that I got the impression you only interviewed these two guys because you had to. You kept interupting Dennis Kucinich every time he tried to make a point and even had emails from his supposed supporters to discuss with him. You have to know what he was doing there in Iowa - playing the caucus game. I felt like I was almost watching main stream media for a bit there and you are one of my few hopes for sanity in our media Bill...

    Dennis Kucinich is the only one running for president with definate plans for all our problems and no one, not even you Bill, lets him get to the nitty gritty of it! But you let Ron Paul blather on and on?

    Several here have stated what lots of us already know - Kucinich is mostly in line with our beliefs, so here is the link to his "Issues" page and all who are serious about our country really need to go to this and look at his answers. Then we can reply to the spoilers who claim he has no "transition strategy" (what a joke). http://www.dennis4president.com/go/resources/issues-library/

    I agree that a debate between Kucinich and Paul would be worthwhile. The constant comparison between them would be seen as what it is - false - and Dennis would finally get a chance to lay out his plans. A side benefit would be to let everyone see what a whacko Ron Paul is!

    DITTO DITTO!!!!

    Thank you very much for providing Ron Paul and Dennis Kucinich an opportunity to present their views this evening.

    I believe they are the two most important candidates in this campaign. They represent real change not "new and improved" synthetic establishment change.


    I agree there are many questions to answer about "the how" of their positions, but EVERY other candidate in this race - including Senator Obama - is bought and paid for by the status quo crowd.

    I think most ordinary Americans have had quite enough of this status quo.

    Keep up the great work!

    Very well said!!!! You saved me some time in typing!!!! thankx poster

    DITTO DITTO!!!!

    Thank you very much for providing Ron Paul and Dennis Kucinich an opportunity to present their views this evening.

    I believe they are the two most important candidates in this campaign. They represent real change not "new and improved" synthetic establishment change.


    I agree there are many questions to answer about "the how" of their positions, but EVERY other candidate in this race - including Senator Obama - is bought and paid for by the status quo crowd.

    I think most ordinary Americans have had quite enough of this status quo.

    Keep up the great work!

    Very well said!!!! You saved me some time in typing!!!! thankx poster


    I just watched an interview from Dec. 7, 2007. I recall that Rush Limbaugh called Bill "crazy" for his using the N-word. It did shock me that
    Bill used that word, but he wasn't being nasty. He was having an intellectual conversation about the Hillary bitch comment. I wasn't offended in the least when you listen to the whole thing. But then again, I'm not very easily offended. I had a lot more to write about that, but I'm too stoned at the moment to get into it. Bill is the best interviewer besides Keith Olbermann that I know. Keep up the good work Bill and shake them haters off.

    Ron Paul 2008

    I live in Lake Charles Louisiana and PBS Blacked out Bill Moyer's program on Kucinich and Paul in this area.

    Does PBS Louisiana think they are ever going to get a contribution from me?

    I love this interview with Ron Paul. Thank you for opening alternative venues for ideas to be disseminated, the invisible hand is moving your way Moyers! I have been campaigning on a Fox News Forum, and any time I mention Paul, either no one replies, or they go on a rant about the need to "live in fear" of terrorism. I love that Paul's message is to be brave, believe in yourself and don't react in anger. Brilliant advice to the spirit as well as the country's foreign policy. Terrorism is largely due to the fact that for people in third world countries, the American Dream has become the American Nightmare. We have bases in their country, pay off their elected leaders, or worse, kill them or allow them to be killed. We must change and admit our shortcomings and begin to heal.

    May the Force be with you Ron Paul,

    Dawn from NC

    Dear Mr. Moyers,

    Thank you for this program, especially the conversation with Ms. Jamieson whose insights into the process (or lack thereof) of selling candidates were enlightening.

    I must say, however, that I was dismayed to hear you repeat the corporate media mantra, "now that the violence in Iraq has receded..."

    Nothing could be further from reality. May I suggest you do an interview with Dahr Jamail, and a review of his newly published book,
    "Beyond the Green Zone, Dispatches From an Unembedded Journalist in Occupied Iraq."

    Mr. Moyers,

    An excellent interview with Dr. Paul. You act as an interviewer should. Would that the other "talking heads" might take a cue from you.

    Dr. Paul not only makes sense, but he has an understanding of how his objectives can be achieved without--as he put it--leaving anyone out in the street. There is little doubt that Congress would give him no end of trouble if he were elected. But there is also little doubt that the American people would not put up with their obvious mandate being obstructed either.

    I also think it would be a good idea for you to host a debate among the candidates of each party--all of them--and later between the candidates of both parties. Only with fair and balanced journalists promoting open debates can the voters be truly informed before they vote.

    Mr. Moyers, you have earned my utmost respect for your unceasing efforts to bring balance back to North American media. Once again, you've bucked the corporate- Spinformation machine. You have given a breath of fresh air to a message suffocated by those holding tightly power.

    Kucinich is the Democrat's Democrat, indeed.

    And you, Sir are the Journalist's Journalist.

    A great interview. When will you interview Mike Gravel?

    Bill,

    Thank you very much for providing Ron Paul and Dennis Kucinich an opportunity to present their views this evening.

    I believe they are the two most important candidates in this campaign. They represent real change not "new and improved" synthetic establishment change.

    I blogged yesterday on the imperative for Democrats and Republicans to vote for these men in their respective primaries.

    I agree there are many questions to answer about "the how" of their positions, but EVERY other candidate in this race - including Senator Obama - is bought and paid for by the status quo crowd.

    I think most ordinary Americans have had quite enough of this status quo.

    Keep up the great work!

    I have to congratulate you on a very nice interview. You ask questions and you give him an appropriate time to answer instead of cutting him off like many other news organizations. Well done! I have never heard of Bill Moyers before but I have to keep you in mind when i when I want to watch the news.

    I think it would be a terrific idea if Bill Moyer's Journal would host a debate between Ron Paul and Dennis Kucinich.

    Thank you so much for airing this program on KCET TV in Los Angeles! I am going to make a copy and give it to friends.

    I've never watched the journal. However, after tonight I will be a regular viewer. I can't thank you enough for allowing those that speak truth to power a forum on our public airwaves.

    Thank you, Kathleen Hall Jamieson, for the last few sentences of your very informative conversation with Bill Moyers. Less than 2500 people in that atypical state knocked Biden and Dodd out of the race. That is wrong. David Brooks of the NY Times warned about this very thing. If the Democrats lose, it's because they've lost the only two people who could beat any of the Republicans, Biden and Dodd. (That's paraphrasing what Brooks said.) The system has to change. But how? We cannot allow so few people to make such an important decision for so many of us. That's not democracy, they were not elected to do that. Who is the person to initiate the change and make it happen?

    I do think that the media has too much influence on political discourse in this country. Too many times I have heard people say "I like Kucinich, but he can't win." Why can't he win? Because the media pay little attention to his campaign. Worse, all we ever hear on television, even many shows aired on PBS stations, is how a candidate is doing in some poll that is likely asking biased questions. I do not want to know how a candidate is doing in a skewed poll, I want to know what are each candidate's actual plans, proposals, and positions. I want to hear how Hillary plans to fix her husband's disastrous NAFTA treaty, and why she took campaign contributions from insurance companies. The media will not ask the difficult questions, and with their endless prattle about who is winning in the polls, they neatly sidestep this responsibility. I think it is wrong to announce poll results before an election, or to announce election results before every precinct in the country is closed. I think we have too few debates, and too few 'unsponsored' or alternative debates. I'm tired of FOX framing the debate, or ABC, for that matter. Everyone running for president should be included in any televised debate, and excluding Paul and Kucinich smacks of a big conflict of interest. These men are congressmen, and deserve to be on the stage, especially in light of their courage to tell the truth as they see it, and not as some high paid spin-meister decrees. The media could have a tremendous influence for good; they could promote a lively discourse, provide candidates with a certain amount of free airtime in equitable ways, and other wise enable our democratic processes and ideals. But this will not happen until we make the FCC make the stations do these things. Corporate media giants will never do so until forced to as a condition of obtaining a license. Reagan was wrong to de-regulate the airwaves. He convinced us that people with unlimited power would police themselves to do the right thing. His buddies then turned around and proved how wrong we all were to believe that nonsense- our present situation is the result of de-regulation. Some rich people are also great people, but the current hand full running our media giants are not great people. They are afraid of the public they supposedly serve, and their hubris has blinded them to the essential goodness in most people, and to the wisdom present in our nation in the voices of dissent. Greed is not enough to explain the obsessive need to control the discourse exhibited by the media giants. They are afraid of something and maybe it is the power of an informed electorate. There is a cure for this problem: it lies in the FCC and the conditions for obtaining a television broadcast license.

    If it is true that a plurality of Americans agree with Dennis Kucinich on the issues we must ask ourselves why no other candidate can share his views. It seems we are no better off than the voters in Kenya or Pakistan. The main difference is that they react , and we don't. beretco.op@gmail.com

    Thank You for this private time with Kucinich. He's got a lotta miles on him. And I never take that lightly. We need 5 more just like him in Cook County, but all I get tonight is PBS. :)

    A couple of weeks ago I filled out a survey on the USA Today site to see which candidate was best aligned with my opinions on the "big issues" (as determined by USA Today!). It told me what I already knew, namely, that Dennis Kucinich was mostly in line with my beliefs, as was Mike Gravel. But the surprising part was that they also listed the survey results for the nation as a whole, and Kucinich was squarely in line with the majority opinions on most of the issues.

    Most of the respondents favored a quicker withdrawal of troops from Iraq; most were open to some form of single-payer health plan; and so on. I was surprised because it seemed to me that if people really voted on the issues, Kucinich would be front and center in the mainstream of the races. As he said on tonight's show, he is not a fringe Democrat but rather "the Democrat's Democrat."

    Whether it's because of his height, or his hairstyle, or (more likely) the threat his views pose to the entrenched media and corporate powers, his positions have been relegated to fringe status or, worse, excluded. On the debates in which he has been included, Kucinich gets some of the most vociferous applause for his statements on the war, on accountability, and on healthcare. In return, he gets questioned about UFO sightings--a question with no purpose but to mock him.

    Like Ralph Nader, DK has taken some hard knocks and kept going, and has been a consistent voice for strength through peace. I'm truly sorry that the system is geared to isolate and spit out candidates like him.

    Thank you so much for having Dennis Kucinich as one of your guests this evening. At my caucus last night, I stood first for him and then, when he didn't make the threshold, I followed his lead in standing for Obama. I admire this man. And I admire you, also, Mr. Moyers. I've watched you for over three decades.

    We had plenty of debates, but they were among candidates for the party of the right wing (the Democrats) and the super size right wing with extra fries (the Republicans). There’s no opportunity for a third party that rejects machine politics to come in and give real competition to the current duopoly; for all the American enthusiasm for free markets, we have nothing like a free market in politicians.

    (People interested in alternatives that would make third parties viable should check out instant-runoff voting at the Center for Voting and Democracy (FairVote).)

    The media have been failing in their job as our “fourth estate”. If they groupthink their way into liking a candidate, they’ll happily fail to do fact checking or policy analysis, and they’ll take equal glee in showing the least flattering aspects of the ones they dislike. (Just imagine if they’d held George W Bush and Al Gore to the same standards in 2000.) We need a large number of our putative journalists to resign in abject shame and be replaced by skeptics who believe in transparency and accountability for public officials.

    Dennis Kucinich and Ron Paul both express the most compassionate and responsible views of any candidates of either party. For them to be kept out of any of the debates is a set-back for the citizens of this country, who are already being deprived of the vigorous discussion that a great diversity of views provides. The corporate powers are criminal in nature and, worse than that, they are strangling true democracy out of the lifeblood of the country. I am hopeful, however -- I believe that these same corporate powers underestimate the awareness of the people, who are fed up with it all. Despite everything, this next election is going to be full of positive surprises, and the showing in Iowa this week is proof of that. The eyes of the people are opening. Let those news media "experts" keep blabbing. Since they really don't know what they're talking about, we can just leave them in their darkness. They'll probably be the last ones to know and the MOST surprised of anyone in the end.

    Thank you Bill for a most interesting journal. I would vote for either of these candidates...which is quite confusing given their different political "tags". A Paul/Kucinich or Kucinich/Paul debate would be fantastic..a presidential ticket with them would REALLY change this country!

    Since Kucinich & Paul have been excluded from the future debates,hosting them on your program was in the true spirit of a democratic forum. Thankyou Bill. I do think it would be truly enlightening to allow Ron Paul & Dennis Kucinich to debate.

    The vision and propositions of Dennis Kucinich for a new America will sadly be ignored but, will be resoundly remembered when the end is near.

    The irony of the Paul and Kucinich campaigns is that, while I find myself agreeing 100% when Paul identifies the problems we are facing, I have yet to agree with him even once on his solutions to those issues.

    With Kucinich, I likewise agree 100% when he identifies the problems, but again, disagree with the way he implements his solutions.

    Paul wants to strip government down to its most basic functions, turning everything else over to either the states or corporations, all the while condemning "corporatism". "Healthcare" is privatized in this country and is an expensive mess. Paul would add Schools and Social Security to that list. The Internet, which Paul's campaign owes its very life to, would not exist had Paul of been elected President in 1992. The Internet was a National Defense government program.

    Kucinich wants "single payer healthcare" (as do I), but he has no "transition strategy", which would instantly unemploy tens of thousands of insurance-based workers. He wants to pull out of Iraq in four months, which can only be done if we abandon billions of dollars worth of military hardware on the battlefield at a time when the National Guard can't respond to floods or fires because their equipment is overseas.

    The pivotal problem with both candidates is I fear neither have thought through the consequences of their policies.

    I support Rep. Kucinich wholeheartedly, and am angry at the way his candidacy has been marginalized by corporations who own our public discourse. His proposals are exactly what this country should implement, or we risk losing our national soul.

    I'm a lucky New Hampshire resident who has had the supreme pleasure of seeing Congressman Kucinich many times over the last five years; he is my hero. No, he's not giddy; no, he's not gorgeous. What, then, is he? He is RIGHT, has been right for all of his career. He is bright, compassionate, articulate, honest, humble, intelligent, well-read, non-corrupt... the list goes on and on and on. It would be a fine day for our country if NH residents, and then the rest of the US, followed their hearts and minds rather than the media. A President Kucinich would be the first step in repairing the intense damage of the last seven dreadful years. Thank you, Bill, for your always-excellent show and for having Dennis on.

    I have to agree with Dennis that the media have too strong a control on what filters down to the public. Media reform will be as much a challenge as political reform but is important to preserving the democratic system.

    SUGGESTION: Bill Moyers' Journal should host a debate between Ron Paul and Dennis Kucinich?

    ABC's decision to exclude Dennis Kucinich from the Democratic debate is proof positive that the corporate media is in control of the election. Those who pay for more air time are the ones who get to debate, not those candidates that are worthy of being heard.
    Dennis is the best candidate bar none.. from both parties. He is the person that we need in the white house to bring democracy back to America. Many Americans who have heard him speak and answer the tough questions know this man is the best candidate. It's unfortunate that the rest of the country is not being exposed to his wisdom and clarity.
    Thank you for having him on your show. You can bet that your viewership will increase as a result.

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