portland independent media center  
images audio video
newswire article questions united states

election fraud | government selection 2008

How can we stop the media from marginalizing good candidates?

Please post your ideas. I want to see more non-corporatists elected to office ... but unfortunately most Americans just follow the idiot box.
Dennis Kucinich, an intelligent, visionary and moral presidential candidate, dropped out of the Democratic race today. I guess given the circumstances, that was a wise and realistic course of action -- his energies are probably better used elsewhere, like his bill to impeach Vice President Cheney, but nonetheless this whole sorry business just adds to my growing frustration that anyone who champions the Constitution over moneyed interests is automatically marginalized by the mainstream media.

Who, out of all the candidates, has demonstrated the most leadership lately? When Obama suffered a surprising defeat under dicey circumstances, who demanded a recount and used his own campain funds to pay for it? Not Obama -- it was Dennis Kucinich. Who recently made the bold move to force his neglected Cheney impeachment bill to the floor of the House? Again, Dennis Kucinich. The guy might look like an elf but he's got the courage of a Titan.

He's got well-thought out plans to get us out of the mess we're in and he's brave enough to put them into action. Yet from the very beginning of this seemingly endless and increasingly trivial election process, media pundits would never mention Kucinich's name without a dismissive chuckle or an aside like, "... who doesn't have a chance, by the way ..." And I don't even listen to Fox News -- this stuff was coming from the Stephanie Miller Show!

Then they barred him from even debating. Why, he might actually bring up topics that directly affect people's lives, instead of petty jabs at what constitutes "racist overtones" -- while elsewhere in the country they're hanging nooses and forcing Katrina victims out of their miserable homes.

Ron Paul, another man who the press seems to think takes his constitutional oath too seriously, is faring slightly better despite being banned from some debates. You just can't ignore the passion of his supporters, and their amazing capacity to generate contributions. Still, the media are doing their very best to stifle what threatens to erupt into a blazing wildfire.

My question is this: what can we do to get around this obvious media bias towards the moneyed interests? Right now I'm volunteering for Cindy Sheehan's congressional campaign against Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Despite Cindy's name recognition and a growing divide between Pelosi and her constituents, the press is doing everything it can to ignore or trivialize Cindy's campaign. I'm tired of seeing good people like Kucinich, Gravel, Paul and Sheehan being shunted off from public view because only "crazy" people believe in idealistic princibles anymore. I mean, let's get *real*, people ... being president has more to do with sucking up to AIPAC than anything else.

I'd appreciate any ideas on this.

homepage: homepage: http://jpaulson.blogspot.com


Excellent questions Jody! 25.Jan.2008 17:28

StevetheGreen

Let me preface my comments to your excellent questions with the following premise.
There has never been a problem solved in the history of man without first identifying the cause of that problem and then eliminating it.

Therefore the first issue at hand is to identify what the problem is.
The ultimate problem of course is the United States perverted version of capitalism and it's impact on our primitive electoral system. But given the fact that will probably not change very soon, there are incremental steps that must be taken before we can eliminate the problem, thus freeing the way for real people to get elected into office who might actually try and do what is best for people and the planet.

1) Come to grips with the fact that the two party system is a corrupt flawed outdated bought and sold group of corporatists who are not the least bit interested in representing their constituencies when it is not their constituencies who finance their campaigns. Acknowledge the reality that changing the Democratic party from within is like changing the military from within and has about as much chance of success. Acknowledge that the leadership of the DNC would never allow someone who would actually represent the people to be their nominee. It's time to stop believing in Santa Claus as painful as it might be for some.

2) Eliminate the domination of the two party system by taking the following actions.

a) Get involved with a third party with whose values you share or create your own
b) Recruit people to be candidates or be a candidate yourself
c) Work locally toward electoral changes like IRV and proportional representation
d) Work in your own community for public financing of campaigns
e) Work toward real Campaign finance reform with teeth
f) Work toward eliminating all electronic voting and demand a paper ballot

3) Organize locally and create alliances with groups with shared goals and support each other in solidarity whenever possible

4) Vote with your dollars with every purchase. Do everything in your power to insure you are not subsidizing the corporate plutocracy that currently controls our government.

5) Become the media

These thoughts are just a few ideas.
None are easy and all take committment.
It's just a matter of how mad you need to get.

You can't , forget about it. 25.Jan.2008 22:02

.

The corporations are sooooo much in control with their mega millions that it is all over folks. Get used to it.

It is a done deal! They have won!

We lost. Deal with it.

SteveTheGreen's advice 25.Jan.2008 22:06

small d democrat

Let's see, the choices - revolutionary, cynic, comic, Green, Communist, Anarchist, Labor organizer . . . ? "Mirror, mirror on the wall, who is the coolest of them all?"

Incremental steps? YES. But isn't that working to change the system from within? Of course it is! You can drop out of the big D Democrats, but you can't avoid the fact that there's no way to change the system except by working within the system - short of leaving the country and even then, the system is everywhere.

2) a) and b) aren't going to amount to much without c), d), e) and f), AND, if you're serious about taking this path, obviously you have to vote in every election where you live. People who are so disillusioned that they do not vote . . . the advice by SteveTheGreen doesn't apply to them. You can be aware of how corrupt the voting process has become, but you still have to keep your hand in, if you're thinking along the lines that Paulson is.

And why not? Too busy making your first $million? Or preparing to survive the chaos to come (or that already is?) so as to be part of a revolutionary cadre someday?

The bottom line is that most of your friends will walk away from you. You'll be thought of as very weird and very, very boring. Also very stupid for not understanding that things have to really go to hell first, and then the Revolution and all that. Politics ain't cool. And it ain't easy - for the anti-corporatist or "progressive" politico. You got to have the Quixote Complex.

2) Eliminate the domination of the two party system by taking the following actions.

a) Get involved with a third party with whose values you share --

YES. There are minor parties, notably SteveTheGreen's Pacific Green Party.

-- or create your own

I think the Green Party needs a new name. "Pacific Green" is okay, but nationally, it needs to be something like the Reform/Green Party. Green is too heavy with ideological baggage - too complicated. Guess I'll have to form my own party.

Create my own party? NOT something an individual can do, unless that individual happens to be a billionaire. More what an individual can do is pay attention to Indy and other likely news sources for gatherings, conferences and conventions of independents and party start-ups and really try to attend. But be prepared to be disappointed by at least half of them. And be prepared for many, many long and boring meetings.

b) Recruit people to be candidates or be a candidate yourself

If people ask you to become a candidate, that's one thing. Especially in a context of your participation in political processes, demonstrations, whatever - then, if people you know ask you to become a candidate, that's something to consider. But to set out on your own to be a candidate? If it's a minor local office, maybe . . . if you have lots of time and energy . . . and at least enough money to support yourself for a while.

On the other hand, Kucinich first ran for office when he was 21 and was first elected when he was 23 (to the Cleveland City Council). He's always been interested and involved in politics, and he's always been a workaholic - except for a five-year break around 1990 "on a quest for meaning" in New Mexico. So, imagine thousands more like Dennis Kucinich . . . The key to Dennis' "success" is that he took on a challenge and decided to break all the rules by fighting the corporate establishment on the issue of privatization of Cleveland Electric. His whole career, to date, has been based on taking on that challenge in his early days in politics (1970's). He didn't invent that challenge, it just came to him like karma.

c) Work locally toward electoral changes like IRV and proportional representation

YES. In states like Oregon, where there's the initiative process, that's the way to go. True, we already have a provision for IRV thanks to a ballot initiative many years ago, but the legislature isn't going to act on that. It's a gnarly problem - framing an initiative that people would go for. There's always resistance to change. It has to be a form of IRV that isn't so complicated that ordinary people can't visualize it easily. Like the huge initiative for medical care that was so long and complex - and got shot down in the election. As for proportional representation, that's even tougher, because it's completely outside anything that has ever been done in the U.S. You would even face constitutional challenges that it isn't a "republican" form of government such as is demanded of every state by the U.S. Constitution. (Court challenges = $$$$ is the thing.) We probably will never see proportional representation in this country except by way of bringing in IRV first.

d) Work in your own community for public financing of campaigns

YES. Although the reality is that you have to work in, or within alliances in, not your own "community" but in your political jurisdiction - not exactly the same thing.

e) Work toward real Campaign finance reform with teeth

YES. But Kucinich has pointed out that, if we want to get anywhere with this, there's no way around the need for a Constitutional amendment to roll back Buckley v. Valeo. So, first, you need to read the U.S. Constitution for the process of passing an amendment to it. There's no way to get to campaign finance reform without first putting progressives into Congress, which probably won't happen without public financing - but that, at least, CAN be done without amending the U.S. Constitution, assuming that the Supreme Court doesn't more even farther to the "Right" than it already is.

f) Work toward eliminating all electronic voting and demand a paper ballot

YES. Maybe even get involved in auditing, citizen participation.

It's a strange world where getting elected president or even to Congress "has more to do with sucking up to AIPAC than anything else." That can't be good.

Keep on keepin' on, SteveTheGreen!

United We Stand with Media Reform 26.Jan.2008 22:57

BridgeWalkerOne chasdumontain@aol.com

In response to your plea Jody, below the dotted line is a piece I wrote previously re complicity of the media and some exciting developements. It is vital to get this message out so large amts of interested people (we all should be) join the coalition which is gaining steam. But first, I was thinking out loud:

There is a whole huge portion of the country which is activated, at this moment in time. Dedicated organizations and many individuals need to keep the energy up thru the next 4 yrs by encouraging each other and the various factions (fractions) ie Greens, Socialists, Libertarians, Independants, Progressives, Kucinich supporters, et al to come together. They would coalesce for a common purpose and start to collectively put up their really great candidates who will go thru certain processes over the internet and compete with each other for leadership positions to run against the RepubliDems. This could be done by massive advertising for a half year and then massive campaigning for a half year all via the internet and by word of mouth. Elections for various candidates would be held and these people would run against the RD's. All of the various progressive websites: Truthout, Buzzflash, CommonDreams, Alternet, TomDispatch, HuffingtonPost, AfterDowningStreet, OpEdNews.com, InformationClearingHouse.com and many, many others could participate in this process instead of all of us spinning our wheels divided and getting nowhere.

If Wexler can get 220,000 petitioners in 1 month and ImpeachCheney.com (I think) can get almost 1 million signees in the last 8-10 months, with some aggressive emailing, talking and encouraging by all of us, we could get the other 90% of people whom these figures probably represent and voila!, you now have a coalition of about 11 million people banding together with a fervent purpose to elect as many progressive candidates as possible in upcoming elections.

Later, an election for a potential candidate for president can take place right on the internet or on one of the alternative news sources that my article below addresses with write-in votes.This candidate would be the first selected to run against the RepubliDems for president from the internet. This could be facilitated by leaders from all the factions, meetings could be regularly held which would concentrate on broad social issues and with good leadership petty infighting could be squelched until we are able to get this one person to represent all of us who have been marginalized. I know that this would take some valiant putting aside of differences to adhere to a common goal of getting that 3rd and united party established. Leaders from within could be selected for v-p and cabinet members so all the groups are represented and united under a new party with a new name. We do have plenty of good leaders and a tremendous amt of energy to keep this going. These are my thoughts and now here is the piece I wrote basically as I wrote it in August on the media reform movements afoot. Be sure, one and all to click on these URL sites and save June 6th -8th and meet with all of us in Minneapolis.
,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,
As most of us, at least on the liberal internet media, understand, a large and powerful reason for all the tomfoolery in our election processes and in our government is because of a media which is handmaiden to the corporate superstars. This relationship has been carefully built, brick by brick, since the days of Edward R Murrow and the "Call For Phillip Morris". General Electric Theater began their masonry trade in early 1953, building an empire with the help of their chief star and bricklayer Ronald Reagan, who hosted a show which entertained the public with adapted shows of fiction. He would continue on as president years later entertaining the public with similar short stories (Air Traffic Controller's Strike), novels (The Iran Contra Affair), plays (you know the long one about "trickle-down-economics" helping the disadvantaged) and other works of fiction (ending the Cold War shouting, "Take it down") much the same as he had done on the GE Theater hour. Ronnie served his keepers well; and they took care of him.

The end result today is total corporate control not only of the media, but also all three branches of the govt. This became profoundly evident when the behemoth GE, who owns NBC and is a major supplier to the DOD, was the major player behind Dennis Kucinich's loss of 'debate' time in Nevada. Dennis Kucinich so disturbed the networks by his refusal to be bought and his refusal to keep silent on vital issues important for us as citizens (but disturbing for the MIC) that they silenced him using their massive leverage over the govt. And nobody said no!

All this brings me to an article I wrote on 8-17-07. It appears to me the beginnings of a revolution towards the problems with the media in this country; and perhaps a remedy for the reasons why people vote so stupidly. (let me not forget, we of course do have Democracy Now on 600 stations and PBS). Here then is that article:
,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,
Many of us realize, Republican or Democrat, Liberal or Conservative, Christian or atheist, rich or poor that our corporate-run-media is not telling us the whole story and often we are being fed pabulum to keep our hunger for the truth at bay and to promote the agenda of those who own the media. It is no better to be fed part of the truth than to be fed lies. It is often difficult to tune into much of what's on TV or cable or read certain newspapers or magazines and find un-opinionated, unadulterated truth. We receive instead partial truth, opinion, commentary, mis-information or dis-information from those who own the media.

For decades there's been a grassroots movement to reclaim the media; to infuse the mainstream with the truth. Previously it started with small, independent newsletters or newspapers; it now continues in independent websites and blogs. Like all movements it started out small but has now gained credibility and a good head of steam as it is coalescing rapidly forward. As it is does so, the powers that be are moving just as rapidly to stop it and prevent net-neutrality. This movement, of the non-corporate owned free-press on the internet and others, has the power to unite the people because it is powered by the people and united by the truth. You can become an integral part of this movement by becoming informed and supporting it; we all can.

This movement has a name and is called the "National Conference for Media Reform" or NCMR and is now staged to revolutionize our ability to easily become truly informed American citizens as well as citizens of the world. This is very exciting as the following video clips will demonstrate. Please don't pass on this opportunity to become informed on one of the most exciting movements of our new century.

As I said, it is growing rapidly and just as rapidly it is being assaulted in an attempt to suppress the truth. You will witness this more in the coming months and years if each one of us does not take a stand in helping it grow and move forward. There are many among us who do not want the truth to be presented for it is not to their psychological, corporate, religious, ideological, political or fill in the blank _______________ advantage. I, for one, am greedy for the truth and will head out next summer to Minneapolis to be a part of this wonderful opportunity. The time to use our power is now.

Click on or copy/paste the following link or those within the forwarded message. Do the same with the one following it on "The Real News".

 http://www.freepress.net/ncmr07/
,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

Here is the link to a Canadian enterprise which will very shortly be providing RealNews on U.S. TV. It will not be funded by advertisers, government, big business or by anyone with a vested interest. I, like thousands of others, have been secretly wishing for this for years. It will be funded by the people, for the people.

 http://www.therealnews.com/web/index.php

You can read the extended interview of Paul Jay, the man creating this independent alternative news service in BuzzFlash.com. This is truly exciting news. This alternative news service will become available for millions of viewers and will help keep the Media honest.

 http://www.buzzflash.com/articles/interviews/070

Please spread the word to one and all. Contact as many of the alternet news sites, blogs etc with this information. It could work! Peace!