Mike Gravel was notified that he did not meet the NBC criteria for debate participants. This is a dangerous step. What right do the media have to decide who has a shot at winning. Contact info included, so you can tell NBC they are wrong.
Below you'll find Mike Grave'ls response to NBC and NBC's comment.
Letter from Mike Gravel:
A Letter from Mike Gravel also posted on the Huffington Post
Tuesday, October 23, 2007
In the past year, I have attended 11 national Democratic debates of which two were sponsored by corporate media giant NBC. However, last week, NBC suddenly conjured up arbitrary polling and fundraising requirements specifically designed to exclude me. None of the previous debates I attended held such requirements.
When my staff called NBC directly to find out why I was now barred from attending, Chuck Todd, NBC news' political director, told us that there were three criteria we did not meet, namely that I had not campaigned in New Hampshire and/or Iowa at least 14 times in the past year, that I was not polling at 5% and that I hadn't raised $1 million.
It is clear that NBC just wants me out of the race. This was made evident by the fact that NBC did not even inform me of its
arbitrary criteria before making the decision to stifle my
campaign. NBC's Todd waited until 5 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 19, to
inform my staff that I was not invited to the Oct. 30 debate at
Drexel University in Philadelphia. That's a fact!
Since I announced my candidacy for the Democratic Nomination for President of the United States on April 17, 2006, I have certainly traveled to New Hampshire and Iowa at least 14 times. And, according to a recent CNN poll, I am tied with Joe Biden, Dennis Kucinich and Chris Dodd.
NBC claims I haven't raised enough money to qualify. I'm proud of the fact that I don't collect millions from special interests (or
fugitives like Norman Hsu). The reason why Senator Hillary Clinton seems to have a fundraising scandal every month is because money has corrupted our democracy. By stifling my voice on the basis of fundraising dollars, NBC is reinforcing the power of money over our national political discussion and our freedom.
But why has NBC suddenly come up with "requirements" designed to exclude me from the debate?
NBC's decision is proof that our corporate media do not want a
genuine debate over our impending war with Iran. During the last debate I was the only one to aggressively confront Senator Clinton over her vote to label the Iranian Revolutionary Guard a terrorist organization. Had I not brought up the subject, seasoned NBC commentator Tim Russert, the moderator of the Sept. 26 debate, would not have even asked about it.
Most Americans still don't appreciate the gravity of that vote and they don't understand that our government is intentionally raising roadblocks to diplomacy. Corporate media have once again failed to investigate how Bush and a compliant congress have set us on the warpath. Instead the media simply parrots the demonization of Iranian President Ahmadinejad and the administration's unproven accusations against Iran. NBC and the other corporate media have jumped on the war bandwagon and they are determined to shut up anyone who tries to stop it.
The fact that NBC is owned by General Electric, one of the world's leading military contractors, is frightening and certainly smacks of censorship directed at the most outspoken critic of the influence that the military-industrial complex holds over this
great nation. In the past decade, GE has benefited financially from the global war on terrorism and currently holds almost $2 billion in military contracts .
So I ask that anyone, who is as concerned as I am about the power of the mainstream media and the military-industrial complex, speak out in support of my campaign today.
Here are 3 powerful things you can do:
1. Sign the online petition to have me included in the debate!
2. Contact NBC and GE and tell them they are wrong for trying to stifle my campaign! Here are there emails you can copy/paste into our "TO:" field of your email.
3. Email the DNC at http://www.democrats.org/page/s/contact
Finally, since the powers that be now require that I raise $1
million in order to participate in the debates, please make a
donation to my campaign.
I will not stop. In fact, this fuels my fire even more.
Unlike my fellow candidates, I am not focused on raising millions of dollars; I am focused on fixing representative government. Help us reach that arbitrary threshold for financing and I will continue to fight for democracy and peace for all of us, not just the wealthy.
My web site: http://Gravel2008.us
PS. PHILADELPHIA FREEDOM!
If you live anywhere near Philly, we are planning an event at
University of Pennsylvania on Oct. 30, the night of the debate. If
you live in the area and would like to attend, please contact my
office via email at email@example.com.
GRAVEL RESPONSEPosted: Monday, October 22, 2007 9:05 AM by Mark Murray- Advertisement -
(Mark Murray is NBC Deputy Political Director) Thanks for your emails about the recent decision not to include former Sen. Mike Gravel at the next MSNBC debate. As you may already know, no network has given Gravel more of an opportunity to get his message across than NBC and its affiliates. But with the election season beginning in just 73 days, and more candidates (135 alone on the Dem side) trying to get into our debates, we believed it was necessary to have some minimum standards. Leaders and activists from both parties believe our requirements are very fair. Unfortunately, Gravel did not meet those requirements. The standards we used included measuring the amount of time the senator spent campaigning, as well as poll standing and financial resources.
Mike Todd is NBC's political director. Me, I'm going to change the channel when he comes on, unless this policy is changed. Who the hell is Mike Todd to decide who participates in the Democratic primary. Gravel is a major contender. I challenge NBC to post a poll to see what its viewers think.
Gravel's suggestion, that NBC owner GE is playing with the presidential selection process, keeps coming into my head. This is beyond shameful. It verges on criminal. In earlier days of the US democracy, it would have been illegal. Today, it just shouldn't be.
I call for the other Democratic presidential candidates to speak up on the behalf of Gravel. Clinton and Edwards should be the first, since they were caught whispering, some months ago, about trying to get rid of the lesser candidates. That might redeem them for their bad intentions.