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Debates and conventions: How we the people are manipulated by the media

By       Message Mary MacElveen       (Page 1 of 1 pages)     Permalink    (# of views)   3 comments

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A reader that I have been corresponding with from Great Britain wrote me the following email concerning last night’s Republican debate: “I watched the debate last night and was so completely disgusted with your system. How can your system allow a private company to hold a debate and then exclude or do a hatchet job on a candidate? It filled me with disgust.” He is not the only one disgusted.  By the way, we started corresponding after he read my John Pilger piece.


When I asked how it was done in Great Britain, these were his remarks, “If we had such a debate it would be like one of our shows on the BBC called "Question time" where individuals or politicians are in a panel and then have to answer questions from the public under the moderation of Dimberly.” He then goes onto write, “I would have great difficulty getting anyone here to believe what I witnessed last night.” He is not the only one.


I first want to say that I have never watched “Question Time” as they take questions from the public and directed towards candidates running for office in Great Britain. I have watched the show via the Internet dealing with other issues in the past.  I do think it note-worthy to do so when their next election takes place.


In response to his email to me, I did send him this feed which comes from the Gravel 2008 campaign showing media manipulation. Please study at how much time each candidate is given on-air and how they are positioned in this CNN debate.  It is called marketing plain and simple.  They want you to purchase the candidates they are promoting and leave the rest behind on the store shelf.

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Having had retail experience, I liken this to putting brand name Clinton and Obama on the main floor aisle and the rest of the brands stuck way back in the corner.  In retail you want the consumer to purchase the high-ticket items first and seeing how much is raised by the front runners for their campaigns; it is what makes them the high-ticket items.


In the Republican debates as I watched them last night more time was given to Romney and Giuliani then the other candidates.  Again, being front runners, they are the ones the media will concentrate on.  I suppose that Republicans who are supporting the lower-tier candidates feel equally angered.


As you know on behalf of both former Senator Mike Gravel and Congressman Ron Paul, I have written articles when Paul was threatened with not being included in prior debates.  I recently wrote an article directed towards NBC and CNN for not inviting Gravel to participate in their debates.  That is media manipulation and the people should not stand for it. 

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When Gravel was excluded from the last CNN debate a Clinton supporter asked this question on a political list, “Not that I was ever a Gravelian, most of you know where my allegiances lie -- Yes, I admit it proudly, I'm a Clintonista - always have been, always will be.  But I've noticed that Mike Gravel has not been in the last 2 or 3 debates.  Did he drop out, and I missed it??  Did he fall off the edge of the earth??  What happened to him??  I'm just curious.”  I do suspect that the main-stream public not in tune with politics may take it that Gravel did drop out of the race.  Good going, CNN for killing democracy.  To the uniformed public, Mike Gravel is still in the race and you can visit his web site.


In writing my John Pilger piece which exposed the atrocities promulgated by Richard Nixon, I want all of you to watch this Gravel anti-war commercial. You will not see a more impassioned stance against this war and let me remind you it was Gravel himself who helped stop the blood-letting in Viet Nam through his filibuster of the draft.  He was the one that disclosed and had published the Pentagon Papers.  Yet, this is the candidate that CNN and NBC did not allow you to hear from.  One other Clinton supporter stated to me in a private email, “I don’t care what he did thirty years ago” and I find that hubristic.  Gravel alone stood up to a mad-man in Nixon while many of these other candidates folded like lawn-chairs and capitulated.  They would not know bravery if it stared them in the face.


But, getting back to the first Clinton supporter that asked if Gravel dropped out of the race, here was part of my response back to him, “As far as the NBC debate goes, NBC did not invite him. According to this article, “Just a week before one of the most important debates in the bid for the presidency, NBC announced that Mike Gravel (Senator- Alaska) will not be allowed to participate in this public debate.” Excuse me, NBC, this election does not belong to you and you do not get to set the rules.  As far as the Las Vegas debate, CNN did not invite him to partake citing, “CNN Washington bureau chief David Bohrman says Gravel didn't meet the fundraising threshold set by the network. Candidates had to have raised at least $1 million in donations to get an invitation.” As you will see the media does not believe in democracy.”


I would say that if all candidates were given equal time on these debates, it may result in lower-tier candidates being able to raise the larger sums of moneys that the others have raised.  These debates in my opinion are not true debates but commercials advertising the candidates when the questions themselves are often fielded by the media.  I think it would be far more interesting to hear un-fielded questions coming from the public and see how the candidates handle answering them.  Don’t you?  Or if they did not answer the question to hear the debate attendee state, “You failed at answering my question.” Now that would be democracy at its finest.


Also on various news shows, often the media will concentrate on the front-runners and the other candidates are left in the dust.  That is blatantly un-American.  Also, if the corporate-controlled media were to give each candidate equal time, the polling numbers would truly mirror how Americans were responding to each candidate.


As we all know, the presidential candidate of both parties will be selected long before their respective conventions: So, why the need to have a convention in the first place? In my opinion these conventions are a week-long infomercial and love-fest. As candidates gather at them in which they get Secret Service protection, the tax payers are paying for that service and those not aligned with any of these parties are socked with the bill. In my opinion once the candidates from both parties are chosen, just campaign, but do not stick the American people with the bill in order to gather at a convention.  If on an IRS return I could choose what not to pay for it would be of course the war first and mixed within would be these conventions.

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In closing this would all take place if we lived in a perfect political system and as we have all seen it is far from being perfect.  I hope someday that it will change, but as of now, it is the corporate controlled media that selects our candidates and I find that un-American.  The corporate-controlled media would not know what it means to be an American if it came up and bit them.


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I am a writer who currently writes pieces for my own blog I have been published by, and I was a guest on the Jay Diamond Radio Show on WRKO in Boston and have (more...)

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