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What's All the Fuss About the ABC Debate?

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I woke up this morning to a storm of angry Americans who were upset over the way ABC ran a debate in Pennsylvania last night. I did not know there was going to be a debate. I thought the Democrats were done debating. And don’t you have to have something to debate about in order to have a debate?

Who are we kidding ourselves? There wasn’t going to be a debate. These corporate media debates don’t raise any issues.

Is our thinking so short term that we’ve forgotten how in January we were all up in arms about Kucinich being kept out of the debates? And then months before that, remember when many of us were upset about Mike Gravel being kept out of the debate after we heard him challenge Hillary on Iran in a previous one?

Have you watched the news lately? Do they cover the issues? Why would you think issues would be covered in a debate hosted by the same news media that gives you nothing but coverage of the most trivial aspects of each presidential campaign?

Hillary’s sipping a beer. Obama bowled a 37. Working class people are “bitter.” Obama’s removing his lapel flag pin again. Hillary’s showing her emotional side.

When are we going to start organizing outside of news studios across America in protest for their subjecting us to the most inconsequential details in this election and refusing to dig deep into issues like systematic torture, the subprime loan scandal, foreign policy in the Middle East, health care, food and gas prices, and impeachment, etc.?

Hillary wants another debate. Obama says, “I'll be honest with you, we've now had 21…It's not as if we don't know how to do these things. I could deliver Sen. Clinton's lines; she could, I'm sure, deliver mine.”

That’s funny on the surface, but in our withering democracy, it’s abhorrent.

The media corporations don’t have to decide the issues so much that candidates can memorize what their opponents will say. Do these candidates have any courage? Do they have any decency to stray from the gossipy topics these ill-bred moderators and pundits direct them to in these debates?

Will anyone step up and demand that these debates be more than just parallel interviews? Will change candidate Barack Obama demand a change in the way debates are run? Will Hillary, who’s in it to win, take a moment to reform what has become a rotten blemish on this democracy?

How about we the people? What are we going to do? Are we going to keep these candidates from becoming "least worst" candidates by applying pressure to their campaigns?

It’s not enough to write articles that create a stir in the blogosphere. We have to demand more of our candidates and this democracy.

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Kevin Gosztola is managing editor of Shadowproof Press. He also produces and co-hosts the weekly podcast, "Unauthorized Disclosure." He was an editor for
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