Dennis Kucinich: Desapparacido! by Dave Lindorff

Dandelion Salad

by Dave Lindorff
Monday, August 13, 2007

Democratic Presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich has been “disappeared.”

Not in the sense of victims of America’s so-called War on Terror. He hasn’t been carted off in an orange jumpsuit to some black site in Kazakhstan. But he has been “disappeared” by the reporters and editors of the New York Times.

In an article by Jeff Zeleny and Mark Santora on Sunday headlined “Democrats Say Leaving Iraq May Take Years,” the Times reports that Democratic candidates, with only candidate Bill Richardson “standing apart,” are saying that troops will have to stay in Iraq and the area around Iraq for a long time.

But wait. Kucinich, who in many polls does as well as, or better than Biden and Richardson (in a new straw poll of Democratic activists in California, he ranked right behind Edwards and Obama, and ahead of Clinton and the rest of the crowd), not only wants the U.S. out of Iraq; he has submitted an actual bill in Congress (HR 1234) calling for a removal of all US troops within three months’ time, and barring the expenditure of any funds on future military activity in the region except for the purpose of orderly withdrawal.

So why was Kucinich left out of the Times article on Democratic candidates’ positions on the Iraq War?

The answer seems clear.

The Times has decided that Kucinich isn’t a candidate. He doesn’t exist.

He has been disappeared.

The same is true on the issue of impeachment. The Times has only twice mentioned the bill, H Res 333, for the impeachment of Vice President Dick Cheney, which Kucinich filed on April 24. The first mention was a three-sentence “National Brief” item that ran the day Kucinich filed the measure, half of which was taken up with a Cheney spokeswoman’s mocking response, and the second and only other was phrase tucked within a parenthetical comment in a April 27 article reporting on a lackluster candidate’s debate.

Americans who get their news from the Times—and that would include millions who read or watch news that itself is produced by organizations whose editors’ opinions are shaped by the Times—would not know that over the course of the last three and a half months, some 20 members of Congress, including six members of the crucial 23-member House Judiciary Committee, have signed on to Kucinich’s Cheney impeachment bill. That is roughly 10 percent of the House Democratic caucus.

So what’s going on here?

Apparently, given the Times’ famously inflated slogan “All the News that’s Fit to Print,” news about Rep. Kucinich (D-OH), including about his carefully laid out plan to end the Iraq War and about his bill to impeach the vice president, are somehow not “fit” to print.

The self-referential nature of Times reporting would be laughable if it were not so damaging to public knowledge and discourse and to the democratic process. It would also garner an “F” in any decent journalism class.

Take that April 27 article, by Zeleny and Adam Nagourney on one of the earliest Democratic candidates’ debates. The two reporters refer to Barak Obama and Hillary Clinton as “the two most closely watched candidates of the night,” though most observers, not to mention the audience, clearly most appreciated the blunt comments of Kucinich and former Alaska senator Mike Gravel. “Most closely watched” apparently refers to the two reporters, who had already decided that the race for the Democratic nomination had been winnowed down to those two candidates, with former senator John Edwards as a dark-horse possible challenger. They certainly don’t mention any other source for their conclusion that Obama and Clinton are the most “closely watched.”

Kucinich, who had not yet been “disappeared” by the Times, was relegated in this piece by Zeleny and Nagourney to the role of “long-shot rival.”

This, remember, is before most people in the country could even name all the candidates running for the nomination for either party.

For that matter, I suspect that most people would have a hard time even today naming all the candidates running for the nomination of the two parties. And if the Times has its way, they never will, because candidates like Kucinich (and Gravel, and eventually, no doubt, most of the others except for those anointed as “serious” contenders by the Times “news fitness” gatekeepers), will be banished from all mention.

It makes you wonder why we bother with this whole primary process… except that without them, how would corporate interests get a chance to pour money into campaigns and buy he eventual presidents and members of Congress.

Anyhow, so long Dennis! We hardly knew ye.

h/t: Kristin

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11 thoughts on “Dennis Kucinich: Desapparacido! by Dave Lindorff

  1. The problem with Dennis is that he’s fundamentally ineffective, and so can never be successful. Either he doesn’t understand, or is incapable of coupling his excellent principles and integrity with effective organization. “Strength through Peace” is right, but the complete motto is: “Strength through Peace (and effective organization)”. If he had gotten this together, he could have led our country to a new, brighter and more hopeful future.
    Blaming the media for ignoring him is wallowing in professional self-pity and not taking responsibility for oneself. An effective organization can and does make the media stand up and take notice.

  2. just goes to show you that we have the media promoting fake liberals on the one side and fake conservatives on the other…we must unite in this fight!

    kucinich supporters, i urge you to get the word out on ron paul, and we will return the favor by speaking favorably of kucinich…they are our only hope for taking back this country!


  3. I have noticed that over the past several days my GOOGLE NEWS ALERT SEARCHES have not provided any entries for Dennis…

    Things that make ya go hummmmmmmmm…

  4. Yes, we can, Dave. We must get the word out on Kucinich and his platform.

    I talked to my doctor about him and Universal Health care just today. And my doctor agreed with DK!

    Talk to everyone you see!

  5. Pingback: Impeach Cheney: Peaceman vs The Chenguin by the 35 Percenters (video; Kucinich) « Dandelion Salad

  6. Thank you for calling attention to the biased and irresponsible reporting of the NY Times. I saw the article and couldn’t believe my eyes. I’m not a regular reader of the Times, so I didn’t realize that its part of a pattern, but when I read that, “…the Democratic presidential candidates are setting out positions that could leave the United States engaged in Iraq for years,” and then saw Richardson cited as the lone exception, I was flabbergasted. Could it be that the NY Times would really print an obvious, outright falsehood on the front-page? Well, I guess it could be. I, for one, will never buy an issue of that fascist-propaganda rag again, and I hope all your readers will do likewise.

    Thanks for the excellent article!

  7. It’s what I call the “trifecta” between politicians, journalists, and corporations. Corporations (insurance companies, the defense industry, oil companies, the tobacco industry, etc.) donate boatloads of money to all candidates who are willing to play ball with them. That means dicking over poor Americans, even sending them to die in foreign wars if the price is right. The candidates who are willing to do this are the ones who find “bundles” 0f corporate cash. Candidates like Kucinich or Gravel who make it clear they care more about human life than about corporate profits are “disappeared” because they can’t afford to pay off the news channels. Sadly, even the traditional progressive newspapers are now corruptible–as you point out here. This is not the brand of capitalism that the founders had in mind 😦

    Great post.

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