Updated: Jan. 17, 2008 Added the videos. ~ Lo
Jan. 16, 2008
Breaking the Sound Barrier: Democracy Now! Re-Hosts NBC Las Vegas Debate to Include Kucinich After NBC Wins Appeal to Exclude Him
Ohio Congressman Dennis Kucinich was missing from the stage at last night’s Democratic debate hosted by MSNBC in Las Vegas after he lost a last-minute legal fight with the network over his participation. Last week, NBC told Kucinich that he had met the criteria for the debate. Then, less than two days later, the network changed the criteria and declared that Kucinich was no longer qualified. On Monday, a Nevada judge ordered NBC to include Kucinich but then NBC appealed the ruling and actively fought to keep him off the stage. On Tuesday night, less than an hour before the debate, the Nevada Supreme Court sided with NBC. Democracy Now! decided to break the sound barrier and give Kucinich a chance to take part. In an exclusive broadcast, we re-braodcast excerpts of the debate and give the Ohio Congressman a chance to answer the questions he might have faced if he hadn’t been been silenced.
We turn now to the Democratic debate held last night in Nevada where Senators Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and John Edwards sparred for two hours on MSNBC.Missing from the stage was Ohio Congressman Dennis Kucinich who lost a last-minute legal fight with NBC over his inclusion in the debate. Kucinich had sued the network after it disinvited him from participating.
On Jan. 9, NBC told Kucinich that he had met the criteria for the debate. Then, less than two days later, NBC changed the criteria and declared that Kucinich no longer qualified.
On Monday, a Nevada judge ordered NBC to include Kucinich but then NBC appealed the ruling and actively fought to keep him off the stage.
On Tuesday night, less than an hour before the debate, the Nevada Supreme Court sided with NBC.
In court filings, NBC painted itself as the victim. Attorneys for the network wrote, “Mr. Kucinich’s claim is nothing more than an illegitimate private cause of action designed to impose an equal access requirement that entirely undermines the wide journalistic freedoms enjoyed by news organizations under the First Amendment.”
Attorneys for NBC also argued, “A television station does not have to grant unlimited access to a candidate debate. If anyone’s First Amendment rights are being infringed, they are MSNBC’s.”
In his lawsuit, Kucinich argued NBC – which is owed by General Electric – illegally shut him out of the debate because of his views.
The lawsuit states, “The exclusion of Kucinich undermines the purposes of the Federal Communications Act and is a blatant violation of the Act because of the media’s obligation to operate in the public interest… NBC revised its criteria to specifically exclude the diverse and anti-war voice of Kucinich and his grass-roots supporters.”
The lawsuit went on to say “The debate is not a true presidential primary debate without including all credible candidates, but instead is effectively an endorsement of the candidates selected by NBC.”
Today, Congressman Dennis Kucinich joins us in Washington. We have decided to give him a chance to take part in last night’s debate in our own way. We will play excerpts of the debate and give the Ohio Congressman a chance to answer the questions he might faced if he hadn’t been been silenced. This is the debate NBC and General Electric didn’t want you to hear. Dennis Kucinich, welcome to Democracy Now.
Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D – OH), Democratic presidential contender.
transcript available later today
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Kucinich’s responses to MSNBC debate topics 1-16-08
http://researchris.blogspot.com This is Kucinich’s responses to topics discussed at MSNBC’s debate in NV that aired on 1.15.08 and was excluded from the debate after he was invited, then un-invited after they changed the criteria, a local judge said he has to be included or cancel debate, NBC asks Supreme Court, they said MSNBC can exclude Kucinich to protect MSNBC’s 1st amendment rights…… ummmm okay.
If you have an opinion and want to voice YOUR 1st amendment rights…
PHONE NBC- 212 664 4444
email them @ firstname.lastname@example.org
PHONE the DNC: 202 863 8000
email them through their website