NBC seem to be confused. Less that 2 days after extending an invitation to Dennis Kucinich to participate in the Las Vegas Democratic Presidential debate on January 15 they have rescinded the invite. Even though the likelihood of Dennis Kucinich getting the pesidential nod is right up there with Osama Bin Laden getting the Nobel peace prize, this is a rather strange turn of events.

NBC announced on December 28 that the criteria for being invited to the debate was to be in the top 4. In an email to the Kucinich campaign at 2:35 p.m. on Wednesday, January 9, Democratic Party debates consultant Jenny Backus wrote:

“Congratulations on another hard-fought contest. Now that New Hampshire is over, we are on to Nevada and our Presidential Debate on Tuesday January 15. This letter serves as an official invitation for your candidate to participate in the Nevada Presidential Debate at Cashman Theatre in downtown Las Vegas. You have met the criteria set by NBC and the Debate.”

NBC Political Director Chuck Todd notified the Kucinich campaign Friday morning that the network had decided to change the criteria and limit participation in the debate to only the top three candidates. So only Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, and John Edwards will be involved.

The Kucinich campaign, who filed an emergency complaint with the Federal Communications Commission last week because of ABC’s decision to exclude the candidate from a nationally televised debate, is now considering legal action to address “the blatant disregard of the public interest in silencing public debate that dissents with the views of NBC, its parent company, GE, and all of the military contractors and their candidate-funding corporate interests. Corporate control of the media is one issue. Corporate media control of the information that is allowed to reach American citizens is much more dangerous, much more sinister, and much more un-American.”

One has to wonder about NBC’s motivations, it is always disconcerting to have Big Media manipulating politics.

Simon Barrett


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