Friday, December 14, 2007


Gannet "makes" news by banning Democratic candidates from their debate

by Larry Geller

If you watched or listened to Democracy Now this morning, you already know that Rep. Dennis Kucinich and Senator Mike Gravel were excluded from the latest debate:

Kucinich, Gravel Excluded from Democratic Debate

And in Iowa, Democratic presidential candidates held their final debate of the year Thursday, just weeks before the first primary vote. Congressmember Dennis Kucinich was excluded despite having the same polling numbers as three other candidates both nationally and locally in Iowa. Also excluded was former Alaska Senator Mike Gravel. In a campaign first, Gravel has released a rap video criticizing his exclusion. The song samples John Lennon and Yoko Ono’s “Give Peace a Chance.” [Democracy Now! | Headlines for December 14, 2007]

(you can catch the program on Oahu at 10 pm on channel 56)

The Advertiser failed to mention the exclusion in its article today, which was part of this longer piece in the Des Moines Register, the sponsor of the debate. The Advertiser included something like the first third or so of the article.

Of course, neither the Advertiser nor the Register mentioned the exclusion. They are both owned by Gannett.

Thanks to Jeff Garland for the pointer to this USA Today blog (USA Today is also owned by Gannett, read it before someone can drop the axe on it): Kucinich protests debate exclusion; columnist says his absence was beneficial. Don't miss the comments.

In this case, Gannett both made the news (through its exclusion) and then failed to properly report its action and hence its complete roll in the debate.

I believe your Advertiser subscription currently costs about $209 annually. Perhaps that should buy readers some right to complain. We are entitled to fair coverage (the Advertiser probably does well on "balanced", for example, in comparison to the Star-Bulletin/MidWeek). Here is a case where the least they might have done would be to disclose their exclusion of a candidate very popular in Hawaii.



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