Friday, January 4, 2008

Corporate Takeover of Elections--No Film @ 11

"Free elections" is a concept that exists only in theory these days. They're free only in the sense that you don't have to pay to cast your vote, and that assumes you haven't been victimized by efforts in several "red"states to impose costly ID requirements to prove eligibility. And they're free in that you get to choose the candidate you feel best qualified for President. The big problem there is that the corporate media has taken it upon themselves to allow you to see only those candidates that they want you to see, so your best informed judgement will be from watching debates by candidates pre-approved by the media. This is their way of choosing the next President with your vote.

Why am I bitching? Because our elections are supposed to be made by an informed electorate, and that aint happening. It's bad enough that the regular political coverage of the candidates is totally biased and misleading, as reported by biased and misleading "reporters and "experts", but the debates-- which should be fair, open, and free of outside influence-- aren't. You can't be informed if you aren't fully exposed to the views of all the candidates, and what Fox News and ABC News and recently The Des Moines Register have done is to restrict access to the candidates. They have each, at least once, denied debate access to candidates who failed to meet their arbitrary "criteria". These articles will give you the idea.

Should Big Media Choose OurCandidates ?
(AlterNet 1/03/08)

ABC cuts three from presidential debate
(AP 1/04/08) (H/T- The Raw Story)
(Excerpt follows)
ABC News is eliminating Republican presidential candidate Duncan Hunter and Democrats Dennis Kucinich and Mike Gravel from its prime-time presidential debates Saturday night because they did not meet benchmarks for their support.

The Des Moines Register had disqualified Dennis Kuchinich from an Iowa debate and used tortured excuses to do so.

There is something fundamentally wrong when big corporate owned media, whose income depends on advertising revenue from corporate sponsors, is allowed to sway the outcome of elections through censorship of information to which we have a right. There is no way our democracy can survive under these conditions. We are the ones who are supposed to decide who to vote for, not them.

If a candidate is worthwhile, it is supposed to be proven at the ballot box, by our informed vote. On the other hand, any candidate should be given the debate forum to expose him/herself as an idiot, and it's for us to see and decide.

Under these new rules of the game, when the media call all the shots, we don't have legitimate choice, and any election result is more likely to be badly skewed in favor of the debate sponsors and their backers.

Lest you think that I am more disturbed by the censoring of Democratic candidates, I assure you that I am not. Any candidate from any party has the right to and deserves equal time to express their ideas. Anything less in un-American and un-democratic.

Clear Federal guidelines should be put into place at once to ensure that the debate process is conducted under uniform guidelines by all sponsors , and that every candidate is afforded equal time.

If we're going to permit corporate control of our elections, it seems to me that the next logical step will be to sell naming rights to the polling places, and to permit pop-up ads on the voting machines, and coupons on the paper ballots. And the way it's looking, that's not too far-fetched. What the hell, we're coming to the time when our whole cumbersome system of elections can be eliminated entirely, and our leaders chosen by Fortune 500 CEO's and Wall Street tycoons. Look at the trouble we'll save.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I gotta argue with you a little on this one Dad. I don't see any reason why it is unreasonable to show some sort of identification to a polling station worker in order to verify you are who you say you are. It would be to easy to just say I'm John Wood and then vote for the whole Republican ticket. I know that would piss you off if someone claimed to be you and actually did that.
Poll Taxes, certainly not! anything more than a simple drivers license or State I.D. that should be sufficient to prove your who you claim to be. If someone feels that is oppressive then they are whacked out and have bigger issues a therapist might be able to help them with.
Slightly different subject, I'm all about paper ballots. No way should we not be able to physically verify a vote in the event of an election being contested.
Question, do you think the media (which is big and powerful business) has a vested interest in selecting who and what is covered by candidates. Do you think if they gave equal time to everyone that some candidate might promise to enact policies that might affect the way they do business in the future. ie, break up monopolies?
The more I read, the more I pay attention, the scarier it gets!