NYT: Public doesn’t want to hear ideas for universal health care or getting out of Iraq

A friend of mine sent a link to this excellent post at the American Prospect’s Beat the Press blog, tearing a NY Times op-ed for pronouncing, seemingly without evidence, that “minor” candidates like Rep. Dennis Kucinich should be barred from the presidential debates since no one cares what they have to say.

On the contrary, as Dean Baker points out, polls indiciate significant support for Kucinich’s positions on the Iraq war and a universal Medicare system. He’s deemed a “minor” candidate largely by press fiat, not by the amount of support the positions he gives voice to actually have.

Like Ron Paul who’s keeping the other GOPsters on their toes, Kucinich’s voice is sorely needed in a Democratic field where the leading contenders are at best lukewarm on the idea of actually bringing the troops home from Iraq. And I don’t know if a universal Medicare system is the best solution to our national health care woes, but I’d certainly like to be able to hear more about it.

Why is the press so intent on narrowing the debate to a pre-selected roster of “serious” candidates and for keeping it within the relatively narrow bounds they represent?

3 thoughts on “NYT: Public doesn’t want to hear ideas for universal health care or getting out of Iraq

  1. Chip Frontz

    The press is interested in a simple story: Hilary v. Obana, Rudy v. Romney. They believe that this is all the public can handle and that it will hurt their bottom line to make things complex.

    Sometimes I long for the days when all news came from admittedly partisan sources.

  2. Maybe I’m more cynical, but I think it’s because the press realize that the corporate and other interests that use the media to advertise don’t want anything that challenges the status quo or the two official political parties in this country. This doesn’t have to be an explicit threat by advertisers, just the knowledge that a drug company is an advertiser can be enough to steer a journalist away from a story or candidate.

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