June 5th, 2007 by admin
After watching Sunday night's Presidential debate, Ray Buckley, the New
Hampshire Democratic Party chair, plans to warn NBC about its September
debate. "You're going to hear for sure that I'm going to discuss with
them who's the moderator so it's certainly a much more fair and equal
playing field than what we saw tonight," the Chairman said, referring
to the shocking disparity in time afforded to the three candidates who
have raised the most money, compared to the other candidates running
for the Democratic nomination for President.
"The mainstream media has gone underground in its attempt to
edit the Gravel campaign" said Presidential candidate and
former U.S. Senator Mike Gravel, as evidenced by the June 3 debate in New
Hampshire sponsored by CNN, the Hearst Corporation's WMUR-TV, and the
New Hampshire Union Leader. During the two-hour, commercial-free
debate, Senator Gravel was asked 10 somewhat irrelevant questions and
then allowed only seconds to answer before being cut off by the
moderator. In total, the Senator was afforded only five minutes and 37
seconds of time during the entire debate. The candidates with the most
donations from corporate special interests were asked the serious
questions, were allowed to speak at length, and were allowed time to
respond to criticism.
Adam D. Krauss, the Democrat staff writer for Foster's Online,
a Dover, New Hampshire-based news site, echoed the contention that
Gravel and others were being excluded by quoting Dean Spiliotes,
director of research at Saint Anselm College's New Hampshire Institute
of Politics, who said, "It was interesting how those three candidates
were presented. I can't imagine that that was random, with Hillary and
Edwards and Obama, and then Kucinich and Gravel out on the end."
The placement of the candidates on the debate stage
exacerbated the inequities of the time allowed to some candidates to
respond to questions. For example, Senator Obama was given one full
minute to answer each of 16 questions, while Senator Gravel was allowed
only 30 seconds each to answer 10 questions. CNN's Wolf Blitzer and his
producer appear to have selectively enforced time guidelines.
"Prominent talk show host Arnie Arnesen labeled CNN the
debate's 'loser' because it 'made a decision for the rest of us that
they (Clinton, Obama and Edwards) were going to remain the top-tier'
candidates," Krauss added.
Despite the best efforts of CNN, WMUR-TV and the Union Leader
to exclude Senator Gravel, his brief comments quickly became one of the
most-watched videos on YouTube.com, which receives millions of hits
each day. It also became one of the top-rated videos in news and
Mike Gravel, a resident of Virginia, is a former two-term U.S.
Senator from Alaska with a distinguished record that includes
successfully ending the military draft with a five-month filibuster. He
also released The Pentagon Papers, risking both prosecution and jail;
played the leading role in making the Alaska pipeline a reality; and
ended nuclear weapons testing in the seabed off Alaska. He is the
driving force and author of the National Initiative for Democracy, a
proposal to allow Americans to participate in making laws at the
federal level on issues that affect their lives though a federal ballot
initiative process—already proven in many states as an effective and
necessary check on unresponsive representative government.