In 2003, John Nichols cited The Nation’s figures when he wrote about CNN’s televised debate between 9 Democratic Party contenders:
And those who were actually right about the war remain off radar.
That was obvious last week, during CNN’s televised debate featuring the nine Democratic presidential candidates. Moderator Judy Woodruff put the candidates into a ridiculous situation where they essentially had to beg to be called on to answer questions.
Then she refused to call on the one candidate who has most consistently and effectively challenged the president’s war-making: Congressional Progressive Caucus Co-chair Dennis Kucinich, D-Ohio.
This is National Journal’s breakdown of how much time each of the candidates was permitted to speak during Thursday’s debate:
Howard Dean – 14 minutes, 7 seconds.
John Kerry – 12 minutes, 31 seconds.
Wesley Clark – 10 minutes, 36 seconds.
Richard Gephardt – 10 minutes, 2 seconds.
Joe Lieberman – 9 minutes, 26 seconds.
Carol Moseley Braun – 8 minutes, 39 seconds.
Al Sharpton – 8 minutes, 28 seconds.
John Edwards – 8 minutes, 0 seconds.
Kucinich – 5 minutes, 9 seconds.
Regarding last night’s Democratic Party debate, Democracy Now! reports: (emphasis mine)
Former Senator Mike Gravel said the Democrats are complicit in the Iraq war as well. Congressman Denis Kucinich said Congress has the power to end the war now by simply cutting off the funding. After the debate Senator Chris Dodd criticized CNN for giving far more time to Senators Obama and Clinton. Obama spoke for 16 minutes. Dodd, Kucinich, Gravel and Senator Joe Biden were each given less than nine minutes.
Single-payer universal health care was given short shrift. The allowed ends of debate kept for-profit HMOs intact and tried to work with employers to improve employee health care (as if one can’t deliver health care without employers doing it and as if people don’t deserve health care when they’re unemployed). Single-payer health care that makes private competing plans illegal (see HR676) went undiscussed in subsequent corporate news analysis and moderator Wolf Blitzer didn’t pick up on the point to get the other candidates to address it head-on. The horse race of campaign funding is still the sole focus for corporate news.