Democracy Now! puts the corporate “debates” to shame

Today’s Democracy Now! program put to shame the corporate media and corporate-run so-called debates (run through the Commission on Public Debates) and did it in one hour (including breaks and headline news coverage).

Senators Obama and McCain get plenty of time for lame topics like negative campaigning but third-party and independent candidates get a virtual media blackout. McCain lamented that this “very tough” campaign “could have done at least ten [town hall meetings] by now” but it’s a safe bet that neither McCain nor Obama would have debated anyone but each other in order to narrow the terms of allowable debate. According to Ralph Nader, Google cancelled its debate (where it looked like Nader would have been included) when Obama pulled out. McCain/Obama ignore salient issues as well: discussion of the invasion and occupation of Iraq was scarce, the war in Afghanistan was unmentioned. These two wars are worth trillions of dollars that could have been better spent at home delivering exactly the kind of health care plan both corporate candidacies run from: single-payer universal health care (McCain tries to attack Obama from the left on this and Obama flees from identification with single-payer universal health care despite that’s what a majority of the US public wants). Meanwhile, both McCain and Obama are for giving $700B to corporations under the control of an unelected Goldman Sachs businessman who won’t so much as appear in a public hearing.

DN! invited Libertarian Party presidential nominee Bob Barr, Constitution Party nominee Chuck Baldwin, Independent candidate Ralph Nader, and Green Party nominee Cynthia McKinney to respond to the same questions put to the Democratic and Republican nominees. Barr and Baldwin couldn’t appear so we got to hear from Nader and McKinney.

I highly recommend watching or hearing what these candidates have to say (audio, high-quality audio, video, transcript). These are the views you won’t get to hear on the mainstream corporate-led media.

Amy Goodman also announced that she’ll be moderating the third-party candidate debate from 7:00 to 9:00 on October 19th. I hope Nader will participate in that event and I look forward to learning more about the excluded candidates from their own words.

2 thoughts on “Democracy Now! puts the corporate “debates” to shame

  1. Glad to see Democracy Now! distributing video in Ogg Theora format, so it is available to everyone. Why are the presidential debates distributed over Flash Player and Mpeg-Patented technologies?

  2. Not to take any credit away from DN!, but the Internet Archive is doing the heavy lifting there. Anyone who uploads certain types of movie files to them will have derivative formats created automatically by default; one of those derivatives is Ogg Theora with a Vorbis soundtrack. DN! deserves credit for choosing for their media hosting, and more shows can do as DN! and countless others do by hosting their audio and video shows there at no charge (save any costs associated with uploading which are unavoidable). I think services like these make one of the most important websites on the Internet.

    I believe this service will get far more widely used when Firefox 3.1 comes out (which features Ogg Vorbis+Theora support built-in, no plugins or addons needed) and as more people become aware that they don’t have to know much technical stuff to take advantage of what offers.

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