Sunday, December 02, 2007

Laura Flanders speaks with Dennis Kucinich

"This is huge and yet people couldn't hear about it." So says Laura Flanders, on this week's RadioNation with Laura Flanders, about the attempts to sneak in the right for the US to be militarized under the Bully Boy's new mandate to declare martial law at will. One person was speaking of it publicly on the campaign trail. Who?

"He's the winner of The Nation poll," Flanders explained of US House Rep and 2008 Democratic presidential contender Dennis Kucinich. The winner of the magazine's online poll and yet he can't cut a break from the magazine that's too caught up in their soggy, moist crush on Barack Obama. It's a bit like asking guests whether they'd like chicken or fish at a wedding reception, ignoring their selections and serving everyone pork. Since The Nation does depend upon the readership, this scorning of their informed opinions goes beyond sad.

In 2004, Kucinich also ran for president. He didn't receive the party's nomination, John Kerry did. At the convention, some of his supporters felt betrayed at what they saw as his going along with the party's desire to push the illegal war. Would it happen again?

"I won't support anyone who's for war," Kucinich explained as to whether or not, if someone other than him wins the Democratic presidential nomination. "Count me out." That's fairly clear.

When asked of the lack of coverage he and other candidates (not dubbed 'front runners') are not receiving, Kucinich termed it the "celebritization of politics." He explained that "the media treats politics as a version of American Idol" and we'd agree and include the coverage offered by The Nation magazine (on stands now with yet another Barack cover) in that criticism. We would especially include The Nation in that criticism. The Progressive ran no online poll; however, they still managed to do a cover story on Dennis Kucinich (it's the issue on sale now) and they are a monthly magazine (The Nation is more or a less a 'weekly').

As gas bags debate who is up and who is down in the polls, who raised what money, bend over backwards to put forward the lie that Barack Obama is 'anti-war,' issues get lost and more and more people begin to feel they are being hyped. [For a look at one response to the horserace coverage that has been shoved off on citizens, read Adolph L. Reed Jr.'s piece in The Progressive.] "Despite the national media telling us that Iraq has receeded as an issue," Ari Berman found that not to be the case. Maybe he could clue Katrina vanden Heuvel in on that because the reality is The Nation does a horrible job covering the illegal war.

"When it comes to ending the war," vanden Heuvel purrs in that tired school girl voice the 2008 election represents both "opportunity and peril" because there's no real candidate for ending the illegal war. She purrs that during a spot on this week RadioNation with Laura Flanders. Again, Berman, clue her into reality and someone show her the results of the magazine's online poll. The Peace Resister Katrina vanden Heuvel has eliminated the term "war resister" from the print magazine. She has refused to cover war resisters (the Ehren Watada articles -- not the sidebar after he was called a "coward" in print -- were "online exclusives"), she's written of the American Friends Service Committee without ever noting their historical and ongoing mission: supporting war resisters, she's turned Iraq into a weapon for Democrats to use in elections and avoided calling out Democrats who are War Hawks (and killed an expose on Dianne Feinstein's profitting off the illegal war).

There's nothing for the magazine to be proud of and, to the list of destructions, add what they've done to Laura Flanders' program. One of the finest broadcasters in radio no longer gets to field phone calls (something she is the best, not one of the best, at) because the show has gone from live to prerecorded. It's also been reduced from six hours to one hour a week. In addition, it's now utilized as a non-stop infomercial for The Nation magazine and Katrina vanden Heuvel (who writes so little) is on so much she's practically a co-host. Anyone who thinks vanden Heuvel makes for good radio listening obviously the missed the reaction to her Majority Report appearances.

"What I stand for is getting out of Iraq, healthcare for all," Dennis Kucinich began quickly listing off topics and if you didn't grasp before the damage the magazine has done to the show, you quickly did as the commercial break ended and you were presented with another guest. Gas bagging about Australian politics and, as Australian TCI community members feared, he didn't mention Jake Kovco. Whether because he didn't know about Kovco or because the show's shortening has allowed little time to address needed topics, we don't know. But Jake Kovco effected John Howard in the same way that Hurricane Katrina effected the Bully Boy -- it revealed to citizens who disagreed with his policies but still gave him the benefit of the doubt that there was no leadership coming from the top.
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