Posted 7 months ago on Oct. 8, 2012, 11:50 a.m. EST by zacherystaylor
This content is user submitted and not an official statement
By now many of you have heard that Democracy Now! Has done an “Expand the debate” segment that included Rocky Anderson and Jill Stein and she also did a show exposing how the Presidential commission on Debates hijacked the debate process and put it under corporate control. This has been mostly if not entirely ignored by the corporate media and even many of the alternative media outlets declined to cover it although many others did provide some coverage. Many of the highest profile alternative media outlets that did cover it only provided a token amount of coverage to it and didn’t feature it on their front page like Huffington Posts and Current TV. In the case of Current TV they also declined to provide any coverage to this on their TV show.
Many of these media outlets have been criticizing the major candidates for declining to cover many of the most important issues but they simultaneously decline to point out the fact that while the major candidates haven’t addressed these issues the alternative candidates have. In many cases I have found that people have been coming in on the comments section of some of these articles to let people know about the “expand the debate” coverage. This could be the beginning of a grass roots movement that could let them know that many more people want more coverage.
The candidates that the corporate media present to us don’t cover many of the most important issues and they agree on many of the issues when it comes to the best interest of the corporate interests that donate to both political parties and the candidates that do address the issues can’t get coverage from the corporate media.
My suggestion is that many more people could go around to web sites that cover the debate and their face book pages and ask them to provide coverage to the “expand the debate” segments and to alternative party candidates in general. Also it might help to let the people at Democracy Now! Know that you support them, assuming you do, and ask that they continue doing this since I haven’t heard them say for certain that they will cover all the debates yet although I suspect they will.
Spamming should be avoided if possible; what would be better would be to read articles that are important and related to the debate or the election at least to some degree and add comments that include a request to expand the debate. One exception might be Facebook pages where they ask for general input from their listeners or readers. These requests could be made to both the mainstream media outlets and to alternative media outlets that haven’t provided what many people might consider sufficient coverage. Also it would be helpful to let those that do expand the coverage of this that they have support.
This doesn’t need to be limited to the “Expand the Debate” series, assuming Democracy Now! Continues it; it could include coverage of alternative candidates in many other ways.
The following is the discussion about how they hijacked the debate with transcripts:
http://www.democracynow.org/2012/10/3/ahead_of_first_obama_romney_debate This is the “Expand the Debate" segment with transcripts:
If enough people speak up the control of the debates could be put in the hands of the public where it belongs; although there will be some organizational issues to deal with there is no doubt that we can do much better than we already are.
Frankly I would also like to request that the people running the Occupy Wall Street web page provide more coverage on this as well. I know that you don’t advocate for a single candidate nor do I think that a spokesperson representing a large group of people should without consulting with the group they represent but it seems to me that they could cover the improved coverage and ask for it without endorsing a specific candidate.
Edit: just after posting this it has come to my attention that NPR has also done some additional coverage of this with what might be considered an "Expand the Debate" segment with Gary Johnson. If you agree that the word should be spread about the Democracy Now! segment it might be worth considering adding this as well. I haven't listened to it but you can judge how worthy it is for yourself.
The fact that I had to hear this from the alternative news indicates that it needs more coverage from the corporate media as well.
Edit 10/12/2012: Democracy Now has declined to do an additional segment for the Vice Presidential Debates but they are doing more segments for the Presidential debates and it would help to let more people know about it. The following is their schedule:
Also the operators of this web site have come up with an related article on the subject that is worth a look.
Edit the following links are to additional segments of the "Expand the Debate" series and related subjects including the vice presidential segment and at least one debate hosted by the Independent Voters Network as well as material about the secret contract about the debate and more about how they shut out alternative parties.
Recently I recommended that they cover the "expand the Debate" coverage which I found was covered here in the following string.
Also in a follow up we could consider what I originally thought about posting about now.
Occupy the Daily Kos and other pseudo progressives
I don't expect everyone to agree with me but many progressive sites have been advocating for Occupy Wall Street and in opposition to censorship. But when it comes to real reform they have often declined to push for them or made arguments that have been opposition to real reform and they have often suppressed speech when it isn't what the moderators promote. I have found that at times the Democratic Underground has done this to some degree although at other times they have been allowed more dissent.
Recently when I joined the Daily Kos I assumed that it was an open forum that allowed a variety of views and even found them advocating against censorship when I looked around. But that doesn't appear to be the truth. I quickly found out that they do more to promote the Democratic Party than they do to address the issues and they seem to do this primarily by attacking the Republicans; not by presenting alternative ideas.
I also went on to promote my own views which is what Blogs or, as they called it diaries are for. It turns out that advocating for a third party candidate is banned according to their rules and I was banned. These rules weren't made clear as far as I could tell and there was no objection to a large amount of people behaving like trolls and disrupting things on many locations in addition to the response I received.
My point is that if a web page pretends to be progressive they should allow progressive ideas and allow opposing points of view to be discussed. If they pretend that they’re progressive and many people believe it but then they censor or troll those that dissent then it can be blatant propaganda disguised as a free exchange of ideas. In the case of the Daily Kos it seems to be one of the most popular web sites that is presented as the view from the left but I and many people probably believe it. Before being banned I was totally unaware there was a problem but after searching for it and discussing it I have found that many other people including some that I know are quite reasonable have also been banned for their political views.
One possible way to Occupy the Daily Kos, or if other people think they have the same problem with the Democratic Underground or other web pages them as well, would to be for many people to create accounts their and express reasonable views that might be dissenting and let people know when they get censored. This would hardly be worth it if that was all people want to do and it would take time so this idea would probably be better to mostly let people know that some of these grass roots sites aren’t nearly as progressive as they pretend to be. If they pretend to be open forums that allow different points of view then they shouldn’t be censoring people for their views while allowing the trolls with authorized views to continue posting propaganda.
If many more of these sties are propaganda sites that don’t allow dissenting views then it would be helpful for more people to know so that they don’t think they’re getting a diverse point of view when it isn’t true. If I was caught by surprise there are almost certainly many others that have been as well. This shouldn’t be a personnel vendetta and I don’t intend it to be that way. Trolling shouldn’t be the way that we get messages out; when they’re the ones that do the trolling then any reasonable person can see that the person being banned isn’t the troll but. Or at least I like to think that I’m not.
The following is my follow up Blog on the subject which includes links to one other person that may have been banned there and my own page which includes what I consider surprising amount of trolling by people that weren’t banned while I was.
The greater priority In my opinion should be to spread the word on the “Expand the Debate” segment since it relates to the election and the more coverage it receives in the next couple of weeks the bigger the potential impact it has in the long run whether an alternative candidate wins or just does much better than expected.