Lawrence O'Donnell gave a full-throated defense of third party politics on his Wednesday show, and blamed the media for stifling voices beyond the two-party system.
O'Donnell's monologue came the day after the Green Party, Constitution Party, Libertarian Party and Justice Party held a debate moderated by Larry King. No major network carried the debate.
O'Donnell pointed out that the debate discussed issues like the war on drugs that didn't merit a mention in the two-party debates:
Imagine if Congress passed a bill that the president signed that allowed indefinite detention without charge or trial. That would be issue one at any presidential debate, wouldn't it? The media's favorite debate moderator, Martha Raddatz, would have forced a full discussion of that one at the vice presidential debate, wouldn't she? Well, Congress did pass that law last year and President Obama signed it and he never mentioned it on his list of his accomplishments in any of the debates. And he was never asked about it, not by the media's second favorite debate moderator, Candy Crowley, and not by Mitt Romney. It never came up at the two-party presidential debates.
O'Donnell said that the media was partially responsible for this state of affairs. "The media is feeding you a drug called the two party system," he continued. "Big media is incapable of covering a political landscape that is more complicated than the two party system. Big media does not have the resources or the interest or the intellectual capacity to cover something more complicated than the two-party system."
O'Donnell did not elaborate on why he, with his nightly, hour-long perch on a profitable and growing cable news network, did not cover these kinds of issues or politicians more. He did reveal that, since he lived in states where a Democratic blowout was assured, he had voted for third-party candidates for most of his life. He advised others in similar situations to think hard about doing the same.
"Your vote for the Libertarian or Green Party will not effect the outcome in a state where the president or Mitt Romney has a big lead," he said. "But your vote will say something important about what you believe."
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