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Leslie Griffith Headshot

Free Press?

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American voices of dissent have been systematically silenced -- tonight's debate gives us a glimpse into how Fox network controls American politics during such crucial times in history.

One of the first things Russian president Vladimir Putin did in his ruthless exercise of power was to drive media moguls in charge of the fairly new "free press" into exile and put his loyalists in charge of Russia's fledgling media outlets. His goal, as has been reported by many print journalists is to "Restore Russia to greatness and consolidate his power." He sees the two as "inextricably connected" according to the magazine This Week. (December 21st) Controlling the free exchange of ideas is Stalin-esque right? Can we all agree on that?

So, what makes Fox network and ultimately Rupert Murdoch's exclusion of Ron Paul from tonight's debate any different from what Putin is doing in Russia? Voices that do not kow-tow to the powerful mainstream media are finding themselves outcasts from it. Have Americans completely forgotten the Constitution? Is the government so deeply entangled in the bed sheets of these mega-media corporations that voices of dissent are squelched without public outcry? Apparently the answer to that is da.

Fox news network depends upon the war. It made its name by being cheerleaders for it. The network itself depends on the industrial military complex and so do many of the other six mega-media corporations who own the airwaves. At least one, NBC, owned by General Electric, is making huge profits from the war.

In regard to Ron Paul and tonight's debate, Rupert Murdoch and Fox should never be allowed such Putin-like tactics. But much like Russian President Vladimir Putin maintaining power, controlling the people and protecting profit is more important than being public servants to the people our airwaves were meant to serve. In the beginning the airwaves were charged with the responsibility of being conduits of information from all points of view. How things have changed.

Ron Paul talks about the fourth amendment: privacy rights. He says, "Americans never have to give up liberties to be safe." Benjamin Franklin said it first, "Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both." Paul even defends Republican Mitt Romney's right to any religious belief he prefers. A strict Constitutionalist, Ron Paul does not believe religion should ever play any role in electing our officials. However, Paul defends any candidate's right to believe whatever he wants as long as that candidate does not make it part of his political platform. Paul knows that a country that votes for the person with the "right" religion is a country destined to fall apart. Paul calls it "a soft form of fascism." Wars fought in the name of religion in the world today are too numerous to count.

Separation of church and state, and personal religious freedom are just two reasons the revolutionary war was fought and America was founded. Ron Paul reminds anyone who will listen of that as well.

Paul also talks about "raising a new generation that understands virtue cannot be legislated," and he is the darling of online voters. That alone must threaten the networks as network ratings dwindle when Paul's followers turn off the tube and get online. That could be the real reason Paul was excluded tonight.

I am not a Ron Paul voter. I am an American who wants to learn as much as I can about every candidate.

Kucinich was stopped from speaking in Iowa and now Ron Paul.

Shame, shame, shame Fox network -- Murdoch and Putin should be pen-pals.

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