THE BLOG

Why Won't ABC News Let Kucinich Win?

05/25/2011 12:10 pm ET

The following piece was produced through OffTheBus, a citizen journalism project hosted at the Huffington Post and launched in partnership with NewAssignment.Net. For more information, read Arianna Huffington's project introduction. If you'd like to join our blogging team, sign up here.

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Curiously, but not out of character, the mainstream media outlet of ABC News has made disappear not one but two post-debate online surveys that both showed Ohio Congressman Dennis Kucinich winning handily.

As the campaign noted in an email alert, "Sometime Monday afternoon, after Congressman Kucinich took a commanding lead in ABC's own online 'Who won the Democratic debate' survey, the survey was dropped from prominence on the website."

But reduced prominence apparently wasn't sufficient. By Monday afternoon Kucinich was winning handily, so ABC replaced the original survey with a second one, perhaps hoping the candidates the network is hawking would be more successful.

For a time, they were - U.S. Senator Barack Obama took the lead in early voting Monday afternoon and evening - but by late Monday / early Tuesday, Kucinich regained the lead by a large margin in this second survey.

ABC didn't like that. The survey results disappeared.

This is not inadvertent. One photo rotating in the ABC News photo gallery of the debate does not even include Kucinich. In the forum itself, George Stephanopoulos avoided asking Kucinich a question until 28 minutes into the program. In the ABC News article analyzing the debate, Kucinich isn't even mentioned until the tail end of the third online page, as the butt of a dismissive joke.

But some of the lesser-known candidates are bound to complain. Even at this forum, some of them had trouble getting a word in edgewise.

'George, I've been standing here for the last 45 minutes, praying to God you were going to call on me," joked Rep. Dennis Kucinich, in answer to a question on prayer.

The crowd, and the moderator, erupted with laughter.

"You have a direct pipeline, Congressman,' joked Stephanopoulos.

This is how the media tells us how they want us to feel about a candidate.

The Kucinich campaign says it has submitted objections and inquiries to ABC News, but ABC has so far failed to respond or acknowledge these objections and inquiries.

But the American public likes Kucinich, as the online survey trends showed above. They like his policies. An independent website surveying public attitudes on issues such as the war in Iraq, health care, the environment, Patriot Act, etc. - a blind taste-test of attitudes, if you will - reports that Kucinich is the first choice of a whopping 58% of respondents (as of August 22). U.S. Senator Hilary Clinton drew a paltry 3.7%, Obama 3%, and former Senator John Edwards 1.1%.

"When people vote exclusively on the issues that are important to them, without being influenced by name recognition, celebrity, or millions of dollars in advertising, Congressman Kucinich wins in a landslide," Kucinich's campaign said.

So why won't ABC News, or other mainstream media outlets for that matter, give him the time of day. Why won't they let him win?

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The above piece was produced through OffTheBus, a citizen journalism project hosted at the Huffington Post and launched in partnership with NewAssignment.Net. For more information, read Arianna Huffington's project introduction. If you'd like to join our blogging team, sign up here.