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January 15th, 2008
05:12 PM ET

Kucinich Battles to Debate

 Dennis and Elizabeth Kucinich.

Dennis and Elizabeth Kucinich.

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

The saying goes "Be careful what you ask for, you might just get it." That's the position Ohio Congressman Dennis Kucinich may find himself in tonight at the democratic presidential debate in Las Vegas, Nevada. See the debate organizers don't want Kucinich to participate. But a judge has ordered MSNBC to include Kucinich or he will issue an injunction preventing the debate from happening at all.

Kucinich was originally scheduled to be part of the debate with Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, and John Edwards. Then he failed to make much of a showing in Iowa and New Hampshire and was told he was being uninvited. Kucinich went to court, and a judge has decided it would be unfair to exclude him.

MSNBC said it is appealing the judge's ruling, but as things stand now Kucinich will be there whether they want him or not. So here's the question: Should the courts be involved in this sort of thing?

Here’s my question to you: A judge has ordered MSNBC to include Dennis Kucinich in a debate. Should the courts be involved in this sort of thing?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?


Steve from Overland Park, Kansas writes:
Yes, Jack. The airwaves belong to the American people and besides, with Kucinich there, the Democrats may even talk about something important.

Pete writes:
Jack, of course Kucinich should be included. Although the moderators will fail to ask, Dennis will find a way to address some of the Constitutional issues, such as the loss of the right to Habeas Corpus, the Military Commissions act, warrantless wiretapping, problems with the Patriot Act, and Torture. All of these are steps on the road to a fascist state.

Tim writes:
Instead our media focuses on crying jags, racially divisive campaigning, and support for the endless war on terror and the occupation of Iraq.
I don't think so Jack. This is the type of thing that boils my blood. The courts should stay away from politics and stick to creating "justice" for all. As for Kucinich, I think that he should give up, pack up, and go home!

Mike writes:
Dennis Kucinich reflects the majority of Americans who want to end the senseless slaughter of our soldiers in Iraq. GE owns NBC, and GE profits hugely from the slaughter of our soldiers. But that does not give war profiteers GE and NBC the right to break their contract with Dennis Kucinich. Kudos to Judge Thompson for standing firm on the law.

Anthony writes:
Yes, if it will stop the media from anointing future candidates through their limited coverage of a select few. There are other very worthwhile candidates out there whose views are swept away by the coverage of the few media darlings.

Tony writes:
Why not? There is precedent. Remember December, 2000 when the courts effectively selected who should be the President of the United States.


Filed under: Uncategorized
soundoff (221 Responses)
  1. Paul

    Better question would be: should MSNBC decide, who participates in the debate? Who is MSNBC to make decisions like that?

    January 15, 2008 at 1:32 pm |
  2. Rodney

    The Media are doing a serious disservice to this country when they only focus on a few of the presidential candidates; in other words, the so-called front-runners. Corporate run Media is really proving itself to be a prime partner of the so-called Washington "special interest." It is highly unfortunate that the courts have to intervene in order to give all those running for president equal air time. For this to be a true democracy, all the candidates should given the same opportunities as the Media gives the so-called front-runners. I would like to hear ALL of the candidate's views on the issues, and would like to be able to judge for myself who to vote for–not just who CNN and FOX would like to promote. Where were the courts when Fox ignored Ron Paul? Get it together guys and do the right thing. Please.

    January 15, 2008 at 1:41 pm |
  3. Stan

    Dennis Kucinich and his supporters have put real thought, effort and money into this election. Mr. Kucinich has a legitimate message and his voice deserves to be heard. This practice of the media selecting our candidates has got to stop. Censorship is very un-becoming for a "democracy".

    January 15, 2008 at 1:49 pm |
  4. Hannah

    Kucinich, Kucinich...hmm Jack, that name doesn't seem to ring a bell. Try again four years from now.

    January 15, 2008 at 1:54 pm |
  5. Joan

    It's my understanding that in the case of this debate, Kucinich was orginally included by NBC, then the network booted him, he sued and won and NBC appealed to the Supreme Court of Nevada.

    Generally speaking, no, keep the courts out of it; we all know what happened in 2000. But in this case, it seems totally arbitrary, biased and exclsionary (and slimy) for NBC to rescind the invite.They would probably have only asked him one question anyway, so what is the big deal.

    But what I want to know is why this is not a bigger news story. Everyone went ballistic when FOX excluded Ron Paul. What's different here? Why is there no excoriation of NBC? Especially after their notablly biased fiasco in covering the New Hamphsire primary.

    January 15, 2008 at 1:57 pm |
  6. Brian Nancoo - Trinidad

    No and the fault lies not with the courts but with Kucinich. The courts have not legislated his poor showing in the campaigns,the people have not chosen him.To ask the courts to force the people to listen to him is something just to please his ego and wastes everyone's time.Sure,it may be legal and proper,but it's the wrong thing for the process.

    January 15, 2008 at 2:05 pm |
  7. Ryan Farrar

    it is unfortunate that the courts did have to intervene here. but yes, it was totally necesary. Dennis Kucinich is the only Democrat in the race with a true and consistent record opposing the war in Iraq. He is the only Democratic candidate who would end the unconstitutional war on drugs which is used as tool to opprose the poor people of this nation. He has placed first in polls conducted by political action commitees whose members are the most informed voters; not the media brainwashed cattle-like followers of Clinton and Obama. He is a man who has stood with integrity his entire political career and has never been swayed by what is popular, prefering to stand for what is right. He has been in this race, and he still is, and it is grave injustice committed by any media outlet to deny his participation in any debate. To deny him this opportunity would be a horrifying misservice to the American people, and a slap in the face of freedom. The situation we have on our hands once again is one where the media is trying to take the electoral decision away from the people. Thank God a Judge out there exists who would have the integrity to put a stop to this deliberate attempt at malicious manipulation. Now, all we need is for the people to hear Dennis' message, and go out and vote for him! If this campaign is really about change, people should know that Kucinich is the only Democrat who can truly provide it. It's not too late to vote your heart America. Show them the media doesn't elect our President, we do! Watch the debate, hear his message, and vote for Dennis Kucinich. Don't let them win, stand up for democracy, truth, and the American way!

    January 15, 2008 at 2:19 pm |
  8. James S. Lenon

    Kucinich has no chance of being nominated. For a court to order him included in any so-called debate is rediculous and amounts to court-ordered free air time for Kucinich.

    Our election process is damaged sufficiently without allowing judges to insist that anyone be included in the nomination process.

    January 15, 2008 at 2:20 pm |
  9. David of Natchez

    I wish the courts could decide what I will be having for dinner tonight. They want to stick their nose into everything else.

    January 15, 2008 at 2:21 pm |
  10. Terry

    Jack
    No the courts should not be involved, however MSNBC should include ALL the presidential canidates in their debates, it should have never gotten to this point. MSNBC should take lessons from CNN on equal time for everyone.

    January 15, 2008 at 2:24 pm |
  11. Kristi from Indiana

    Absolutely not! I do feel that certain networks are not being fair to some of the candidates but there are other avenues to air their grievances, i.e. the internet,
    competitive networks covering their stories, etc. Most Americans know which political stance most networks take and view accordingly anyway.

    January 15, 2008 at 2:41 pm |
  12. Scott

    No it shouldn't be involved but is because a candidate no mater how much a factor is still running and as an American has the same right to participate as the others.

    January 15, 2008 at 2:43 pm |
  13. Richard Sternagel

    Jack,I don't feel the courts should be involved whether Rep Kucinich debates tonight,However, I think any candidate who is still in the campaign should be invited to give his ideals to the public.

    January 15, 2008 at 2:46 pm |
  14. Beth from Michigan

    Yes. The courts are supposed to dispence justice. How else can a left of center, no hope candidate get his voice heard on a right of center cable network? I want to hear all sides, thank you.

    January 15, 2008 at 2:51 pm |
  15. Tim

    I don't think so Jack. This is the type of thing that boils my blood. The courts should stay away from politics and stick to creating "justice" for all. As for Kucinich, I think that he should give up, pack up, and dry up all of the tears and go home!

    January 15, 2008 at 2:54 pm |
  16. CRAIG R. MCNEES

    I ONLY WISH THE COURTS WOULD HAVE GOTTEN INVOLVED IN THE LAST ELECTION TO DEAL WITH THE VOTER FRAUD AND CORRUPTION OF OUR OFFICIALS. NOW WITH THE COURTS STACKED WITH HIS CRONNIES I DOUBT ANY OF THE ELECTION WE HAVE IN 08 WILL NOT BE TAINTED.

    January 15, 2008 at 2:56 pm |
  17. Ted

    Kucinich says he's a religious man. He appears to want to go to the debates in order to pray for victory via "spirited" discusion. Who is mere man to interfere with a man's religious beliefs. And besides, we need someone there to say the words....."I'm the only candidate here who......"

    January 15, 2008 at 2:57 pm |
  18. No

    No. Debates are run by private companies and organizations supported by private donations. Not the courts. If you want govt run debates, push your representative to pass govt campaign funding. Unless you are willing to stick your vote where your mouth is, knock it off.

    January 15, 2008 at 3:00 pm |
  19. Greg

    Jack, you media people have that much power that you can control who participates in the debates, man that is cruel! You liberal media folks really want to rule the world someday don't you? You'll get your wish after all the hype you give Hillary, you'll be the only group that gets tax cuts under her tenure!

    January 15, 2008 at 3:00 pm |
  20. Joy Paquin

    While the judge is ordering Kucinich to be part of the debate, why doesn't he also order the questionaire to answer true questions such as illegal immigration, open borders and unsecured ports, cost to the American taxpayers for illegal immigration, Clinton backing the influx of India's grraduates to replace our graduates who would draw a salary of $12,000 less. These kissy face questions are of no value to us so what does it matter who they ask!!!!!!!!

    January 15, 2008 at 3:01 pm |
  21. Gypsy

    Why not? Judges decided who would be president in 2000, so what's the big deal? He might win New Hampshire on the recount, too. I wonder if his wife is blushing.

    January 15, 2008 at 3:09 pm |
  22. Thomas, SC

    It's a sad day when it takes a court order to uphold the very principles on which our country was founded. I disagree with Kucinich on most things, but his voice deserves to be heard just as much as Clinton's or Obama's.

    January 15, 2008 at 3:11 pm |
  23. Nelson in Somerdale NJ

    No Jack, the courts should not be involved here. The courts should stay out of the way and leave it in the hands of the media executives, talking heads, and pundits where it belongs. They know what is best for us and will tell us what is important and how we should be voting. Please ask Wolf to tell us about Britney one more time.

    January 15, 2008 at 3:11 pm |
  24. Ron Margheim

    Jack, Only if Dennis is the father of Britney's kids! Seriously, if the courts made the networks include every person who thinks they are a candidate, then the public suffers from not hearing the real candidates, meaning the ones who actually have a chance of winning based on there standings in the polls and votes received so far. Besides, it seems like some people are just perpetual candidates, something Edwards will need to think about next Tuesday.

    January 15, 2008 at 3:16 pm |
  25. D Moore

    Of course not! But then NBC/MSNBC should not have marginalized him either. That’s why we have courts, because TV people don’t always do the right thing. Anyway, I thought that the media is required to give the candidates equal time. Besides, why is the media so afraid of this guy that they sandbagged him then effectively ridiculed him out of the race? He and Ron Paul are the only two candidates that have anything worthwhile to listen to. Unless either of them are on, the debates are a total waste of my time.

    January 15, 2008 at 3:18 pm |
  26. Ron Noe

    I think fair is fair, Jack. But ultimately, who cares? The more I watch the American People on TV and the answers they give, like Michigan this AM., I am more and more confident in my deduction that, "The herd needs thinning".

    We can't complain about our Government if we don't get off our collective butts and become educated in what we have created by not getting off our butts before! There are more of us than there are of them, "Politicians", and yet we put more belief in people like Clinton and Romney than Ron Paul and Kucinich who make more sense than any of the rest!

    he herd needs thinning, Jack, it's a natural thing!

    January 15, 2008 at 3:20 pm |
  27. Doug

    In a democracy a presidential debate should include all the registered candidates left in the race, it's a shame we need the courts to remind us of that. As Fred Thompson put it, is this the USA or USSR!

    January 15, 2008 at 3:20 pm |
  28. Dave Ma

    That's why it's called "More Stuff No Body Cares about" by the late Tom Snyder.

    January 15, 2008 at 3:21 pm |
  29. Dan H

    Yes, it is sickening two states have voted and the media has decided who has won. You people are supposed to report the news not make it.

    January 15, 2008 at 3:24 pm |
  30. Ralph

    No Jack. In elementary school we learn there are three distinct areas in our government, and the courts, included in the judicial area interpret the laws of our land –they should not interfere in the choosing of our elected leaders, unless a particular law is at question.

    January 15, 2008 at 3:26 pm |
  31. deemarie

    You bet.. Because unfortunately you can't trust the media or politicians to do the right thing, the honorable.

    January 15, 2008 at 3:30 pm |
  32. --Joe (Pittsburgh)

    Hell Yes... I contributed $50 to Dennis Kucinich's campaign. In essence, I paid for that microphone (well maybe a little piece of it) and I want my investment protected. Dennis isn't going to win, but he has some important things to say, and letting him say them standing next to the other candidates can't hurt. Who knows maybe something will rub off and stick to the other candidates and his ideas will move into the White House even if he doesn't.

    January 15, 2008 at 3:31 pm |
  33. Bert D

    Mr. Kucinich is one of the few candidates, deomocratic or republican who understands what is really wrong with this country. It will be of great value to the electorate and to the other candidates to hear what he has to say.

    January 15, 2008 at 3:32 pm |
  34. Carmelo, NJ

    Its unfortunate that the court needed to intervene in this situation. Yes, Dennis Kucinich should be included in the debate because he has been true to himself and to the American people . Kucinich has been against the war in Iraq from the beginning and critical in our unbalanced foreign policy in the Middle East. Let the American people decide who should be our president not the media.

    January 15, 2008 at 3:33 pm |
  35. Stephen, Wilmington, NC

    Short answer, NO ! The courts have screwed up enough in this country. Little Dennis needs to go back to what he does best, NOTHING.

    January 15, 2008 at 3:34 pm |
  36. D Moore

    I just figured out why the media don't want either Ron Paul or Dennis Kucinich to have a chance. If by some miracle they do get their message out and get elected, the media won’t have anything bad to report. There will be less scandal, lies, cheating and all manner that the nonsense media types live for. There’s no story after the country is back on an even keel and sailing along they way it should. Then reporters would have to go back to doing real work to find real stories. And you can bet they looked real hard but found nothing better than an idiot UFO question to ask. How can you answer a non issue question like that by an idiot moderator?

    January 15, 2008 at 3:40 pm |
  37. rob branson

    if he is still in the race and still getting votes yes, but if he's out of the race tell him to take a number for the next time.

    January 15, 2008 at 3:41 pm |
  38. Patricia

    Until Rep. Kucinich decides that he wants to drop out he should be included in every debate the Democrats hold.... END OF STORY!!!

    January 15, 2008 at 3:48 pm |
  39. john

    Yes, the courts should be involved, this is a serious matter. The media which uses public or cable airways should be held responsible when they obstruct democracy, distort information, spread propaganda, or deny equal access. Yes, cable media also because of the monopolistic franchise relationship they have in most communities. Further, media abuses of late have risen to such levels that both civil and criminal penalties should be considered. In the MSNBC matter, considering it’s a presidential debate and Kucinich is by all accounts a credible candidate (although I would not vote for him) I would like a law that requires the network to off the air for one month and the person ultimately responsible for the debate sentenced to six months in prison.

    January 15, 2008 at 3:53 pm |
  40. the wizard

    jack, you see what happened the last time a court got involved in politics. it still gives me nightmares.
    b.g. , mo.

    January 15, 2008 at 3:55 pm |
  41. Lazyfirefly

    The media has certainly done an amazing job of spot-lighting their own biases this year. In my opinion, I think the media WANTS either Obama or Clinton to win. Those two winning would mean either the first African American President or the first woman president. Of course, seeing the two fall out over their recent bickering would also lead to big money for the media circuits.

    So of course, they'll leave Kucinich and others out of the Debate loop. Why have somebody steal the spot-light from their money-makers?

    January 15, 2008 at 4:10 pm |
  42. suzana in san diego

    Whoever is still in the race should have the right to participate in any debate
    Courts shouldn't be involved..they should only be excluded once they drop out!

    January 15, 2008 at 4:12 pm |
  43. Alan MacDonald

    Yes, of course!

    Judge Charles Thompson's order declares:

    “This is a matter which affects the public interest.”

    But judge, don’t you know that the very term, “the public interest” is not only ignored but held in absolute contempt by this whole pack of corporate imperialists behind NBC?

    In fact, judge, in Al Gore’s insightful new book, “The Assault on Reason” he carefully reasons and documents several times that within the radical right-wing corporatist faction which has captured our government, “there is no such thing as ‘the public interest’; that phrase represents a dangerous fiction created as an excuse to impose unfair burdens on the wealthy and the powerful.”

    The corporatist empire behind this façade of ‘Vichy America’ (and the ‘Vichy’ MSM) does not even ordain to accept the concept of a ‘public interest’ -- a point of truth that unites Al Gore, Ralph Nader, and of course Dennis Kucinich.

    January 15, 2008 at 4:15 pm |
  44. Jim S.

    Who are the courts to tell a private company what to do? While we are at it, why not force Wolf to interview all the candidates for equal amount of times? I’m sure Mike Gravel has many interesting ideas.

    January 15, 2008 at 4:16 pm |
  45. Clint

    Jack, i say let him debate but only if you guys in the media get a LOT of footage of his wife!!

    January 15, 2008 at 4:17 pm |
  46. Adam

    The judge's decision was absolutely right, and I hope it is upheld. I can understand the rejection of his earlier legal challenge of ABC for excluding him from their debate, as the criteria were known well in advance, and he didn't complain until a day or two before the debate. But in this case, he was invited, and he met all the criteria they had set through January 9; their last-minute change of criteria was quite obviously for the specific purpose of excluding HIM. Were some network executives sitting around and saying "Hey, let's change the criteria a bit, for no particular reason" and then it just coincidentally turned out to exclude Kucinich? That seems a bit far-fetched to me. Essentially, they changed their criteria to "Candidate must be Clinton, Edwards, or Obama"; the decision was undoubtedly motivated by nothing other than Kucinich's potential presence, even if they pretend it was just a change in the calculations they used.

    So yes, I think MSNBC was acting against the public interest, and yes, I believe Kucinich should be allowed into tonight's debate. If he's not, then I hope they don't get away with it without any consequences from the FCC, etc.

    January 15, 2008 at 4:20 pm |
  47. Nathaniel

    A true serious candidate for national office MUST be able to wage a 50 state campaign. For that, there are only a half dozen or so SERIOUS candidates. The rest are solely in it to push their personal agendas and elevate their diminished egos. Why the media even gave Gravel a second of TV time after his long absense from national politics in beyond me. Kucinich has proven that he is NOT a national candidate and thus SHOULD BE EXCLUDED. Sueing makes him look as petty as Ambassador Alan Keyes another Presidential "candidate" - and he has only been allowed on one televised debate this time around. And if Edwards can't come in second in either Nevada or South Carolina, he, too, should be bumped from the debates.

    January 15, 2008 at 4:20 pm |
  48. Laila

    Yes, I think courts should be involve, otherwise corporate owned media will rule this country!

    January 15, 2008 at 4:20 pm |
  49. Donald, Butte Montana

    Another prirme example of the major new media deciding by themselves who should be at these debates and who the American people hear from.

    This is just as bad as FOX Noise Network not allowing Ron Paul to appear while allowing Giuliani who wrote off NH in leiu of tranplanted New Yorkers in FL.

    Kusinich may not be headliner as Obama or Clinton, but he is running nationa-wide like they are. Do these candidtes fear something from his candidacy?

    NBC has already tarnished their image like the FOX Noise Network.

    January 15, 2008 at 4:21 pm |
  50. Anna

    I keep hearing, the American people have already spoken. They want Obama or Clinton.
    Wait, did I miss the primaries? So the election was decided by Iowans and NH? And in Iowa what percent actually went to the caucus? And a caucus? Thats not a democracy.
    So you mean these biased polls that have the uncanny tendency to exclude certain names are the votes?
    I do believe Kucinich has been left out of every debate starting with Iowa. It has nothing to do with polls and should have nothing to do with polls.
    Kucinich was invited after the NH primaries. Then after Richardson dropped out, they uninvited him.
    This is not a free speech issue for the media, this is a free election issue for the people. When their free speech subverts my right to a fair election then their actions are in my nose and thats where there rights end.
    I want to hear Kucinich, Gravel, and Paul.
    I do not want to listen to Obama and Clinton bicker with each other.
    I will vote for neither.

    January 15, 2008 at 4:21 pm |
  51. Yaron Fishman

    COME ON! NBC invited Dennis and then UN-invited him. General Electric owns NBC, and they profit from Military contracts in Iraq. Dennis voted against the war from the beginning and then consistently voted against funding it. In other words–his views are not good for GE's business. The question you SHOULD be asking is...

    Should corporate media be able to decide which Presidential candidates we (the american people) are allowed to hear?

    January 15, 2008 at 4:22 pm |
  52. Kevin

    Your question depends largely on what you think courts should do in the case of an emergency in our democracy. When the press has failed to cover all of the candidates equally and mainly worked towards whittling down the Democratic field to a black man and white woman so they can start creating the narratives for change for America they wish to create at the expense of a true voice for freedom and democracy in America, the courts should step in. The courts should rule in favor of Dennis Kucinich every time because by allowing a corporation like NBC (or ABC) to silence a presidential candidate, they are disenfranchising a group of Americans who are following him and hoping for him to win. They should on top of intervening in this case to show that NBC must pay for its mistake (the mistake being if they didn't want Kucinich they should have never invited Richardson) intervene and issue an order that all media show fairness to all the candidates and report on all the candidates who have not dropped out from Clinton to Gravel. Kucinich has done more in the past week than Clinton or Obama and yet he has been ignored. Media ignorance has led to voters not knowing who he is or thinking he is still running. This means Americans may be making the wrong decision on voting Obama, Edwards, or Clinton because media has robbed them of the truth. Thankfully, his supporters and other Americans sympathetic to Kucinich's struggle are getting involved and fighting to keep his voice heard. After seven years of Bush, Americans aren't settling for pro-war anti-impeachment candidates like Clinton, Obama, or Edwards. They want a real debate and the only way to have that is with Dennis creating a discourse on stage tonight in Nevada.

    January 15, 2008 at 4:24 pm |
  53. Darrel Plant

    Of course he should be included in the debate. Kucinich was excluded from the debate just before the New Hampshire primary because he didn't have a good enough showing in the polls. Those same polls showed Barack Obama was going to be the big winner in New Hampshire. Nobody's going to claim that Kucinich would have won in New Hampshire, but there's certainly a good argument to be made that his exclusion from the debate just three days before didn't help his numbers in the election. And now that showing in New Hampshire is going to be used to exclude him from future debates?

    What's NBC's reason for wanting him excluded from the debate in Las Vegas?

    January 15, 2008 at 4:24 pm |
  54. ruddy don

    Jack, get it together! The Ohio cogressman has the right to be there,it's a shame it took the court to enforce his right to do so, even though I wouldn't wanna be there if i were him 'cos that's an akward position to be in.sometimes I wonder if our politicians knows when its over.No wonder we have all this mess in washington.

    January 15, 2008 at 4:26 pm |
  55. Sylvie

    Jack: Probably the judge/court should have more jurisdiction than MSMBC! Now, since he usually has something intelligent to say on most subjects, why is this "debate" anything different than others? Am enjoying reading "It's Getting Ugly Out There" and so glad you are part of that CNN group.....we remember NYC.

    January 15, 2008 at 4:27 pm |
  56. brenda

    I think the courts should not be invloved, because 'EVERY' candidate has a right to be in all the debates, it is only fair, because after all they are running for office as well, and every candidate has a right to have his or her voice heard.

    I also feel money should not play a part in who get's the 'media" attention the most, this is NOT FAIR PLAY.
    I am disappointed that the 'media" is totally by passing candidates,it is unfair to the american people, because they are not able to view this whole process fairly, we are only able to hear the views of the candidates that the 'MEDIA" wants us to hear.
    For example, we have the Democratic Presidential Debate in Las Vegas this evening, and the only way I was able to find this out, was because I was flipping through the channel's, and the "ONLY" network that even mentioned it, and for that matter covering it is MSNBC. All the networks, including CNN,have not even mentioned the Democratic Debate being on this evening......I guess you are all to busy covering the MICHIGAN PRIMARY INSTEAD, and that too me is not fair play!Did you ever think, that maybe some of us want to hear what their candidates, have to say?
    The American people should be given the choice this evening as to what they want too watch.

    Out of all the channels on TV, I watch CNN the most, because I feel you are fair and balanced, not like that other channel FOX, however today I am dissappointed that no one on your network, is talking about the Debate tonight, so therefore I will be watching MSNBC instead this evening, because I really am not interested in the Republican Michigan Primary........Thank god I flippped through the channels!

    January 15, 2008 at 4:28 pm |
  57. Richard Vail

    Hey Jack ,
    Since the sub prime mortgage debacle is hitting the balance sheets of so many financial corporations and so many individuals are in jeopardy of loosing their homes, how about a one time aging of all past due accounts to a current status. Allow the interest for each month granted the extension, to be added to the back of the loan as an additional final payment. Think of it..... better earnings reports keeping American companies from having to be bailed out by foreign businesses, people actually keeping their homes, in all income brackets affected, and it might even help the stock market .........Oh by the way i might be one of these people........

    January 15, 2008 at 4:30 pm |
  58. Anne, Madison, WI

    Should the courts have a say in this. No, I don't think so. I do believe it is incredibly bad taste for NBC to back out of an invitiation. It's not like NBC ran out of time on Leno. These are candidates for the highest political office in the country, and the people are entitled to hear from all of those still in the race. NBC forget is forgetting they are not the one choosing the President.

    I think it would be fun to see Clinton, Edwards and Obama as a show have solidarity to "respectfully decline" the invitation to participate tonight and show the people of America they still believe in free speech.

    January 15, 2008 at 4:31 pm |
  59. adam

    Personally, the only candidates that I want to hear from in the debates are the ones that are NOT the corporate-funded, media-approved candidates. That said, I still believe that any candidate on the ballot ought to be allowed to participate.
    In this case it was apparent that nothing short of legal action was going to stop the systematic censoring of one of the only true democrat on the ballot since Gravel and Richarson are out.

    January 15, 2008 at 4:31 pm |
  60. Annie, Atlanta GA

    Jack,

    He's one of the most colorful politicians out there – love his idea about impeaching Cheney. The courts should be involved only if it is to include him. And shame on MSNBC. We already have one self-appointed great decider in this country.

    January 15, 2008 at 4:33 pm |
  61. Greg from PA

    Who cares what candidate is invited? All these debates are glorified dog and pony shows. At the best, we can only hope not to be too bored hearing the same lines over and over again. At the worst, we get an earful of bickering and backbiting. Those who care are mostly looking for someone to have a meltdown or stick their foot in their mouth.

    January 15, 2008 at 4:36 pm |
  62. Mike Rockland

    It's always entertaining reading comments from people that don't connect these facts:

    1. Media like ABC and NBC have kept many Americans from hearing and seeing Congressman Kucinich.

    2. Many Americans haven't heard or seen Congressman Kucinich.

    3. Many Americans don't get out to vote for Congressman Kucinich.

    Un-electable is a recently invented concept. Here's how it works. You get yourself a big audience by pandering to everyone's baser interests and then you holler as often as you can "LOSER" about anyone that threatens your profits. Except instead of hollering "loser", which sounds so "high-school-cafeteria", you shout "UN-ELECTABLE" which is meaningless but new and sounds kind of world-wise. Its purpose is to convince people that something has already happened when it hasn't even started, so as to cripple anyone you consider threatening.

    I'm not buying. I still subscribe to the old fashioned theory that in a democracy the election is determined by the Americans who go into the booth and vote. Then you find out who was “electable”.

    If we want the President to be a person who represents Americans instead of corporations we're going to have to get used to the idea that we'll have to look for that person beyond the curtain that corporate media constructs.

    This President of the people is unlikely to have a war chest (aptly named) of $100 million at their disposal, as Clinton and Obama do right now, and so the message of people like Congressman Kucinich is going to be that much harder to find and hear.

    I also don't buy someone "looking Presidential". I'm not interested in my President's TV ratings. I'm interested in their character and their record on the issues.

    By the way the suit that Congressman Kucinich brought against NBC was for breach of contract. NBC made a contract with Congressman Kucinich and then broke it. That was the judge’s ruling.

    January 15, 2008 at 4:37 pm |
  63. Richard Kimball

    Dennis Kucinich doesn't support Israel...

    so he should not be in the debate.

    January 15, 2008 at 4:41 pm |
  64. Kathleen

    Why not? There seems to be an endless supply of debates. Every time you turn around there is another Presidential debate. After awhile they get a bit dull and boring and when Kucinich is involved in the debate it's never dull and boring ...he seems to add a bit of spice to the event. After all maybe it would give us something to talk about the next day besides how the "good ole boys" ganged up on poor Hilary again!! After all we as a nation believe in free speech and the man is still running in the primaries and has every right to be there...the courts in this case represent the "Check and Balance" the constitution intended there to be in our government. After all every race needs an "Underdog" !

    January 15, 2008 at 4:41 pm |
  65. DD

    Jack,It seems every four years the Big EGOS decide to run for President,without organization or a following.Kucinch should spend time working for his district as a Congressman.What has he done for them lately?

    Jack,It is disturbing how often and how viciously you have been attacking Senator Clinton.I thought you were a fair ,but cranky guy, you need to STOP attacking her .I'm sorry she is not your favorite but Msnbc have promoted Obama 24/7 and torn her down in that same time frame.Please rise above petty,nasty,remarks leave her out of your hate segment.She is a wonderful person who will be our next President so get use to it. You need to let the voter decide.Otherwise I like your segment.

    January 15, 2008 at 4:44 pm |
  66. Joel

    Who else is there to decide such things?

    If the incumbents in the White House, the Congress, the party leadership, or the media choose who can and can't be serious candidates (by manipulating access to debates) we might as well dispense with the primaries altogether since the choice of general election candidates is being taken away from the voters. The judicial branch is the closest our system comes to a politically mpartial body.

    January 15, 2008 at 4:44 pm |
  67. jeff

    Yes the courts should be involved in supporting a presidential candidate when they are unfairly discriminated upon and left out of a debate. Americans, you have to ask yourselves, "Why does America have 47 million citizens without health insurance, why is our country in love with guns and violence and obsessed by war(s), why are we so dependent on oil and nuclear power, why are we, the consumers, paying $3.09 for a gallon of gasoline, why are there so little job opportunities for renewable energies , why do we obsess over a few million "illegal" immigrants, why do we care about other people's personal lives involving homosexuality and abortions, why are we even talking about the courts interference with allowing a multi-billion dollar 'news' station's (MSNBC, ABC, CNN, etc.) objective to silence a progressive such as Dennis Kucinich?" The major news corporations are afraid of Kucinich and other progressives who will empower the poor people and bring about social justice which Clinton, Obama, and Edwards pander to the masses, without every willing to deliver their message. Think about it, "Why should we, the citizens) listen to the news when they beat the drums to war, silence the poor, and only care about making themselves richer?" Think for yourself, question authority. Think for yourself, question authority!

    January 15, 2008 at 4:46 pm |
  68. Pam

    I trust the courts more than the corporate media. And hearing from candidates like Dennis Kucinich and Ron Paul enlivens the national debate.

    January 15, 2008 at 4:46 pm |
  69. Scott Carden

    I think the courts did what was right, Kucinich should be included in the debate. The one that shouldn't have a say in who is in the debate is the tv network. The Democratic Party Should be the one deciding who is in the debate. The networks only job is to televise the debate, it is absurd that a ntework decides who is in a presidential debate.

    January 15, 2008 at 4:47 pm |
  70. joe m

    any candidate who is still in the race should not have to go to court to participate in the election process. it is sad that organizers of these debates have taken it upon themselves to decide who can and cannot participate. this just sounds too much like high school, where the popular and rich kids decided who's in and out. kucinich paid his two bits, let him speak.

    January 15, 2008 at 4:49 pm |
  71. David A. Morse, Stoneham, MA

    No! The federal courts have already been too involved in the elections. He doesn't have the support to go on. The Fat Lady has already sung! Its time to say goodnight dear friends.

    January 15, 2008 at 4:52 pm |
  72. Tim Titler

    My Lord YES. I would much rather have my government decide who can at least run for office than the media. Having our “fair and balanced” judicial system enforce “fair and balanced” media coverage of ALL the candidates is refreshing. The media (except you Jack) has a strong tendency to disregard select candidates into media oblivion. Remember, it is the voters that decide.

    January 15, 2008 at 4:57 pm |
  73. sally atticum

    Sounds like a contract issue to me. They invited him to participate after he met certain criteria and he accepted. They subsequently changed the criteria and sought breach the contract. The remedy is specific performance, i.e., let him particpate.

    January 15, 2008 at 5:00 pm |
  74. Gerald

    Absolutely. NBC has no right to determine which voices and opinions we, the voters in this election, should be able to hear. This is just one more black eye on our democracy that this has even become an issue. Shame on the rest of the Democratic candidates running for standing idly by and allowing this abuse of power transpire. If they really had any integrity as candidates, they would stand up and threaten to boycott the debate themselves unless all candidates are allowed and equal voice in a national forum.

    January 15, 2008 at 5:02 pm |
  75. aware

    I can't think of anything more boring or soul destroying than to have Obama and Edwards team up against Hillary in a round table fiasco! Sure, let Kucinich add to the triad. Maybe he can change the subject? I might even watch a bit.

    The male establishment reigns – long live misogyny/sexism –
    or has an exceptional woman "found her own voice"?

    January 15, 2008 at 5:03 pm |
  76. Luis

    Freedom of the press? Freedom of speech? Freedom of the press to shut a potential President from speaking? Thank God for the founding fathers of this great country, they sure did have an insight of could happen. I hope the press remembers they don’t choice the candidate; no wonder millions of dollars are need to run for President, the Media should be a shamed.

    January 15, 2008 at 5:03 pm |
  77. Alan Warner

    Only if some law has been violated. I am unaware of any law requiring media to either include or exclude any individual from their programming.
    I personally think Kucinich should be included but if MSNBC thinks otherwise that is their business. I can choose to watch CNN instead.

    January 15, 2008 at 5:05 pm |
  78. John

    The courts should intervene to allow Kucinich in the debate. NBC has breached a contractual promise on which Kucinich reasonable relied, and it's up to a court to provide Kucinich with the only meaningful remedy: participation in the debate.

    Those who argue that Kucinich had poor showings in New Hampshire and Iowa are indulging in a circular argument / dynamic. His poor showing was due, in part, to his exclusion from debates in those states and a general media blackout on his campaign. Kucinich's ideas - thought reflective of majority U.S. opinion, for the most part - are extremely threatening to the corporate interests that manage most media outlets. Allowing those private interests to control the primary process to the extent that they're allowed to (via government supplied monopoly control of the public's airwaves) is unconscionable. Wake up folks! This is how fascism creates and perpetuates itself.

    January 15, 2008 at 5:07 pm |
  79. Tim Davis

    This makes about as much sense as the House Oversight Committee hearing about Roger Clemens' use of steroids, so I'd say that it's right on par with the way our government is behaving right now.

    January 15, 2008 at 5:09 pm |
  80. Lucy Sells

    Yes! It's time to restore the fairness doctrine, and give equal time to all candidates.

    January 15, 2008 at 5:10 pm |
  81. roger

    why not. if the supreme court can choose our president. why not allow a judge to include someone in a debate. great job btw

    January 15, 2008 at 5:10 pm |
  82. Dharmaraj Tillai

    I'm not for sure if a judge has a Constitutional right to force a private company to have a guest upon their show, but I am happy to see that a level playing field is being enforced.
    The Media (Yes, I'm ranting against the media) already focuses on a few candidates, rather than the vast body of candidates available. Remember, their have only been two primaries, and everyone wants to hurry up and pick a nominee? It doesn't make sense.

    January 15, 2008 at 5:10 pm |
  83. Dan

    Of course, the courts should be involved. Who else can protect small children and space aliens?

    January 15, 2008 at 5:11 pm |
  84. John

    Jack, common sense should prevail. If the candidate is on the ballot, then they should be allowed to debate. Why should the media be able to pick and choose who is going to attend? Isn't that manipulating? Oh wait, we still have that vestigial organ called the Electoral College that tells us who gets to be President so I guess it is ok.

    January 15, 2008 at 5:11 pm |
  85. Jared

    Hell yes the courts should be involved!! If corporate media is going to veto the American people the right of a true candidate then the courts must get into the game and protect the rights of the American people by allowing them to hear diverse views instead of the same old hoopla!

    January 15, 2008 at 5:11 pm |
  86. Matthew Lifson

    Of course Kucinich should be allowed into the debate. He's the only candidate making any sense on the issues, and America and the other candidates need to hear his message.

    January 15, 2008 at 5:11 pm |
  87. jeff sommers

    Better a judge than the media.... We saw the mess they made of the New Hampshire primaries.

    January 15, 2008 at 5:11 pm |
  88. Brad, Bethlehem PA

    NBC is a private firm, they get to choose what appears on their networks, Kucinich has been getting less than 5% of the vote, and has had sufficient opportunity to do something in this election. In my opinion, the debate would be even better without Comrade Edwards.

    January 15, 2008 at 5:11 pm |
  89. James Anthony Neuberger

    I believe that generally the courts should leave the media alone, however, when the media is dealing with politics, it should represent everyone equally. Perhaps the reason Kucinich has had such a poor showing is because the media has excluded him, along with Duncan Hunter, and to a lesser extent Ron Paul.

    January 15, 2008 at 5:11 pm |
  90. Halyn

    Absolutely! The fact that MSNBC took back it's invitation to Dennis Kucinich is downright mean. They essentially turned it from a debate into an endorsement.

    January 15, 2008 at 5:11 pm |
  91. Matt

    Absolutely not. Dennis Kucinich has done absolutely nothing. And besides, when Ron Paul was excluded from the Fox New's New Hampshire Debate, the courts did nothing. Besides, Ron Paul has already recieved 2 delegates and nearly 30,000 votes, which is probably more than Kucinich will garner in this entire process.

    January 15, 2008 at 5:11 pm |
  92. David

    I think we should ask Tyra Banks.

    January 15, 2008 at 5:12 pm |
  93. Lauren

    MSNBC should not exclude any candidate. Americans have a right to hear from all of the candidates. So yes, the courts should be involved in furthering the democratic process when asked.

    January 15, 2008 at 5:12 pm |
  94. Mike Porter

    It is appauling to me that MSNBC would dare to decide for the american people which candidates for president of the united states of america can debate in a supposedly open and public forum. After all this isn't the united states of MSNBC and what would it hurt to allow him to debate...he probably would add some spice!

    January 15, 2008 at 5:12 pm |
  95. Peter

    Which is better...a judge deciding on political matters (see Bush v. Gore) or a corporation owned by one of the nation's largest defense contractors determining which candidates are viable and to be included in a debate? It seems like we keep a bit more of our soul leaving it to the judges.

    January 15, 2008 at 5:12 pm |
  96. Rich

    The courts need to get involved. Laws need to be passed that force news stations to equally cover all "legitimate" candidates or risk losing their right to hold debates. The Federal Government needs to get involved and remove the ability of news media and their corporate owners from censoring the debates.

    Anyone on here arguing that Kucinich should not be heard is just shooting themselves in the foot. Do you really want the media telling you what to think? Put yourselves in Kucinich supporter's shoes. What if your candidate that stood for what you believed was left out of debates, made fun of, marginalized, all of which is completely un-democratic and illogical? What if people were saying constantly that Hillary is a woman or Obama's black so she's not fit to run the country? This country fought for women's rights and civil rights for a reason! So why is it ok for the news media to say Dennis Kucinich is short so that's just all I need to know?

    This is not just about Kucinich. This is about freedom of Democracy in America that is being censored, legitimate candidates being marginalized. The reason Ross Perot did so well is because he got on TV. Face it, Americans base their thoughts on what the TV tells them. How many times have I heard people spew the BS that their told on the TV and believe it. The common American doesn't take the extra time to think about the station's politics or even what they really think is best. Many haven't even heard of Kucinich because the media don't talk about him or frame their story about him in a negative way.

    None of the major news networks are even discussing this particularly huge event as it relates to our country's freedom to choose without media prejudice. Media can't report about bad media actions because they have a bias with themselves.

    Only 2 states have voted so far for Democrats, and MI today, so as far as I recall, there are 47 other states to go. No station can figure out what the rest of the country should think from that, nor should they be able to influence it by limiting it. I'm sorry but IA and NH don't decide for me who is best to run the country. The media doesn't decide for me.

    I urge fellow Americans to read about all candidates, visit their websites, listen to them speak, read about their voting histories, and then decide. Ignore all the people who tell you irrelevant negative things or just spout lame opinions that have no bearing on truth, fact, or the upholding of democracy. Make informed and thoughtful decisions.

    We are voting for the person who takes the highest office in our country.

    January 15, 2008 at 5:12 pm |
  97. Rouzy

    Common Jack, this is America. Kucinich isn't asking the courts to put him in the White House. It's only a debate. So yes, if the courts have the key to the White House, they should also have the authority to sanction who should be in a debate.

    January 15, 2008 at 5:12 pm |
  98. James

    The courts are completely justified in intervening in this. All political candidates should have the right to be heard equally, maybe the reason nobody knows about Kucinich is because of the fact the media has not covered his campaign. MSNBC has a responsibility to include all democratic candidates in their debate, not only the ones they deem fit to participate. Who does MSNBC think they are? If the debate would too "unwieldy" to include all the candidates, then don't cover it... Don't try to narrow the field of candidates because it's easier for the network/s to cover it. In this case the courts are acting in the interest of the American people, and it is actually encouraging to hear that they are not (as of this minute) allowing the media to manipulate the race for president.

    January 15, 2008 at 5:13 pm |
  99. Jan Fletcher

    Absolutely not. Only NBC and the major networks should determine who the American people are allowed to hear. Who the hell do we think we are wanting
    fair, honest, unbiased representation? Hell, they're only the PUBLIC airways.

    I wish the Judge would get an honestly earned medal of freedom.

    January 15, 2008 at 5:13 pm |
  100. kelly

    If Mr Kucinich really wants to be seen and heard tonight he should forget about the Las Vegas debate and go on American Idol instead. I can guarantee that he would reach a much wider and diverse audience.

    January 15, 2008 at 5:13 pm |
  101. Hank Baca

    Most assuredly, yes. my man.

    How can MSNBC invite and then dis-invite?

    Shame on them ...

    The media cannot be allowed to pick who we can hear.

    Dennis is an important voice in the Democratic Party.

    January 15, 2008 at 5:13 pm |
  102. randi

    When the media begins controlling which candidates we can hear from, then the court should absolutely get involved. I have never before seen an election so controlled by the media. There are still 5 candidates in this race but if you just listened to the news, you would think the race is down to Obama and Clinton yet Senator Edwards is in a 3 way tie in Nevada according to the polls.

    January 15, 2008 at 5:13 pm |
  103. Barb

    No, I don't believe that courts should interfere in matters such as this one. But what I really can't understand is what is wrong with this man! I can't believe he continues to get elected to Congress much less think he has a serious chance at the Presidency. His presence at a debate detracts from the seriousness of the process.

    January 15, 2008 at 5:14 pm |
  104. Louis Gillespie

    Why not, the courts elected a president for us a few year ago!

    January 15, 2008 at 5:14 pm |
  105. Brian

    I think it's about time the American media empires get put in their place for once. They don't own the presidential election, and should not be the deciding factor of who gets to be seen by the people in our country. Who's to say that Kucinich won't influence the debate at all? He should absolutely be included.

    January 15, 2008 at 5:14 pm |
  106. Craig Hayes

    Of course, Jack. I'm frankly sick and tired of the media deciding the victors before the voters can even decide. The courts can protect the little guy- in this case, Dennis Kucinich. Let the people hear everyone's views!

    January 15, 2008 at 5:14 pm |
  107. mark

    How does MSNBC decide who is a major candidate? By whether they spend money on TV advertising? On that basis the Republican winner (already) in Mitt Romney, the only TRUE FRIEND of television media. I wish NSNBC would use their own guidelnes on the Republicans.

    I'm glad a judge (for a change) is keeping democracy "fair and balanced" (sorry Fox, you BLEW IT!)

    January 15, 2008 at 5:14 pm |
  108. Joe D.

    A resounding YES! An objective party is necessary to ensure the voice of the "little guy" will be heard. Without such protection, unjust disenfranchisement is inevitable. Recall the nonsense that our pals over at Fox News pulled concerning Ron Paul? An objective judge could have been useful in that case. Hey, why wasn't a court involved?

    January 15, 2008 at 5:14 pm |
  109. Dorothy

    NBC needs to butt out. Kucinich has every to right to participate. America has the choice of who to listen to and vote for. What's this 2000 and 2004 all over again?

    January 15, 2008 at 5:14 pm |
  110. SheilaR

    We are sick of government by journalism and tiny states. By what right does Jack Welch and NBC have to deny a candidate a place in the debate. Two primaries do not a ballot make. Not yet. If the journalists want to continue deciding who shall govern us then let the journalists pay all the taxes. Kucinich plays an important role because his views represent the views of many people even if they are not the majority.

    January 15, 2008 at 5:14 pm |
  111. Dee Brantley

    Hell yes-Last time I checked ,Jack, the airwaves and the elections still belonged to the PUBLIC!!

    January 15, 2008 at 5:14 pm |
  112. Marlon

    Hey Jack,
    Doesn't Dennis-K know that this election process is all about entertainment and he is not entertaining enough to be on the air? I don't blame him for putting up a fight but he should just give it up becuase being in the company of people who do not want you around could be a bit uncomfortable. Oh, and to answer yuor question, the court should stay out of this election - period!

    January 15, 2008 at 5:14 pm |
  113. Tony Rugare

    Why not? There is precedent. Remember December, 2000 when the courts efectively selected who should be the President of The United States.

    January 15, 2008 at 5:14 pm |
  114. Mike5000

    Dennis Kucinich reflects the majority of Americans who want to end the senseless slaughter of our soldiers in Iraq.

    GE owns NBC, and GE profits hugely from the slaughter of our soldiers. But that does not give war profiteers GE and NBC the right to break their contract with Dennis Kucinich.

    Kudos to Judge Thompson for standing firm on the law.

    January 15, 2008 at 5:14 pm |
  115. joe oclon

    Of course the courts should be involved. The legislative branch creates the laws, the executive branch executes them and the judicial branch interperets the law. It is there job to oversee and resolve election disputes.

    January 15, 2008 at 5:14 pm |
  116. Johannes Roy

    No, Denis won't get the presidency, but while the other candidates bicker over tis and tat, Mr. Kucinich brings up real issues that affect not only americans dem. and rep. but the whole world. If he has only 1 vote, then he should have a voice. It could influence the stance of the other candidates. If the media had it's way, the debates would have only Clinton VS Obama and Romney VS Huckabee with Giuliani take all. What a terrifying thought!

    January 15, 2008 at 5:15 pm |
  117. Jan Rieben

    Jack,
    Oh hell yes – let the man debate. Maybe we can get something other than the canned answers heard so far in all this mess.

    January 15, 2008 at 5:15 pm |
  118. David, Montreal Canada

    The great thing about America is that everyone should have a equal chance. Ron Paul was excluded from the previous debate and that was a travesty. Kucinich should have been allowd to debate prior to this ruling by the judge anyway. Shame on msnbc for excluding him for a reason that isn't valid.

    January 15, 2008 at 5:15 pm |
  119. Anthony Vrsecky

    Yes, If it will stop the media from annointing future candidates through their limited coverage of a select few. There are other very worthwhile candidates out there whose views are swept away by the coverage of the few media darlings.

    January 15, 2008 at 5:15 pm |
  120. colonelkarl

    Every candidate which qualified to run for "President" of the USA should be heard, which means the networks are nothing but partisan, deselective and unamerican!

    January 15, 2008 at 5:15 pm |
  121. S. Solomon

    Why not? The courts picked our president didn't they? Clearly the system is broken when everyone running for president cannot be heard and when courts pick our president instead of the people of this country!

    January 15, 2008 at 5:15 pm |
  122. Bill

    As a Ron Paul supporter I too am tired of the media trying to influence the debate rather than simply recording it. But federal judges have no more business making editorial decisions for the networks than Congress or the President. Kucinich is a crybaby and the judge a little petty dictator. On the other hand if Cafferty doesn't publish this letter I'm going to sue him for 5 quadrilliion dollars!

    January 15, 2008 at 5:15 pm |
  123. Steven Tuttle

    Yes, Jack. The airwaves belong to the American people and besides, with Kucinich there, the Democrats may even talk about something important!

    Steve
    Overland Park, KS

    January 15, 2008 at 5:15 pm |
  124. Sam

    I really think that the courts should stay out of politics (re: Supreme Court in 2000 election), but then MSNBC should let Rep. Kecinich enter the debate. The media has done everything they can to make this a two person race. Most of America knows that this is anyone's horse race and not one should be left out.

    Keep on keeping on Dennis and John . . . you may or may not get the nomination, but no one should tell you when it is time to get out. Let the democratic process continue.

    January 15, 2008 at 5:15 pm |
  125. Roy

    YES!!! Contrary to the so-called "mainstream" media's belief, if is not their job to tell us what candidates are electable.

    January 15, 2008 at 5:15 pm |
  126. Sally Corey

    The better question is: why was Kucinich uninvited in the first place? He's still in the race, has something to say, has a following however small by comparison to the other candidates, and should be included in the debate.

    January 15, 2008 at 5:15 pm |
  127. Richard, Texas

    No not at all but a presidential election for a candidate is a once in a life time event, well for most anyway. Several however have made a career out of it. If there is some impropriety that crops up after the fact there are no do overs. Kucinich has asked for a New Hampshire recount when it would not have made any difference anyway. This is just another stunt to get free media attention which he can't afford financially to buy for his campaign. Unfortunately for Kucinich America has heard the tale of Henny Penny and the Sky is falling. They see Kucinich for just what he is which isn't much. I hope the voters remember that next term when he comes up for reelection for United States representative form Ohio .

    January 15, 2008 at 5:15 pm |
  128. Jeremy

    Dennis Kucinich is nothing more than a crybaby politician, who has absolutely no chance of winning. If he is permitted to participate it just takes questions and debate time away from the candidates who actually have a a chance for winning the Democratic nomination.

    January 15, 2008 at 5:15 pm |
  129. pete johnson

    Jack, of course Kucinich should be included. Although the moderators will fail to ask, Dennis will find a way to address some of the Constitutional issues, such as the loss of the right to Habeas Corpus, the Military Commissions act, warrantless wiretapping, problems with the Patriot Act, and Torture. All of these are steps on the road to a fascist state.

    Instead our media focuses on crying jags, racially divisive campaigning, and support for the endless war on terror and the occupation of Iraq.

    We need the voice of Dennis Kucinich.

    January 15, 2008 at 5:15 pm |
  130. Nancy

    In this case, yes. The network originally said they would invite the four candidates who placed in the top four in a national poll. Kucinich met that criteria. They changed the rules after the fact by dis-inviting him. It's a breach of contract on the network's part.

    Besides, it's not up to the media to pick the next President. It's up to the people.

    January 15, 2008 at 5:15 pm |
  131. Jan Rieben

    Jack,
    Oh hell yes – let the man debate. Maybe we can get something other than the canned answers heard so far in all this mess.

    January 15, 2008 at 5:16 pm |
  132. Bob

    Anyone that has filed the proper paperwork to be a candidate has the right to be heard. The courts made the correct decision to allow him to participate. What’s the worse thing that could happen, somebody might vote for him?

    January 15, 2008 at 5:16 pm |
  133. Matt

    It's MSNBC's Debate, so they should decide. After all, Fox New's had no problem kicking Ron Paul off their NH Debate. Just so you know, Ron Paul has wide-spread support Dennis Kucinich does not. Ron Paul has money, Dennis Kucinich does not. And oh yeah, Dennis Kucinich has recieved about 3,000 votes, while Ron Paul has recieved nearly 30,000. You do the math!

    January 15, 2008 at 5:16 pm |
  134. Monte

    Absolutely, the court should be involved in this. Just what RIGHT does the media have in deciding who we can hear or not hear. Everyone running for office has the right to be heard in each and every debate. It was atrocious that FOX was able to exclud Ron Paul.

    January 15, 2008 at 5:16 pm |
  135. Mark

    Jack,

    Poor Dennis needs someplace to go and feel important. The people of Cleveland
    won't invite him to anything either.

    By the way a great debate question for Dennis would be: Do you plan on balancing the federal budget like you did for Cleveland when you were mayor
    and the city went broke?

    Mark
    Cleveland

    January 15, 2008 at 5:16 pm |
  136. Susan

    Cafferty's report has an inaccuracy: Kucinich was invited to the debate on January 9, the day after the NH primary, and the invitation was rescinded on January 10. The reason the invitation was rescinded was not due to Kucinich's showing in NH; it was due to the fact that Bill Richardson withdrew from the race on January 10 and MSNBC thought they could brush Kucinich aside to create a debate between the top 3 media candidates.

    January 15, 2008 at 5:16 pm |
  137. Stan Schretter

    Next we will be having judges deciding in the interest of fairness to have the evening news shows to provide balanced reporting. But then we would just litigate on the meaning of 'balanced'. Guess we should leave judges off media management.

    January 15, 2008 at 5:17 pm |
  138. Rich Stafetas

    Yes!!! I'm a Nevadan and the corruption in the Democratic Party here is unbelieveable! The Caucus Super Sites are the worst thing to happen to this election.
    If these sites are allowed to happen then we the people of Nevada will have to go to court and delcare this Caucus null and void.
    What's hasppening here is old Taminy(sp?) Hall politics.

    January 15, 2008 at 5:17 pm |
  139. Jeff

    That's what the courts are for, an avenue to get an outside ~ unbiased opinion. The only reason the court is involved in the first place is because MSNBC executives have an arrogant mentality of deciding who should do what when. Ron Paul should have done the same thing in New Hampshire, but he laid down.

    January 15, 2008 at 5:17 pm |
  140. Gray

    CNN influences the public perception of who is a viable candidate. By excluding Kucinich from the debates, CNN has decided for the people that they should not vote for Kucinich. Would CNN exclude Giuliani from a Republican debate? At this point in the primaries, he's not a front runner either. Because CNN wields such power over public perception and hence a candidate's electability, the judge made the right decision.

    January 15, 2008 at 5:17 pm |
  141. Kathleen

    It is sad that we need the courts to regulate who can participate in a debate. Wish we could go back to the day when the League of Women's voter's moderated the campaign rather than corporate media.
    To listen to mainstream media in the past week one would think that there are only two democratic candidates. John Edwards gets little mention. Dennis has received little serious consideration since he first threw his hat in the race. I think if he got equal time in the media he would be viewed as a serious candidate. He is the only candidate offering a platform that is truely a change. Imagine if we ran a government based on the constitution rather than politics of feaar and greed.

    January 15, 2008 at 5:17 pm |
  142. Gary A

    I feel as if MSNBC and Fox are trying to tell us who to vote for and that is un-american. They show report the news and facts not tell us what is only good for them. We trust you 24 hour new s casts to give it to us straight. Go Dennis and Ron Paul!

    January 15, 2008 at 5:17 pm |
  143. Bob Monson, Palm Bay FL.

    Since when do television networks determine candidates for President? That is the job of the American people, and this cannot be done without exposure to the candidates. He should be allowed to participate, and if the only way to do so is to have a court make the decision, then so be it.

    January 15, 2008 at 5:17 pm |
  144. Joe Wisniewski

    I applaud the judge who is bucking MSNBC. Yes the court should be involved.
    This is a presidential candidate. NO!!!! News organization should have the right to exclude any candidate from any debate.
    It is unfair to the people of this country who are trying to make an informed decision, and it is unfair to the candidate who is running for the highest office in the land.
    Poles are just that POLES!!!! Let the people decide who is or is not a qualified candidate.

    Keep up the good work

    January 15, 2008 at 5:18 pm |
  145. Bill

    Absolutely the courts should be involved. The Courts are an extension of THE PEOPLE and the selecting of candidates to run for political office is the RIGHT of the PEOPLE. The problem with this country is that in too many circumstances corporations are dictating to the PEOPLE what should be. We have a less open election process than a lot of third world countries. Political voices are shut off by corporate policy makers, you know who you are. We are tetering on the edge of the precipice whereby outside entites may have to be brought in to assure the validity of our election process. WoW....haven't we made progress ? By the way, I thought the Press, as the First Amendment was indended to do, was supposed to be the watchdog of the People to insure open and honest government, not the watchdog that becomes rabid and devours the People and their Rights!

    January 15, 2008 at 5:18 pm |
  146. Anthony

    Yes I do. Mr. Kucinich has the right to be there as much as Hilary Clinton does. Until Kucinich is out of it, if he goes out, he should be aloud to be in anything that his party has for the nominees.

    January 15, 2008 at 5:18 pm |
  147. Julia

    When a network excludes a candidate from a debate, it is basically promoting only those candidates that they wish to show. Why should the media decide who the American people should vote for? The courts should absolutely be involved in this manner. NBC is being biased! And I take offense to calling Kucinich a "feisty little dude." He is a grown man and a serious candidate!

    January 15, 2008 at 5:19 pm |
  148. michael dwyer

    kucinich should be in the debates tonight , if he is running for president why would msnbc not want him there , the one who shouldn't be there is Tim Russert after his lousy performance on his show last week pulling the race card on Hillary Clinton , but we all know that MSNBC is in the tank for OBAMA , thats why they started this race card issue in the first place

    January 15, 2008 at 5:19 pm |
  149. Rodney, Dallas, GA

    Jack,
    I think the courts have to be involved in the process IF the popular media are to be the custodians of disseminating public information. Having the courts decide if a legitimate candidate should be heard, is a result of certain media, arbitrarily selecting who we should be able to choose from. The election is a bit over 10 months away, the primaries themselves should be the process for elimination, not those who do not want to hear a dissenting voice.

    I would rather have my tax dollars used to decide when our presidential candidates have "fair and balanced" exposure in a National Presidential debate, than wasting millions on our Congress to decide how to keep sports athletes of the juice. I think the question should be, should our tax dollars be spent to help a monopolistic sports organization clean their dirty laundry. I for one say "Hell No", we have far more pressing issues in this country.

    Rodney

    January 15, 2008 at 5:19 pm |
  150. Eric

    Whether we like Kucinich or not, the courts are our best bet to ensure the integrity of our elections, and MSNBC needs to allow him to attend the debate to keep in step with the fairness of this election.

    January 15, 2008 at 5:19 pm |
  151. Ayden Maher

    Jack,

    The media has made the presidential race into an infomercial drilling the views of a select few candidates into the viewers. The Nevada's judge decision to allow Rep. Kucinich to debate is by far a justified and correct one. By not allowing Kucinich to debate MSNBC silences a voice that differs from the rest. Thus if the media will not allow the people to hear the views of ALL candidates then the courts must. After all he's running for President and on the ballot, then why not in the debate?

    January 15, 2008 at 5:19 pm |
  152. Mike Spaulding

    No. The Supreme Court should not have decided the outcome of the 2000 Presidential election either, and we all see what happened with that decision.

    January 15, 2008 at 5:19 pm |
  153. L

    I don't see why MSNBC is even allowed to choose who they let debate. If they are going to have a debate for a party then all candidates from that party should be included no matter what their standing. After all that company cannot elect the president and only a few states had primaries so far. I'm no expert but Isn't the Media suppose to allow equal access to all candidates?

    January 15, 2008 at 5:19 pm |
  154. Robert Dutton

    If I could get my cable provider to allow me to uninvite MSNBC and CNBC into my home, then sure that can pick and choose.

    I'm voting for Kucinich not because he's going to win, but because I vote for my principles...always. MSNBC may need to look up that word in a dictionary; it's spelled p-r-i-n-c-i-p-l-e-s.

    January 15, 2008 at 5:19 pm |
  155. Gene

    No matter which way you slice it, the courts cannot have jurisdiction over every detail of a news organization's programming decisions. This ruling sets a precedent that would allow any individual scheduled to appear on a television broadcast to assert a breach of contract if the network changes their mind for ANY reason! Judges like this guy need to be reminded that their decisions have implications well beyond the case at hand.

    January 15, 2008 at 5:19 pm |
  156. Howard

    The court have every right to tell the Democratic Party, Republican Party or any news network who they have to place on their debates. In our republic we democratic values, values such as: one man one vote, freedom of speech, the ability of a citizens to run for most offices . One of the ways for most people to hear the views of those allowed to run for President is to see them in the debates, if they have been invited to one they cannot be uninvited unless they drop out. Because their voices still needs to be heard, and the media should not control what voices are heard in the debates.

    January 15, 2008 at 5:19 pm |
  157. Eric Karz

    I think this would be as Rotten as CNN telling Lou Dobbs he can't have a say over the presidential debate .
    Lou Dobbs for Present – hip hip hooray

    January 15, 2008 at 5:19 pm |
  158. John

    Kucinich alleges that he has a binding contract with MSNBC after they offered and he accepted an invitation to this debate. He further argues that Section 315 of the Communications Act requires MSNBC to allow his appearance. These are questions that cannot be answered except in court.

    January 15, 2008 at 5:20 pm |
  159. Don

    Of course we should have the media do it for us this time and not allow the court to reside over our election. The last time we let the court decide we got George Bush.

    January 15, 2008 at 5:20 pm |
  160. Kelly

    The Courts are completely justified in their ruling against MSNBC. A network that claims to be an "objective news source" is showing clear political favoritism, and is not doing its job to inform the public about the candidates running. There have not been enough primaries to justify their decision to exclude him, and actions like these are an attack on Democracy. The court system is meant to preserve integrity and provide justice, and MSNBC is in violation of both of those American values.

    January 15, 2008 at 5:20 pm |
  161. Shanna Drew

    I find it utterly shameful that any media outlet should decide for us which candidates are electable or viable and use this as justification for censoring a debate. It is in the interest of the American people to hear all point of view in equal time and decide for themselves. Polls have repeatedly been used to determine how many questions are addressed to each candidate in televised debates, with more going to supposed "front runners". This has an obvious effect of influencing elections and it is a shamefully inaccurate standard. Rudy Giuliani, once considered a "front runner" in Iowa, was beaten in the Caucus by Ron Paul – another candidate the media has seemed determined to sideline. I hate to see the courts get involved however, this subjective selection by media does put our democracy in jeopardy. Therefore, I hope the appellate court will affirm.

    January 15, 2008 at 5:20 pm |
  162. Roger Leman

    Msnbc should thank God the court got involved. It wasn't pretty when Fox tried to exclude Ron Paul and the same would be said about Kucinich.
    The news media should be just that, news, and whoever puts on a debate should be big enough to actually have a debate of all parties and viewpoints.
    What would Will Rogers have said when a big business like Fox or Msnbc excludes political viewpoints?
    Last I looked Kucinich was a candidate. I suppose if this was Cuba we could limit candidates access to a medium designed to give us a choice but we are still America .......aren't we?

    January 15, 2008 at 5:20 pm |
  163. Bill Keehn

    It's sad that it takes a court order to force the media to do what is morally just.

    Anyone still in the race should be able to have his views heard.

    Let him speak.

    January 15, 2008 at 5:20 pm |
  164. Scott S, Denver, Co

    Who gave MSNBC the right to say which of the candidates could be excluded? This is a shot across the bow for the media. Quit trying to decide who the American people should or should not be allowed to be our president. Include them all if they are in the running. I am sick the media slamming their opinion down our throats.

    January 15, 2008 at 5:20 pm |
  165. Dean, Pittsburgh PA

    Since the media has involved itself in politics, they can not be upset with our political system, in this case the Justice System, becoming involved in the media.

    January 15, 2008 at 5:20 pm |
  166. Robert Zanger

    Jack, it took Congress and a President to write women's sufferage: but the courts to inforce it. It took civil rights workers, congress and LBJ to write the Civil rights law,but the courts to inforce it (sorry Hillary). BUT who would have expected that a white male would require the courts to give him the right to free speech. Maybe the media, and corporate America need the courts to give then civics lessons

    BobZ

    January 15, 2008 at 5:20 pm |
  167. Rob

    Would MSNBC or any other Network like it if they were told that they could not have a broadcast signal because their ratings were not as high as the other stations? I"m not a Kucinich supporter but the man has some good ideas. To exclude him would be unfair.

    January 15, 2008 at 5:21 pm |
  168. Reggie Ringgold

    Wow another court decision. Let's look at the wonderful job it did in 2000 by putting this sham of a administration in office. Thanks to them we have Bush vacationing in the Middle East while the country is in a recession. Tell the courts to do us all a favor and stay out of it, he won't win the party's nomination anyway.

    January 15, 2008 at 5:21 pm |
  169. Brian

    Kucinich should be able to participate as long he has the funds to go on. I would say he's more democratic than all the democratic's in the debate. I hear a lot of about change from Democrats, that change they are talking about is about worth as much as change in my pocket. Dennis for once doesn't talk about change, but actually doing it and having ideas.

    January 15, 2008 at 5:21 pm |
  170. D Gadd

    Jack, Should the Media be the Judge,Jury,and Exacutioner? It was'nt that long ago that a man named Goebbels posed the same question to his superior. The rest shall we say is history, or is it???

    January 15, 2008 at 5:21 pm |
  171. Chase Hardin (Goodyear)

    Jack, unfortunatly I have to argue that the court does indeed have the right to do this. Regardless of the fact that his campaign is non-existant, the media mustn't be able to control the state or course of politics. If they could, we would already have elected Obama after Iowa and then inpeached him to be replaced by the teary-eyed Hilary Clinton.

    January 15, 2008 at 5:21 pm |
  172. AM Corona

    I am on the fence on this one.

    What about Fox refusing to let Ron Paul participate in a debate? In both cases (Ron Paul and Dennis Kucinich ), Fox and MSNBC must include all candidates no matter how biased someone at the top is (Rupert Murdoch). Kucinich may have not had much of a showing in the prior primaries but he is still a candidate and should be included.

    January 15, 2008 at 5:21 pm |
  173. Matt

    I have a question. Can I just walk up to the Debate having gotten no votes (pretty much like Kucinich) and be allowed to participate. Of course not!

    January 15, 2008 at 5:21 pm |
  174. Steven Davidson

    I think you have asked the wrong question. The right question would be "should privately owned companies like MSNBC or FOX be allowed to say who Americans can hear on TV or vote for". I live in Maryland and am steamed that based on the vote of a few hicks in Iowa it was determined that I cannot vote for Joe Biden or Dobbs and as a result of the other hick state of New Hampshire I can't vote for Richardson. I was sick to my stomach when FOX TV was worried that not enough candidates were dropping out and they openly discussed only covering a few of the leaders as a way of forcing the issue. What I heard was them saying Rupert Murdoch a non american was choosing who could be President of OUR Country! It is no wonder that most of us here in Maryland when given the choice of one Democrat and one Republican vote "NONE OF THE ABOVE".

    January 15, 2008 at 5:21 pm |
  175. Dwayne D. Greene

    Participation by "all" candidates in Presidential debates is freedom of speech. The judicial system and the courts is the appropriate place to protect those rights. Without this right big business through their ownership of the media can exclude any candidates they so chose. The inclusion of all candidates may make for lengthy debates but it is essential if you want a Democracy or Republic.

    January 15, 2008 at 5:21 pm |
  176. Joe D

    GE may own some nuclear power plants, bombs that land on civilians and a lot of CT Scanners, but they do not own our airwaves. Over 60% of their earnings are now outside the USA, so does that still make them a US Corporation? As long as Mr.. Kucinich is still in the race for the Democratic candidate for President, then he should participate in any and all debates. GE, NBC or any other corporate entity should not have a say in which candidate should or should not participate in our election process. All Presdential candidates should have equal air time as part of the payment to the people for our airwave rental. Can you even imagine on how much money that would save? What ever happened to the Women's League of Voters? What ever happened to public service that all the network stations are suppose to provide in order to use our airwaves? And our representatives are planning on consolidating more media??? Right....

    January 15, 2008 at 5:22 pm |
  177. DHS

    Of course courts should not be involved unless major broadcasters bring it on themselves. In political campaigns, there is a federal Equal Time provision that broadcasters must obey. If they break the law, it's the right of the courts to get them to comply. It would have been nice to see the networks provide fair coverage to any declared candidate, but that hasn't happened. Instead, a non-candidate like Bloomberg gets more coverage than either Kuchinich or Ron Paul. Go figure!

    January 15, 2008 at 5:22 pm |
  178. John V

    Of course the courts should be involved. With the state of affairs in this country and over 75% of Americans wanting a change of direction for this country, every voice needs to be heard. Why is it up to the Media to decide who should and should appear for each party?

    Bush, Clinton, Bush, Clinton? Elections are suppose to be open to ALL Americans, not just the ones with the same, drawn out talking points and the cash to buy their way into the White House. Shame on NBC for not taking part in a truthful democracy. If it weren't for Keith Olbermann, I'd go watch FOX for that kind of news.

    January 15, 2008 at 5:22 pm |
  179. Debbie

    Usually, the courts don't get involved in what is a "political question" however ever since the Supreme Court decided to give Bush the Presidency in 2000 violating not only the abstaining from a political question policy but the 10th amendment, courts have been more willing to adjudicate cases and controversies that involve the outer contours of political questions. Therefore, if this a political question then maybe the courts shouldn't decide but since it seems to be a dispute between a private company (MSNBC) and a citizen, then they probably should. The media has way too much influnce in this country and I am happy that the courts are willing to check their power since the FCC doesn't seem to be willing to regulate them to ensure viewpoint diversity.
    It is really a shame that the League of Women voters no longer run the debates. They were fair and open. With privately owned media companies sponsoring debates, they exercise unfettered editorial power to determine who can attend the debates and who gets most of the media attention i.e. questions. It also has had the effect of allowing politicians to write their own rule books about what topics and issues are off-limits. This relegates the debates to nothing more than dog-and-pony shows or ugly pissing matches. I'd really like to hear more about substantive policy and issues. Let poor Dennis in the debate MSNBC and stop media censorship!

    January 15, 2008 at 5:22 pm |
  180. Robert Mentzer

    Absolutely, the Judge should force MSNBC to allow Kucinbich in the debate. The media HAS NO RIGHT to decide who should run, or who should be ignored for the Presidency. I STRONGLY believe the media should be REQUIRED to have ALL Presidential candidates in ALL debates until a particular candidate drops out. If the media would have been allowed to ignore John McCain earlier in the race, his chance to win New Hapshire would have been just a dream. THE MEDIA HAS TOO MUCH POWER AND INFLUENCE AND MUST BE RESTRAINED.

    January 15, 2008 at 5:22 pm |
  181. Meg

    If the network doesn’t have the wisdom to have all points of view heard, then the court should be involved. I’m only 14 years old and very intrested in Kucinich’s points of views and the things that he stands for

    January 15, 2008 at 5:22 pm |
  182. Steve Merrill

    Jack–It's high time a judge got involved, the corporate run media has been "selecting" the debaters for far too long, depriving us voters of candidates who really talk issues that actually matter, dumping "fluff and buff" nonsense questions that have NO substance at all. Good for this judge, I hope his ruling sticks and makes the stage bigger with candidates who have something relevant to say to Americans..Steve from the Vermont Northern Border

    January 15, 2008 at 5:22 pm |
  183. Dee

    I want to hear Dennis Kucinich at the debate! How can a network decide decide only to show certain candidates? Is the media to decide for Americans who should be considered for election? ALL candidates should be allowed to voice their views. Isn't this a democracy for crying out loud??!!

    January 15, 2008 at 5:22 pm |
  184. Deborah

    Jack,

    The question is not whether the courts should be involved in this matter-the question is whether supposed guardians of our PUBLIC airwaves should be involved in deciding which candidates get to debate or not. And corporate executives do not have that inherent right. This capricious act of exclusion is broadcast television's Diebold moment...

    January 15, 2008 at 5:23 pm |
  185. Jay W

    The courts should absolutely be involved in this decision. For too long, privatized debates have allowed a select few in power to influence the reach of potential candidates for the presidency. While Kucinich's numbers do not suggest he'll make the final cut and be the actual Dem nominee, there should be no write-offs or declarations of victory until the race is over.

    Besides, following party nominations, there must be a decision on the nominee's VP running mate and as the media tightens the circle of viable Pres. candidates we lose the opportunity to learn more and understand that position of future, potential VPs as well.

    January 15, 2008 at 5:23 pm |
  186. Alex

    Hi, Jack:

    I think courts should not get involved in political process. Courts and politics must be independent from each other. On the other hand, if Kusinich gets a chance to participate on the debates, it will be more interesting to watch the candidates tonight. What I don't understand is why Democrats decided to not participate in the Michigan primary? 17 electoral votes at stake...

    Alex,
    South Dakota.

    January 15, 2008 at 5:23 pm |
  187. David

    I do not like the idea of a judge deciding which candidate should or should not participate in the debate. However, all candidates should be included, whether they have had a poor showing or not. Excluding any candidates amounts to censorship. I also felt this way about Ron Paul being excluded in New Hampshire. I am not going to caucus for either of these candidates but I do have the right to hear from both of them!

    January 15, 2008 at 5:23 pm |
  188. william fechter phd

    Yes he should be there. If we let corporate media decide who is there only those candidates in corporate media’s pocket will be allowed to debate. What we have in this country is the industrial corporate military, oil, and media complex running wash dc.

    January 15, 2008 at 5:23 pm |
  189. Jeff

    If the United States Government owns the airwaves and a company has a debate using those airwaves, All should have the legal right to be included. Go for it Dennis!!!!

    January 15, 2008 at 5:24 pm |
  190. Sumitra Deb

    If you believe in true democracy, listen to Kucinich seriously, and I am convinced you will vote for him.

    January 15, 2008 at 5:24 pm |
  191. Steven Barger

    I am surprised to find that most of the other comments focused on whether or not Kucinich should have been invited. Has no one considered that the judge in this case has acted illegally? No judge has this authority, we’re talking about a private corporation, if the debate wee to feature a frog, a mop, miss piggy and Walter Mondale, the judge would have nothing to say about it. This judge should be overturned and impeached

    January 15, 2008 at 5:24 pm |
  192. Will

    Kucinich should be included. He has been excluded from the last two debates. How is one suppose to get votes in early the early states if he or she can not get their voice heard? Besides that, Kucinich is a man of truth and his consistency for change out shines that of any other democrat canadates.

    January 15, 2008 at 5:24 pm |
  193. Don Smith

    Kucinich has it right: he's a man who announced for the office of President and has qualified to be in the race. MSNBC/NBC Universal cut him off after Richardson gave up the ghost for this campaign. He was originally scheduled to be there. NBC is one of the major corporations that leftists point to and say there is a company which wants to rig what we see and hear to the benefit of the elites in the military/industrial/propaganda/government complex. If I were in the campaigns of Edwards, Clinton or Obama, I would recommend sitting out this debate unless the little guy was allowed.

    January 15, 2008 at 5:24 pm |
  194. Jamie

    No. Let me repeat No. The courts should not be involved. The last time they stuck their nose in politics look what happened. We got a president we don't want and didn't vote for. And look at the mess we're in now. Let the courts stick to the important stuff like "Britney's Mommy Mishaps." Richardson knew when to bow out. When will Kucinich hop on the clue bus? Jeez.

    January 15, 2008 at 5:24 pm |
  195. Shirley

    Well somebody has to get involved! I hate to think it's the MEDIA determining which candidates we get to know better via the debates. I say: Kucinich has already jumped through the hoops to get on the Democratic ticket and he's still running a campaign therefore he should be included in the Democratic debates. If the media doesn't like the Democratic Party's rules for how they allow candidates to get on the ticket, take it up with Howard Dean.

    January 15, 2008 at 5:24 pm |
  196. Jim C.

    The airwaves belong to the American people and during this special time, every four years, networks should keep their own slanted politics out the peoples way. Every well organized candidate should have the right to appear in the debates right up until Big Tuesday, and if a network fails to let this happen then bring in the judge!

    January 15, 2008 at 5:25 pm |
  197. lowell1947

    Absolutely. I'm tired of the media deciding who can run. Why should we allow two tiny states with skewed demographics determine who will be our candidates. I'm mad as hell at the candidates who quit after New Hampshire. 1% of the country got to decide who the other 99% will get to vote for in the primaries. I happen to like Dennis. But then I like Ron Paul also. The rest are all old tired faces. The same ones we need to give the boot if we want to see any changes in Washington. Go Dennis, if I don't see him on the MSN debates tonight I'm not going to bother watching.

    January 15, 2008 at 5:25 pm |
  198. Keith

    Jack,

    I believe the Judge ruled correctly in this matter. Especially since it's the news media that buries candidates it doesn't care for like Kucinich, Paul, etc. in the first place. Every candidates voice should be heard regardless of how many votes they've gotten or how they poll.

    January 15, 2008 at 5:25 pm |
  199. Patrick Haggerty

    Certainly the courts should force msnbc to allow Kucinich to be in the debate. I think they should issue an order demamding equal time for him as well. That way he can't be on stage but ignored. The media should not determie who we hear from. Cable news has portrayed the election as a 2 person race for way too long. The media helped force out others from the race by ignoring them not giving them equal time in news coverage. I would not vote for Kucinich if he were the only one on the ticket but he deserves the same platform as the others. If richardson and Kucinich had the same coverage between Iowa and Nh they each may have gotten more votes. not that either one would win but the vote count for Clinton and Obama might have been significantly different as well.

    January 15, 2008 at 5:25 pm |
  200. Jimmie King

    Things have became Black and brown anymore in America. Though my feelings about our Justice System and Courtromm DayCare Play Grounds isn't very high. I believe the Court did the right thing in this case.

    January 15, 2008 at 5:25 pm |
  201. Anthony Saidy

    Jack, you ask the wrong Q! It's not whether a judge should be able to order NBC to include Kucinich. It's whether the corporate media should be allowed to limit what views we the people can be trusted to hear – the Putinization of America. You should ask why NBC's parent company GE, a major "defense" contractor, would like to silence then only true peace candidate, Dennis Kucinich, who promises to cut the Defense Dept. budget and use tax money for human needs. You need to dig deeper. – Anthony Saidy in L.A.

    January 15, 2008 at 5:26 pm |
  202. Dave Olson

    Cmon GE-MSNBC,

    Get in the game! You just confirmed my suspicions. Media and money make great bedfellows. I will be voting for Kucinich just to spite media and money. Could the trail get more preceptible? Money and media, that's how elections are won in the US. No wonder we have no minds of our own left. You tell us who to vote for, while other candidates are turned away. Of course he should be let to debate.

    January 15, 2008 at 7:22 pm |
  203. Anne

    I would like to hear from the top three candidates since they are most likely who I will have to choose from in months to come. There is limited time for people to hear from these candidates and to spend time hearing remarks from a distant 4th place candidate is not an effective use of the debate format.

    January 15, 2008 at 7:47 pm |
  204. Peter Whitlock

    Yes, absolutely, Dennis Kucinich should be included. Number One Reason Why: Because the American people NEED to hear from someone calling for Cheney and Bush's impeachments. Number Two: he is a serious candidate for president. After all, he is the only Democratic candidate besides Mike Gravel who is opposing Hillary Clinton in Michigan. Number Three: every time he is included, the quality of the debate increases greatly because of his clear and strong stances on issues.

    January 15, 2008 at 7:50 pm |
  205. Pam Holt

    If corporate America insists on taking our country over, even trying to make sure only the corporate candidates are heard from, keeping the people's candidate out, then YES, justice needs to prevail, and courts need to get involved. NBC and ABC are extremely UNAmerican, especially since the candidate they want to keep out is the only one that will finally bring us PEACE and healthcare-for-all. Corporate America is scared to death of Dennis Kucinich because his only obligation is to the people.

    January 15, 2008 at 8:02 pm |
  206. Vic

    Somebody needs to stop the debates that are controlled by Corporate America and their candidates of choice. Think about it. A judge that went against a corporation. Maybe we need more of it. Hell, yes they need to get involved!

    January 15, 2008 at 8:26 pm |
  207. beecham

    The courts are not the issue here. MSNBC has no right to exclude Kucinich, or Gravel.

    January 15, 2008 at 8:47 pm |
  208. Pam Holt

    Apparently NBC won their appeal to keep Kucinich out. In keeping out the only PEACE candidate, they will have the dead soldiers' blood on their hands. They are pure evil.

    January 15, 2008 at 8:50 pm |
  209. Ryan Hutsell

    Why should the media have any decision who gets to participate, all to often in the past, recent and distant, the networks have helped select who gets to get their message out. As much as I hate to see the courts have any involvement, this might be the only way Kucinich and Paul get a even shake at all.

    January 15, 2008 at 8:54 pm |
  210. Tim W

    Jack,

    Of course Dennis Kucinich belongs in the debate! Only those with their head under a rock would miss why he's being held out of all these debates. With the platform that he's running on, ending the Iraq War NOW, not-for-profit healthcare for everyone, saving American jobs by undoing the greed of some for NAFTA... Jack, this is trillions of dollars we are talking over just a ten year period... lost for the people who control our political system.

    We need Dennis Kucinich there because he speaks for the people.

    Does this country stand up for people's rights or are we so tied to the corporate tit that we can't afford to let someone speak who might have a better idea, one that would remove us from corporate enslavement.

    Smedley D. Butler had it right Jack. This country doesn't fight to spread democracy anymore, it fights for "US interests" in someone else's backyard. It's all about opening up new markets for the ultra wealthy and corporate elite. Dennis Kucinich, like JFK and RFK, wants to undo that.

    Look at his message Jack. How can America say no to it? Compared to everyone else? Seriously....

    Tim

    January 15, 2008 at 9:02 pm |
  211. Tim

    Jack,

    Of course Dennis Kucinich belongs in the debate! Only those with their head under a rock would miss why he's being held out of all these debates. With the platform that he's running on, ending the Iraq War NOW, not-for-profit healthcare for everyone, saving American jobs by undoing the greed of some for NAFTA... Jack, this is trillions of dollars we are talking over just a ten year period... lost for the people who control our political system.

    We need Dennis Kucinich there because he speaks for the people.

    Does this country stand up for people's rights or are we so tied to the corporate tit that we can't afford to let someone speak who might have a better idea, one that would remove us from corporate enslavement.

    Smedley D. Butler had it right Jack. This country doesn't fight to spread democracy anymore, it fights for "US interests" in someone else's backyard. It's all about opening up new markets for the ultra wealthy and corporate elite. Dennis Kucinich, like JFK and RFK, wants to undo that.

    Look at his message Jack. How can America say no to it? Compared to everyone else?

    Let Dennis Kucinich speak!

    Tim

    January 15, 2008 at 9:39 pm |
  212. Diana

    Jack,

    If the courts don't intervene, who will? The corporate-owned media determined a long time ago who the front runners would be and then fulfilled their own prophecy through their restricted coverage. Shame on Clinton, Obama and Edwards for not speaking up to this constructed news coverage.

    January 15, 2008 at 10:01 pm |
  213. Chris Sarns

    We have a right to hear all all views on all important topics.

    This is not a sports event where only the "front runners" should be allowed to speak.

    The airways belong to the people, not the networks.

    The voting has barely started and MSM has already decided who can be heard and who cannot.

    The judge was right.

    Chris Sarns

    January 15, 2008 at 10:04 pm |
  214. tommy Ivison

    Romney loses in Michigan,,

    Romney was the favorite son of Michigan, that along should have won him fiirst place in the Michigan primary. Romney out-spent his closest rival by 10 times (McCaain). Romney out-spent his second closest rival by 20 times (Huckaby). Romney bet McCain by only 9%, poor return on the investment. For a businessman,, Romney is investing poorly.

    January 15, 2008 at 11:16 pm |
  215. Judy

    Jack Cafferty, you should be ashamed of yourself. What threatens you so about Dennis Kucinich that you feel the need to make fun of him by referring to him as "a feisty little thing"? That was despicable of you.

    It so happens that Kucinich has the best policies and the most integrity of any candidate out there. He's been against the war from the beginning; he's the only candidate proposing single payer universal health care for all. He's the only one who would have a department of peace, and a Works Progress Administration type program to pay citizens to green up the US.

    If Kucinich isn't getting enough votes, it's only because he has the integrity that prevents him from accepting corporate money, so he isn't able to afford the huge number of TV commercials needed to get greater visibility to raise the large funds that the media requires in order to take a candidate seriously.

    Kucinich is the best candidate out there by far, and MSNBC violated his rights–and the rights of the American public–by disinviting him from tonight's debate. It goes against the constitution. It speaks very badly for MSNBC and its parent corporation.
    MSNBC's action is sending a message that MSNBC doesn't care about justice and democracy.

    Shame on you and on MSNBC.

    January 16, 2008 at 12:23 am |
  216. Gordon

    If the voters wanted to hear Dennis in the debate, they should have voted for him.

    January 16, 2008 at 3:07 am |
  217. Kat from Canada

    Gotta love a Democratic society where not everyone gets a voice and not everyone is on the ballot.

    January 16, 2008 at 9:14 am |
  218. Walter, from New York

    It is absolutely wrong for the media to consistently exclude or marginalize populist voices from the debate, whether it is Denis Kucinich or Ron Paul. I believe it is an abuse of their corporate charter. The concept of "equal time" is not discretionary. It is a legal requirement. The courts have a clear role in deciding whether that is being met.

    Consolidated media does not produce a working Fourth Estate – and it never will. American democracy has suffered for it.

    January 16, 2008 at 10:08 am |
  219. Jake

    Jack –

    Once again, you're asking the wrong damn question! Should the corporate media be the ones to decide who will debate? Should you decide who we should be interested in? Haven't you idiots figured out that we don't believe anything you say anymore?

    January 16, 2008 at 11:41 am |
  220. Paula

    After reading many of the responses, I think the majority seemed to feel that Dennis should have been included in the NBC debate. I agree, he should have been included because that is the democratic process. I was going to watch the NBC democratic debate until I saw that Dennis was not allowed to be part of it. NBC's ratings were diminished by at least one when I opted instead to watch a slightly more fair and balanced CNN. I think even CNN has been less than fair since Ron Paul is, for the most part ignored, even after beating the pants off Rudy and Fred in MI. The corporations should NOT be deciding who is appropriate to have air time.

    January 16, 2008 at 1:40 pm |
  221. Ben Humphries

    Jack,

    I am ashamed that our President has to beg a corrupt nation like Saudi Arabia to OPEN THE OIL VALVES. This is the result of 50 years of short sided stupidity by both parties. We should also tell Saudi Arabia NO when it comes to us spending billions to KEEP the royal family in power.

    January 16, 2008 at 2:25 pm |