A Sweet Profile



Lynn Sweet “Surprised” Obama Said Cambridge Cops “Acted Stupidly”

copyright © 2009 Betsy L. Angert.  BeThink.org

It was not the first time.  Many individuals fear it will not be the last.  Last evening, during a Presidential press conference, millions witnessed the characteristic wonderment that is Lynn Sweet.  Whilst citizens in this country anxiously awaited more words from the President on what, for most is truly a tangible issue, Health Care coverage, Ms Sweet decided to move the conversation in her own memorable manner.  Provocateur , otherwise known as Chicago Sun Times Columnist Lynn Sweet did as she often does.  She changed the subject.  

For her, it seems entertainment, or that which might expand her now illustrious career is far more pleasurable than the tedious text that has the potential to improve life for every American.  Sweet might justify her stance by saying; “racial profiling” affects us all, or does it.  Perchance, her personal profile is the priority.

As she had done in the past, on the evening of July 22, 2009, this previously little known Journalist diverted attention.  Lynn Sweets said it was not a plot.  She had no intention of inciting the American people.  It was merely a matter of “timing.”  The White House Press Correspondent thought it “appropriate” to speak of what no one had throughout the night.  “Noted Harvard African-American studies Professor Henry Louis Gates Junior,” and his arrest at his home in Cambridge, Massachusetts was, in her mind, the more meaningful matter.

For a long while, Lynn Sweet has defined what her readers must think of as imperative.  Her personal desires and chutzpah drive her.  “I do come from a place where people are not shy about mixing it up a little bit.” If Ms Sweet is not interested in a subject or a soul she will ignore what she thinks irrelevant.

In 1999, a  virtually unknown Illinois State Senator Barack Obama introduced himself to the Sun Times Washington Bureau Chief.  The author handed the Chicago tabloid Writer his autobiographical account, “Dreams From My Father.”  Five years later, in June, she belatedly began to leaf through the pages of the tome.  It was not until late in 2004, after United States Senator Obama  delivered his address at the Democratic National Convention, and the book was re-released that Sweet thought of the read as other than a bothersome endeavor.  

Once read, the Columnist offered quite a critical review of what had become a widely praised publication..   Perhaps, in 2004 and in July 2009, Sweet preferred to deviate from the norm, if only to distinguish herself as different.   No one can know with certainty.  Nonetheless, Americans were able to observe the Chicago Sun Times Correspondent created this distraction much in the way she had previously done.  Perchance, her style has helped advance her personal prominence.

Surely, she would later say, people have a right to know what the President thinks about issues other than Health Care reform.  Indeed, in her own blog post Lynn Sweet reminds Americans that two other reporters spoke on themes not related to Health care.  However, each of these asked what the Administration might do as it pertains to policy.  

The Sun Times Bureau Chief however, chose to ask the President for a personal perspective.  Intentionally, she presented a problem that evokes much passion. She stated, “What does that incident say to you and what does it say about race relations in America?” Certainly, Lynn Sweet defends; she did not consider how much the public loves to engage in divisive discussions.  The innocent bearer of information did not ponder the known veracity.  Conflict sells papers.  Assuredly, it never occurred to Ms Sweet she would garner greater visibility if her question were emotionally charged.  

However, history gives us pause.  We have seen in the past, when Lynn Sweet does what she does best; create a scene, her pocketbook and professional status profits.  A sensational story will cause her numbers to soar.   And so it was.

Damn the proposed reforms.  Forget what Americans think vital, possible alternatives that would improve medical practices.  Lynn Sweet wants to talk about race, racism, police, anything but policies that could benefit average Americans, Black, white, and every shade in between.

Friends, fellow reporters, readers of her articles, and of her blog understand.  Barack Obama was not able to charm Lynn Sweet.  she is not characterized as one who has an axe to grind.  Ms Sweet is sincerely on a mission.  She has her own plan.  The Correspondent’s mission began but a short time ago.  The Washington Bureau Chief said of herself.

“I started looking at a lot of blogs and I realized you need a sensibility!” she said. “Why am I here? What can I give you? I suppose I could make a blog on ‘Lynn Sweet’s thoughts about … whatever!'” . . .

“If I had choice between writing about something Bush did, or a congressman did, or Obama, why wouldn’t I go to something I saw people were backing? I just knew from the enormous amount of coverage Obama was getting that oooh, I knew I should be all things Obama. I never had a meeting; no one ever told me to do it. It was just like, I, I just smelled the coffee. I just understood that’s what I could be about.”

Thus, Ms Sweet became the news writer most closely associated with anything Obama.  Frequently, on radio, she speaks on the subject she claims to know best, Obama. The go-getter from the President’s hometown, Chicago, appears on most every television network.  The ascent of the man who now resides in the White House helped boost Sweet’s visibility.  Today, she is considered as she designed herself to be, an acknowledged expert on the President. As reported in The New York Observer,

When Andrea Mitchell introduced Lynn Sweet for her mid-afternoon show on MSNBC on May 16, she said, “Lynn Sweet is with the Chicago Sun-Times and has been covering him for years.”

That’s partially true. She has covered him for less than two [now near here] years. She has spent the majority of her other three decades covering any other number of political stories in Chicago.

Yet, the depth of her knowledge matters not.  Lynn Sweet has realized her dream.  She is the media and the message.  Since Barack Obama entered the scene, Sweet’s inquires have become the dominant news of the day.  

It matters not to Ms Sweet that each day, “If we do not act, 14,000 Americans will continue to lose their health insurance.”    She does not seem to think it exceedingly significant that “These are the consequences of inaction. These are the stakes of the debate we’re having right now.”  What the President might wish to say seems meaningless to someone such as her.  She rather know what Barack Obama thinks about topics that might propel her career. It appears, fame and fortune is her mission..

Americans might assume that this Reporter is not interested in what affects the electorate most.  She made no reference to a reality that affects all Americans.  Near fifty million citizens have no health care coverage.   2.3 million more people lose health coverage each year.  The tale that might titillate, was Sweet’s temptation.  What was the President’s reaction to a story on race.

She did not address the disparate treatment whites receive. Nor did she find her way to  studies that show the ranks of the underinsured are on the rise.  The invincible Lynn Sweet had other ideas.  While countless worry that the cost of such a climb could be disastrous, the Columnist with a stated singular focus acted as though this might be superfluous.

For Ms Sweet it would appear that a moment of personal fame, or public fury, is her preference.  Health Care reform will not be a concern for her as long as she remains popular.  Perchance, the better word for what Lynn Sweet hopes to achieve is the term that currently defines her calling.  She is without doubt a provocative and profitable professional.

References for the raiser of public rancor . . .

Press; Personality, Opinion, and Profits



Top Ten most ridiculous news stories

copyright © 2008 Betsy L. Angert.  BeThink.org

Throughout America, the sun rises, sleepy souls awaken, and people turn to the media of choice.  Millions move towards the radio.  More power-up the television.  Countless persons do as their parents did before them; they pick up newspapers, which lie in wait on the porch.  People want to know what is the news across the nation, or at least they did just a short time ago.  Today, perhaps surprisingly, most forms of media have far less appeal than they had just a few years ago.  The ethnic press is still productive.  What Wall Street classifies as “hyper-localism” appeals to the masses.  It seems what survives and thrives in the press is personality and opinion.  Unadulterated accounts are not of interest to those who think them selves highly informed.

In survey after survey, Americans state they know their community and are very familiar with happenings in this country.  They watch television.  The public listens to the radio.  People in this country read.  Yet, indeed, the evidence demonstrates despite a wealth of information accessible to most, if not all, citizens of this country grow increasingly ignorant, unaware of more than what a popular program or a chosen channel wishes to air.  No matter the age of the audience, according to The Pew Research Center for the People and the Press Americans know far less now than they did in 1989.

In recent times, a Presidential Election, consumed the  constituency for near two years.  Yet, the electorate, who thought themselves actively engaged, actually knew less about politics than they had in decades past.

Those who reside in the United States correctly speak of the incredible transformation; however, they do not wish to acknowledge Americans have been dumbed down.  Sure, people may posit their neighbors are not as bright, but let no one question the quality of the facts the more fluid are familiar with.

Let us suppose, by some freak accident, change truly came to America.  Would the public comprehend the climatic arrival of transformation?  Might the people imagine the impossible had occurred.  Would anyone in this country be the wiser?  Probably not.  There is reason to believe people would continue to be inspired by the trivial, the trite, the trials, and tribulations of a temptress, the taunts, all that can be seen in seconds on television, in a YouTube video, or on a social network site.  The information revolution has not altered affairs, at least not for the better.

In the last half century, the Information Age has given birth to greater conformity.  There are seemingly more options, and in actuality, fewer.  Five-hundred cable or satellite channels translates to the abandonment of an honorable agreement ‘in exchange for serving the “public interest,” TV stations get to use the airwaves for free.  

Currently, that creed is but a dream lost to the six major corporations, General Electric, Time Warner, The Walt Disney Company, News Corporation, CBS, and Viacom, serve as town criers.  These organizations persuade, propose, pontificate, and profess to be without bias.  Rarely do the reports attempt to be objective or reflective.  

Why should these private, for profit industries report what may be most relevant to people who trust the press to inform when sex sells.  Scandal sweetens the pot, or return on revenue.  Smut can be spun, and it is always time for silly season.

American audiences, people of every age love what bring the broadcast business lots of loot.  People are happy to absorb all the “news” transmitted by these radio and television stations.  Citizens in this country seek entertainment, forms of escapes, and enthusiastically  entrepreneurs furnish the fun.  Media moguls call what titillates profound and the people buy the bull.

For the most part, the public is generally satisfied with the press.  Most believe that the word they receive is fair and balanced or at least a reliable source of information.  In 2008, stories of Sarah sizzled.  Paris was a plus in the dull day of an average American.  Lindsay looked good and then she appeared to be less lovely.  Barrackamania was a beautiful distraction.  The now President Elect proved to be the change America could believe in.  However, as the country settles into a time of transition, some wonder what will they do for excitement.

A few murmur; might change have come and then left.  Citizens, spectators, the American audience awaits the next trend.  What will be the talk.  They tune in, turn on, and hope talk radio, television, or the technological wonder known as a computer will bring the latest American Dream.

More and more, those anxious to consume the news, check out celebrity hype.  People search for the stars.  They soak up any and all information online.  Too much technology is never enough.  To few reliable references; well, typically that goes unnoticed.

Print is still thought profound, although there is less of it to be found.  No matter the medium, the message is massaged and the words are probably, the product of a merger.  One paper is as another.  Each network is owned and operated by the very few persons who prosper from an ill-informed public.  Knowingly or not, most Americans turn to familiar forms in search.

People peruse the titles prominently known papers produce online.  They read blogger rants that reference mainstream media sources.  Indeed, well over 1 in 4 Internet users in the United States blissfully log into AOL Time-Warner accounts.  The world’s largest media corporation controls one fourth of media dissemination in cyberspace.  While that may all be well and good, if the news were hard, and the audience hearty.  Neither seems to be the case.  Today, Americans view reality television, car chases, crash, or trash.  Tune it in.  In America, the people say turn it on, morning noon, and night.

In the competitive world of commercialism, in-depth, quality news coverage, has not survived.  In a 2001 study, executed by the Joan Shorenstein, of the Center on the Press, Politics, and Public Policy at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government, dramatic changes in what was once critical journalism are documented.  Did anyone notice?  Was this topic covered on the news?

Soft news (that is, news that is typically more sensational, more personality-centered, more entertainment oriented, and more incident-based than traditional public affairs news) has increased sharply in the past two decades.  News stories that have no public policy component have increased from less than 35% of all stories in 1980 to roughly 50% today.  In the early 1980s, about 25% of news, stories had a moderate to high level of sensationalism; today, nearly 40% of news stories have this feature.??

Critical news (that is, news about the failings of leaders, institutions, and policies) has risen steadily in recent decades.  Negative coverage of presidential candidates is an example.  In 1960, about 25% of the evaluative coverage of candidates was negative in tone.  In the past three presidential elections, more than 50% of the coverage has been negative

Negative or nonsense; that may be the truer assessment.  The press pretends to enlighten; yet, for the most part it seeks to entertain.  Few realize the folly of what has become the American way.  In this country, the average Joe or Jayne consumes junk food and junk news.  

In recent months, change was the theme.  The issues of import during this recent election were those most frequently covered.  Each day Americans awoke to eat it up. . . the goodies, the gossip, and what makes the public grunt.

10. Hillary Clinton citing Obama’s Kindergarten essay titled, “I Want To Become President”

9. Mike Huckabee’s ongoing “buddy cop movie” with Chuck Norris

8. Obama Girl

7. Paris Hilton for President

6. “Terrorist Fist Jab”

5. Hillary Clinton’s drinking beers and taking shots of Crown Royal

4. Barack Obama bowling, or, “The Altoona Massacre”

3. Wardrobe-Gate: Sarah Palin’s $150K (or more) clothing caper

2. Joe the Plumber

1. “Lipstick On A Pig”

In 2008, the electorate considered the profundity of these topics and then selected a President, or perhaps, the mainstream media conglomerates chose for them.  Few knew more than what was delivered through airwaves, more than what was mentioned in print, more than the prominent six companies that comprise the press wanted them to know.  Hence, Americans must wonder, if change were to come, would we the people read of the transformation, or might the possibility of a true revolution never be realized, or at least, it is likely not to be seen on a computer screen, heard on a radio, or watched on television.

Reliable Sources . . .

Associated Press: Accuracy in Reporting

RnFrnr

copyright © 2008 Betsy L. Angert

What is black and white and read all over?  Associated Press reports written by the “respectable” albeit some would say disreputable Ron Fournier.  Few Journalists foment interest in this Presidential election in the way this whimsical writer does.  His prose is not dry.  Detachment does not define the Washington Bureau Chief.  Conventional standards, set by the information industry, might label this laudable lackey as less than logical.  For logic is rarely found in flaming rhetoric.  Fournier describes his approach as “accountability journalism” and “liberating . . . the truth,” as well it should be.

The employer of this esteemed Correspondent, is the much admired Associated Press.  The establishment is a formidable favorite in the news industry.  The company’s facts fascinate.  Its mission mesmerizes.  “The Associated Press is the backbone of the world’s information system serving thousands of daily newspaper, radio, television and online customers with coverage in all media and news in all formats.  It is the largest and oldest news organization in the world, serving as a source of news, photos, graphics, audio, and video.  AP’s mission is to be the essential global news network, providing distinctive news services of the highest quality, reliability and objectivity with reports that are accurate, balanced and informed.”

Yet, the articles Mister Fournier submits have a factual flavor.  The zest and zing leaves a bad taste in the mouths of many, or at least those on the political Left.  His black type is not a savory chocolate.  The white behind the words is not a plain vanilla.  Some may call the work of Ron Fournier yellow journalism.  

Each essay Fournier inscribes favors a political Party, the Grand Old one.  Readers might review but a few captions and columns to gain a sense of the slant.  The title On Deadline: Obama walks arrogance line, captures the conceit of a candidate or a columnist haughty with the power to influence an attentive audience.  The text within the article enriches the essence of this tasty tidbit, which passes for “news.”

He’s bordering on arrogance.

The dictionary defines the word as an “offensive display of superiority or self-importance; overbearing pride.”  Obama may not be offensive or overbearing, but he can be a bit too cocky for his own good.

Might we wonder if Ron Fournier, the reporter can be a bit too overconfident?  Within this “objective” story the Journalist believes he can aptly assess the mettle of the man as evident in the essay Analysis: Obama a ‘Courageous Leader’?

Women are not exempt from scrutiny that is if the female is a Democrat.  Hillary’s Flight of Fancy, a discussion the former First Lady’s memory and actual experience in Bosnia, while newsworthy is unfairly ridiculed by this Associated Press reporter presumed to be committed to the organizations mission.  Again, the Associated Press pledges to provide reliable and objective reports that are accurate, balanced, and informed.

Thus, the question might be asked; is the Washington Bureau Chief a columnist or a correspondent.  Another headline might answer this query.  Sen. Hillary Clinton an Artful Dodger.  Journalist Fournier wonders in print; What does Clinton want?  A reader might contemplate what does Ron Fournier long for?  

A reader might accept that this reporter inquires as he informs.  An avid learner who looks for news could chime, such curiosity benefits the public, and well it might.  However, the presumed neutrality of Ron Fournier is not evident, his alliances are.

Associated Press  reporter Ron Fournier, in his missives, supports a Presidential aspirant, John McCain.  The maverick McCain is equally enamored with the veteran political reporter.  Indeed, the Senator was a suitor of the correspondent.  Perchance, the Arizona Senator saw the prosaic phrase Mister Fournier inscribed in a mail to Karl Rove, “Keep up the fight,” and he knew.  Ron the Republican could and would fight or write for him too.  Perhaps, he does, although he is paid by the Associated Press.

Hence, with such a respected and widely read source to spread the word, the articles offered by Ron Fournier pass for objectivity.  A credulous citizen may not suspect a seemingly credible Correspondent.  A reader of any of the many prestigious periodicals that carry AP stories may be unaware of the connections this columnist has with those on Capitol Hill.  The people can only muse of the media, the power of the message, and the messenger, and perhaps they must for  . . .  

Fournier Is At It Again

By Steve Benen

CBS News

(Political Animal) – Fournier Is At It Again  . . . The latest piece from Ron Fournier, the AP’s Washington bureau chief and the man responsible for directing the wire service’s coverage of the presidential campaign, on Joe Biden joining the Democratic ticket, is drawing a fair amount of attention this morning. More importantly, McCain campaign staffers are pushing it fairly aggressively to other reporters, in large part because it mirrors the Republican line with minimal variation.

By choosing Biden, Fournier argues, Barack Obama is showing a “lack of confidence,” and is siding with “the status quo.”

If, such slander, or the source, evokes exasperation, readers of what is printed in black and white by the Associated Press and read all over, may wish to react.  Articles, which appear in most every paper worldwide, may wish to communicate such distress to Executives at local or national newspapers.  Readers may wish to write  letters to the editor such as . . .

Dearest Editor . . .

I write of what troubles me.  Associated Press correspondent Ron Fournier weaves quite a tale as he tells readers what to think of elections and candidates.  His essays are as rumors, rants, or a rage against anyone in the Democratic Party.  Readers such as I seek more than tantrums.  We yearn for quality accounts.  I, personally, do not appreciate diatribes.

The most recent invective was “Biden pick shows lack of confidence.”  The text screamed its skewed vision.  “The candidate of change went with the status quo . . . Barack Obama sought to shore up his weakness -inexperience . .  The Biden selection is the next logistical step in an Obama campaign that has become more negative . . .”

Surprised by such barbs, I studied the author.  I learned, scorching satire could be expected.  Apparently, Ron Fournier spoke with the McCain campaign of his being a senior Political Adviser in 2007.  While one malicious missive might be excused, a slew of such essays offer ample cause for concern.

Mister Fournier words are frequently more Republican than reasoned.  The “journalist” writes . . .

“Poor Hillary.  After trying to save her sinking candidacy with awkward turns of flattery and sarcasm, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton resorted to a new tactic in Tuesday night’s debate: self-pity.”

Editors, such statements do not reflect fair and accurate reports.  Please tell those at the Associated Press, the recent reports penned by this wire service reporter, Ron Fournier, lack objectivity.  Your readers want no more tirades; we long for impartial accounts.

Betsy L. Angert

Florida

Possibly, if readers write the Associated Press will be reminded; periodical readers seek enlightenment in black and white text.  A newspaper is read all over for it resonates as reasoned.  Those who love current affairs do not wish to have the truth obscured.  They read for fact not fiction.  If the people write, newspaper Editors flooded with fervent letters may feel the wrath of citizens eager for ingenuous information.  Perhaps, the Associated Press will come to understand, the people are unwilling to be silent or consent to a commentary flavored by the reporters bias.

Readers of rhetoric that obfuscates all but a Republican perspective, please speak.

Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.

~ Martin Luther King Junior

References for readers . . .

Kucinich Excluded From ABC Debate. Free Speech Expelled From Elections



Constructing Public Opinion

copyright © 2008 Betsy L. Angert

America is faced with an interesting dilemma; whom might the citizens place in the Oval Office.  November 2008 will arrive quickly.  January 2009 cannot come soon enough.  Many qualified candidates vie for the attention of the people.  Among the Democrats, Joe Biden, Hillary Clinton, Chris Dodd, John Edwards, Mike Gravel, Dennis Kucinich, Bill Richardson, and Barack Obama cross the nation each day.  All wish to meet expectant constituents.  The aspirants ask for only one favor.  “Please give me an equal opportunity.” Presidential hopeful, Congressman Dennis Kucinich might make this request with more fervor and with reason.  Kucinich excluded from ABC debate.

Sadly, few in the States will have a chance to see the hopefuls up close and personal.  Three-hundred and one million Americans live in this nation.  Each has a concern.  All are affected by the decisions a President makes, no matter their age, class, race, color, creed, sex, gender preference, or religion.  Four years ago, 221,256,931 were of age and could vote.  More persons, eighteen or older call this country home now.

Of these adults, some see themselves as Democrats, others Republican.  In recent years, most Americans declared they have and are Moving On.  Numerous feel no need to be part of the two Party system.  They are Independent and proud of it.

Moving On

More Voters Are Steering Away From Party Labels

By Rhodes Cook?

Washington Post

Sunday, June 27, 2004; Page B01

Meet a friend of mine.  He is a successful lawyer who lives in the suburbs of Philadelphia, has two grown children, and has been a registered Republican for almost his entire adult life.

That is, until now.  Increasingly disenchanted with the GOP, but no fan of the Democrats, he is thinking about re-registering as an independent when he completes a move to a new suburban home and has to change his place of voting.

My friend has plenty of company.  In this starkly partisan era of Red and Blue America, we may need a third color to describe those who formally call themselves neither Republican nor Democrat.  When it comes to registering voters, the two major parties can only look in envy — and dismay — at the swelling ranks of unaffiliated voters.

Since the waning years of the Reagan administration, or basically since the last periodical cicada mating cycle, the number of “other” voters has proliferated.  In the 27 states (plus the District of Columbia) that have been registering voters by party since 1987, the Democratic share has plummeted 8 percentage points, declining from an aggregate total of 51 percent to 43 percent.  The Republican share has stayed steady at 33 percent.  But the proportion of voters who have not identified themselves with either of the major parties has jumped 8 percentage points, from 16 to 24 percent.

What’s impressive about these numbers (at least in the view of political analysts such as me) isn’t the phenomenon itself, but its staying power.  Myriad polls over the past two decades have shown that voters, when asked to identify themselves politically, divide about one-third Democratic, one-third Republican and one-third independent.  But in terms of registration, most have opted for one major party or the other — perhaps because, in some states, that was the only way they could vote in a party primary.  Only recently, have registration figures begun to reflect the poll numbers.

What’s so significant about the rise of the unaffiliated?  Well, it’s one thing to tell a pollster that you consider yourself “independent.”  No particular consequence arises from that self-identification.  But to register as unaffiliated is a stronger statement of preference (or lack of one).  Political parties talk about the “base,” and how to energize it.  These numbers suggest that the base is eroding, or at least is harder to identify and rely on.

Regardless of this reality, in the twenty-seven states that require a Party affiliation, eight [8] percent] of those once registered as Democrats now think themselves ruggedly Independent, researchers and the “objective” news media conclude, if they ask Democrats to discuss only Democrats then they have conducted a comprehensive survey.  Researchers believe a rational judgment is made when Republicans reply to an inquiry such as, what do you think of the candidates in your Party.  It seems only Independents and those outside the mainstream take the actual pulse of the public.  When they do, the results are startling, and quite different from conventional “norms.”

‘Long Shot’ Kucinich Buries Democratic Rivals in Nationwide Poll Among Independent Voters

December 21, 2007

Washington, — Democratic Presidential Candidate Dennis Kucinich, who has been the runaway winner in polls of the Party’s progressive, grassroots base in recent weeks, scored another huge win yesterday by capturing almost 77% of the vote in a nationwide poll sponsored by a coalition of Independent voting groups across the country.

Of the more than 80,000 votes cast for Democratic candidates at http://www.independentprimary.com by self-described independent voters, the Ohio Congressman received 61,477, burying second place finisher, former Senator John Edwards, who received only 7,614 votes, or 9.5 percent. . . .

This is the latest in a string of exceptionally strong finishes by Kucinich in national on-line polls.  Last month, he topped all other candidates in 47 of 50 states in a poll sponsored by Democracy for America (DFA), in which he received almost 32% of the 150,000-plus votes cast — more than Edwards and Senator Barack Obama combined.  In that poll, Kucinich won both Iowa and New Hampshire.

In a survey by the 90,000-member Progressive Democrats of America, Kucinich took 41% of the vote nationwide.  And, in a poll conducted by the progressive The Nation magazine, he won with 35% of the vote.  Obama came in second with 24%, and Edwards was third with 13%.

The creators of IndependentPrimary.com said their poll was designed to measure the impact of independent-minded voters on the Presidential election and was “part of a movement bringing together ordinary Americans who think that the good of the country is more important than the good of the political parties.”

Nonetheless, Party politics continues to thrive in the television arena.  After the Iowa caucus, the first election year “contest” in the United States, and before the first vote was cast in New Hampshire, ABC News hosted another debate.  The premise was people would have a chance to hear the candidates, in each Party prior to an actual primary election.  

Rather than present all the Presidential hopefuls to an eager public audience, the network decided to restrict the forum.  Regardless of the fact that secret ballots nation wide were not yet submitted, ABC declared, it was time to set standards.  Certainly, only the supposed “electables” could appear on stage.  Thus, the gauntlet was thrown down.

Candidates hoping to be included will need to accomplish any one of three tasks: (a) place in the top four positions in the Iowa caucuses, (b) obtain 5 percent or higher in recent national polls, or (c) obtain 5 percent or higher in recent state polls.

If, as the rules state, a Presidential hopeful must achieve one of these criterion, based on the Progressive polls, it seemed Dennis Kucinich would easily qualify to appear.  Yet, he did not.  Apparently, ABC News prefers to honor only specific surveys, those not fully representative of the nation as a whole.  In an era, when the populace craves change, conventional wisdom rules.

Many muse and malign Iowa as not reflective of the nation, which may or may not be true; yet, they are happy to embrace the polls that offer a far less accurate snapshot of what American voters think.  The results in Iowa call the researchers and the media into question.  Democrats did not come out in mass for Clinton.  The race was not as close as predicted.  Nor did Obama come in second.  Independents made all the difference in Iowa.  Perchance, these unaffiliated voters have loud voices.

Astute analysis reveals what most say is true, the elite, the acceptable thought police control the masses nationwide. People with little opportunity to meet and greet a candidate in person peruse the polls, see numerous advertisements, and possibly read what a few hundred canvassed persons say, and then decide what they will do.

White House 2008: Democratic Nomination

Pew Research Center for the People & the Press survey conducted by Princeton Survey Research Associates International. Dec. 19-30, 2007. N=556 registered voters nationwide who are Democrats or lean Democratic. MoE ± 5

“I’m going to read you the names of some Democratic presidential candidates. Which one of the following Democratic candidates would be your first choice for president: [see below]?” If unsure: “Just as of today, would you say you lean toward [see below]?” Names rotated

Hillary Clinton  46 percent

Barack Obama  26 percent

John Edwards 14 percent

Dennis Kucinich  3 percent

Bill Richardson  3 percent

Joe Biden  2 percent

Chris Dodd  [The name appears with no percentage listed]

Mike Gravel  0 percent

None (vol.)  2 percent

Unsure  4 percent

Days before the main event, the Iowa Caucuses, according to this reputable Pew survey, the Clinton coronation was certain to occur. With Bill by her side, the public expected to hear an acceptance speech from Hillary Clinton on January 3, 2008.  ABC News certainly understood this momentum.  Before they decided who would appear on their stage they also polled the public.  Registered Democrats and those that lean Left, were interviewed, or at least a full thousand plus were asked of their possible vote.

ABC News/Facebook poll. Dec. 16-19, 2007. N=1,142 adults nationwide. Fieldwork by TNS. Results below are among leaned Democrats.

“If the 2008 Democratic presidential primary or caucus in your state were being held today, and the candidates were [see below], for whom would you vote?”

Hillary Clinton  44 percent

Barack Obama  27 percent

John Edwards  11 percent

Dennis Kucinich  3 percent

Joe Biden  2 percent

Bill Richardson  2 percent

Other/None (vol.) 4 percent

Unsure  7 percent

Again, only weeks before the Iowa caucuses, a study states Clinton is the candidate of choice. Yet, clearly she was not.  A third place showing is not the ceremonial introduction to her inauguration.  Perchance there is much to learn from the Iowa caucuses.

Iowa ‘Entrance Poll’ Offers N.H. Clues

By Jennifer Agiesta and Jon Cohen?

Washington Post

?Saturday, January 5, 2008; A08

Do the outcomes of the Iowa caucuses offer clues to what will happen in Tuesday’s New Hampshire primary? A look at the “entrance poll” taken Thursday night in the Hawkeye State offered five things to watch for next week:

1.  Independents matter.

Independents were a small but powerful force in the caucuses of both parties, and an even higher percentage will vote in New Hampshire.

On the Democratic side, independents made up 20 percent of caucusgoers and contributed heavily to Sen. Barack Obama’s victory margin.  . . .

In 2000, the last time both parties held contested primaries in New Hampshire, about four in 10 voters called themselves independents. McCain won the GOP primary that year by prevailing among independents, while Republicans went for George W. Bush.

Unaffiliated voters in New Hampshire can choose to participate in either party’s primary, and the fortunes of Obama and McCain may hinge on which way independents break.  Washington Post-ABC News polling last month found that more than six in 10 of the state’s independents planned to vote in the Democratic primary.

America is in ruin.  The sub-prime disaster is daunting.  Once solid citizens seek relief; homes are in foreclosure. Credit crunches cause banks to bleed; they fear the red fluid may flow.  Soldiers die daily abroad.  More hemorrhaging.  Very few industrial jobs exist in the United States.  The dollar is devalued. American children are less well educated.  Forty-seven million plus are uninsured. Citizens grasp for straws, even for straw polls.  The State of the Union is fragile.

People are in a panic.  When we contemplate the future, according to a Harvard Report, the National Leadership Index, more than three quarters of Americans think we are in a leadership crisis.  Yet, often, our fellow citizens turn to corporate accounts for accurate information.  This may be most true among the Independents.

34% of Independents believe that the press is not politically biased.

Perhaps, that is part of the problem; people have faith in polls.  Millions trust flawed data.  Fallacies flaunted by the elites that favor the status quo have much influence.  We might ask own owns the media?  The answer is, it is not the average American.  Nevertheless, most Americans rely on the press for fair and accurate reporting.  Even those aware of what is, often forget.

In 2004, Bagdikian’s revised and expanded book,  The New Media Monopoly, shows that only 5 huge corporations — Time Warner, Disney, Murdoch’s News Corporation, Bertelsmann of Germany, and Viacom (formerly CBS) — now control most of the media industry in the U.S. General Electric’s NBC is a close sixth.

Still, millions presume opinion polls are the perfect gauge, or at least as good as it gets.  However, ultimately, people are unpredictable.  Yet, every news organization declares they know what will be come election day.  The press maintains the people tell them what they think.  Might we ask, do the media, and the profiteers who own these broadcast organizations tell the people what to believe?

Prominent among the pollsters is the esteemed Wall Street Journal [now owned by billionaire Hillary Clinton backer Rupert Murdoch] and NBC News, a division of General Electric, and a network that energizes the people.  Noteworthy, and also a General Electric company, Newsweek Magazine coupled with prestigious Princeton researchers cannot be discounted.

NBC News/Wall Street Journal Poll conducted by the polling organizations of Peter Hart (D) and Bill McInturff (R). Dec. 14-17, 2007. Asked of Democrats, and non-Democrats who said they would vote in a Democratic presidential primary (from a total sample of 1,008 adults nationwide).

“Let me mention some people who might seek the Democratic nomination for president in 2008. If the next Democratic primary for president were being held today, for which one of the following candidates would you vote . . . ?” If unsure: “Well, which way do you lean?”

Dennis Kucinich  4 percent

Unsure  7 percent

Newsweek Poll conducted by Princeton Survey Research Associates International. Oct. 31-Nov. 1, 2007. N=433 registered Democrats and leaners nationwide. MoE ± 6.

Dennis Kucinich  4 percent

Unsure  7 percent

If the margin of error pendulum travels in either direction, we must ask, how many more Democrats might vote for Dennis Kucinich.  Granted there are those who wish to identify this Presidential hopeful as too extreme or not electable.  However, if we assess the assumption of those that claim to speak for the majority we understand the rationale is flawed.

Dennis Kucinich is not viewed favorably by likely voters — 24 percent have a favorable opinion of him, 31 percent have an unfavorable opinion of him, 12 percent are neutral, and 33 percent don’t know enough about him to say. Kucinich’s net favorability rating is -7 percent.

With much help from the media and the moguls who own these resources, many Americans have no idea who Dennis Kucinich is!  However, they are intimately familiar with Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, and even John Edwards.  

Edwards’ supporters say this is not so.  “John is being ignored by the media.”  Wife Elizabeth spoke of this on Hardball with Chris Matthews. The supportive spouse contends; although John placed second in the race, the focus was on Hillary and Barack.  Others picked up on the campaign cry.

Just after the Iowa caucuses, the periodicals were flooded with the premise, Edwards: ‘The People’s Candidate,’ does not receive the attention the other front-runners do. The theory now espoused is, former Senators Edwards’ proposals threaten the corporate tycoons who own the press.  If Edwards is elected, there will be true change.  Profits will dwindle.  Thus, to ensure that the people do not hear Edwards message the media does not cover the candidate.  

While the supposition seems apt, the fact is John Edwards appears prominently in ever poll.  He stands solidly on center stage during each debate.  Edwards receives equal time and is essentially invested in the status quo.  John Edwards does not challenge the conglomerates as Dennis Kucinich does.

John Edwards does not fully separate himself from those who support the standards of today. Goldman Sachs, Citigroup Incorporated, legal firms galore, and Fortress Investment Group all contribute bundles to his campaign.

Hedge-Fund Ties Help Edwards Campaign

Firms Increase Political Gifts

By John Solomon and Alec MacGillis?

Washington Post

Monday, April 23, 2007; A01

Two years ago, former senator John Edwards of North Carolina, gearing up for his second run at the Democratic presidential nomination, gave a speech decrying the “two different economies in this country: one for wealthy insiders and then one for everybody else.”

Four months later, he began working for the kind of firm that to many Wall Street critics embodies the economy of wealthy insiders — a hedge fund.

Edwards became a consultant for Fortress Investment Group, a New York-based firm known mainly for its hedge funds, just as the funds were gaining prominence in the financial world — and in the public consciousness, where awe over their outsize returns has mixed with misgivings about a rarefied industry that is, on the whole, run by and for extremely wealthy people and operates largely in secrecy.

Transparency, truthfulness, all the public clamors for is indeed hidden from view.  While John Edwards may wish to posture as the people’s candidate and a menace to mainstream media, he is not much of a danger to the elites.  Indeed, each poll includes his name.  Not all the surveys mention Presidential hopeful Dennis Kucinich.  

Former Senator and Vice Presidential aspirant John Edwards was invited to every public debate.  An organization never thought to question Edwards’ viability.  Edwards has forever been deemed electable.  He has more than equal access to the people.  Dennis Kucinich, the true candidate of the people does not.

While the Federal Communication Commission [FCC] rules, which govern radio and television licenses, states stations must operate in the public’s interest, we can see they do not.  ABC News is our most recent example.  This network limits our option to see and hear each of the Presidential hopefuls, even before the first secret ballot is cast.  Denying access to all the aspirants, to disallow a participant in a debate seems antithetical to the intent of the FCC regulations.  To produce polls to validate and justify obstruction is  not to inform the people.  Yet, here we are.  Inaccurate as these seem to be, the surveys solidify the message the media and magnates wish to express.

American Research Group poll. Dec. 9-12, 2007. N=600 likely Democratic primary and caucus voters nationwide. MoE ± 4.

“If the 2008 Democratic presidential preference primary/caucus were being held today between [see below], for whom would you vote?”

Dennis Kucinich  4 percent

Unsure  10 percent

Gallup Poll. Nov. 11-14, 2007. N=485 Democrats and Democratic leaners nationwide. MoE ± 5.

“Next, I’m going to read a list of people who may be running in the Democratic primary for president in the next election. After I read all the names, please tell me which of those candidates you would be most likely to support for the Democratic nomination for president in the year 2008, or if you would support someone else. . . .” Names rotated.

Dennis Kucinich   4 percent

None (vol.)/Unsure  8 percent

Pew Research Center for the People & the Press survey conducted by Princeton Survey Research Associates International. Oct. 17-23, 2007. N=837 registered voters nationwide who are Democrats or lean Democratic. MoE ± 4.

“I’m going to read you the names of some Democratic presidential candidates. Who would you most like to see nominated as the Democratic Party’s candidate for president in 2008: [see below]?” If unsure: “Is there anyone you are leaning toward as of today?” Names rotated

Dennis Kucinich  4 percent

Unsure  7 percent

We can see again and again, among the Democrats, routinely Dennis Kucinich often ranks one percentage point below the arbitrary requirement.  The number of undecided voters is high.  Perchance these individuals seek further information.  However, with thanks to the restrictions imposed by ABC News, [and other organizations] a discussion panel meant to enlighten the electorate restricts  their exposure to a meaningful alternative.  

Some of the studies do not even mention the possible President, Dennis Kucinich.  Hence, when the results are released they are invalid; yet, offered as truth.  The American people are lead to believe as the media decides. The press makes the final pronouncement.  They will tell us who delivers the message, when, where, why, and how.  

CBS News Poll. Oct. 12-16, 2007. N=456 Democratic primary voters nationwide. MoE ± 5.

“Suppose the race for the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination in 2008 comes down to a choice among Hillary Rodham Clinton, Barack Obama, and John Edwards. Who would you most like to see nominated: Clinton, Obama, Edwards — or would you rather see someone else nominated?” Names rotated

Clinton  51 percent

Obama  23 percent

Edwards  13 percent

Other/None  7 percent

Unsure  6 percent

Hillary Clinton is the clear winner . .  .or was, until the people of Iowa decided otherwise.  Since the caucus, all we thought we knew is topsy-turvy, turned on its head, and twisted in the wind, except for the fact that Independents decide.  In This Race, Independents Are the Prize.  If the Independent voter, which might be any of us, has little or no ability to hear from a candidate, we must ask ourselves, is this America, the land of the free.  

If  First Amendment rights are not granted to a celebrated Congressman, a Presidential candidate, can we, the people authentically choose who will represent us.  In a nation where the news is dictated, manufactured, and manipulated, do the citizens actually know who is or would have been electable?  Probably not.  None of us has yet had an opportunity to read the polls that address this issue.

Nevertheless, another canvass did appear, although it was well hidden from view.  This tally was not prominently presented as the other surveys were.  Although, ABC News and Facebook hosted the recent debate jointly, access to this account was concealed.  Yet, here it is.

Barack Obama  60.65 percent

Hillary Clinton  18.21 percent

John Edwards  9.74 percent

Dennis Kucinich  6.51 percent

Bill Richardson  2.61 percent

Mike Gravel  2.29 percent

The definitive Facebook figures show that the future President, Dennis Kucinich placed fourth in the tally used to determine what the voters think of the candidates.  The virtually invisible Presidential hopeful, Congressman Kucinich received a greater number of votes than Bill Richardson, a  contender deemed acceptable by those who supposedly educate the masses.  While Richardson did not receive the required 5 percent in this analysis, he did appear on stage.  John Edwards total was not much higher than Kucinich’s. Had this slate appeared, Americans might have known what we are supposed to. forget  Dennis Kucinich is viable, electable, and purposely excluded from many a national forum.

America, will we  continue to let conglomerates control the message and us, or will we finally decide to take our country back?

Sources, Surveys, and Secrets . . .