ABC News Pulls Reporter off Kucinich
For Immediate Release: December 10, 2003
The day after Presidential Candidate Dennis Kucinich took ABC debate moderator Ted Koppel to task for avoiding questions that would be useful to voters in favor of questions about endorsements, money, and polls, ABC pulled its fulltime "embedded" reporter from the Kucinich campaign, a reporter who had been given no warning that such a move was coming and who had discussed at length yesterday with the Kucinich campaign staff her plans and her needs for the coming months.
ABC has reportedly also pulled its reporters from covering the presidential campaigns of Rev. Al Sharpton and Ambassador Carol Mosley-Braun.
This appears to be another instance of what Kucinich criticized at the debate, namely the media trying to pick candidates, rather than letting the voters do so. In a democracy, it should be voters and not pundits or TV networks who narrow the field of candidates.
This move, before any state's caucus or primary, appears based on a belief that viable candidates can be predicted 11 months prior to an election, a belief that flies in the face of the historical record. Time and again candidates dismissed as "fringe" have wound up either with the nomination or with a significant impact on the convention and in the primaries.
This action by ABC, as well as Koppel's comments during the debate, can only serve to disempower Americans, communicating to them that someone other than they is deciding elections and that their votes don't mean much.
This action also seems to conflict with the network's interest in boosting ratings and Koppel's expressed interest in making the debate exciting, given that Kucinich received the loudest applause of the evening.
ABC presumably has no vested interest in discouraging voting or in lowering its ratings. It may, however, have an interest in whether Koppel's prediction of the viability of various candidacies proves true.
Kucinich for President 11808 Lorain Avenue - Cleveland, OH 44111 866-413-3664