Dennis Kucinich is a leader. Read a quick interview with him done by Bob Garfield od "On the Media" and see what you think. The presidential hopefuls field will sort itself out but I'm backing the darkhorse Kucinich because he speaks for me. I will back him until he wins or drops out of the race. If what he says moves you, think about doing the right thing and back him instead of who the corporate media tells us is the 'right candidate'. Listening to him speak is a welcome alternative to chimpy and his loser speech tonight. Hear the audio of this interview here.
BOB GARFIELD: Dennis Kucinich is a Democratic Presidential hopeful. He joins us now. Congressman, welcome to On the Media.
DENNIS KUCINICH: Thank you very much.
BOB GARFIELD: Last time around, the major media scarcely covered your candidacy, and when they did, it was as an oddity. Did you think that you were a victim of the Media – with a capital M – or what was going through your head?
DENNIS KUCINICH: Well, I don't believe in victimization, but I do believe that, you know, there's a tendency on the part of the media in this country to try to pick whoever's going to be the nominee early on, and create a self-fulfilling prophecy.
I think that it's important for people who run for public office to be ready to take a stand, whether the media wants to favor them or not.
BOB GARFIELD: Are you suggesting that, you know, a bunch of guys at, you know, major corporate-owned media were actively trying to squelch your campaign? You know, these guy's too dangerous. We can't let him succeed. Is that what you're charging?
DENNIS KUCINICH: I'm not saying that, you know, there's any kind of official policy. There doesn't have to be. But I'm also saying, as someone who has a bachelor's and master's degree in communications, that there is such a thing as a gatekeeper theory, and everyone understands that. The Internet's changed a lot of that, but corporate-owned media, in a society where there are fewer and fewer media companies, has an ability to be able to control the debate.
The Federal Communications Act of 1934 said that the electronic broadcast licensee should function in the public interest, convenience and necessity. Now, we've gone a great distance from that goal, and I do believe that this country is capable of a much more vigorous political debate than we're seeing.
BOB GARFIELD: Other candidates – Hillary Clinton comes to mind – spend years and millions of dollars gauging the electorate and measuring every word and every action. That's evidently not your strategy.
DENNIS KUCINICH: Well, you know, my poster is Ralph Waldo Emerson, who once wrote, in his essay on self-reliance, "Above all, to thine own self be true. Every heart vibrates to that iron string, to believe that what's true for you could be true for everyone."
I think we have to have a sense of our own humanity and how it merges with all of humanity. And my life experience has given me a great gift, and that is that I really understand what people go through, and it's given me the ability to connect with the hearts of people and to be able to not just represent their hearts but their voice.
So I don't need the focus groups, the poll groups, the coterie of advisors. While it's always good to get advice, I think there is something about listening in the quiet moments to the universal that is available to all of us.
BOB GARFIELD: Well, God bless Ralph Waldo Emerson, but he never backed a winner. In your first interview with The New York Times, the interview in which you actually announced your candidacy, the paper comes out and apparently nothing had changed. You know, notwithstanding the vast movement in the American popular opinion about the war, you were still treated as, you know, a joke.
DENNIS KUCINICH: Let me just say something. I think The New York Times is going through a learning curve itself. Everything that I said about the war was discounted by them because they were The New York Times and they knew better than anyone else. It's a real burden, by the way, to be, in effect, the final arbiter on public opinion in America. It must be very hard for them, because they've set themselves up as being the sine qua non and the arbiter of all that's right and holy. I mean and you have to get a nihil obstat or an imprimatur from The New York Times to be able to run. It's okay. I'm okay with that.
BOB GARFIELD: Do you reject the idea that if you actually want to win a race that there are certain things that you have to do to create a sort of mass appeal?
DENNIS KUCINICH: Yes. I think truth has its own mass appeal. And I've come back to run again, to show people that you can have someone who has the right judgment, who has clarity and foresight and a willingness to stand up and speak out when others will not, because that's not the popular thing to do.
It was popular to be for the war in 2002. It's popular now to be against the war. The question is, do you have the courage to be able to hang in there and continue to let people know what's going on, because sooner or later, if you write, it's going to be borne out. And that's exactly what's happened.
BOB GARFIELD: Congressman, thank you very much.
DENNIS KUCINICH: Nice talking to you. Kucinich dot US.