The Two Party duopoly has near total control over how the American people view their candidates, with the complicity of the Media when it comes to political debates. The nonpartisan League of Women Voters (LWV) sponsored the presidential debates from 1976 until 1988. In response to both campaigns’ demand to control the questions, the composition of the audience, and hall access for press and others as parts of the presidential debate in 1988, they refused to participate. Their October 3, 1988, press release states: “The League of Women Voters is withdrawing its sponsorship of the presidential debate scheduled for mid-October because the demands of the two campaign organizations would perpetrate a fraud on the American voter. The League has no intention of becoming an accessory to the hoodwinking of the American public.”
Journalists should be mindful that politicians need them more than they need politicians. They have the unique and heavy responsibility of keeping us informed under our democratic system which some of them seem to have shirked. Media plays a special role in our system of checks and balances and is considered to be the “fourth estate,” the watchdog for all Americans when it comes to informing the public. Unfortunately, in pursuit of access, they seem to have lost their mission by succumbing to the Beltway Beast and have abrogated their responsibility. Surely, the media has to take some responsibility when:
>> 50% of Americans believed Saddam Hussein was personally involved in the 9/11 attack in the run up to the war in Iraq in 2003. Even in 2009, 33% still believed this, despite President Bush’s own assertion that Saddam had nothing to do with 9/11.
>> Nobody seems to know how many Al-Qaeda members there were on 9/12/2001. Were they in the hundreds, thousands, or millions? How many are there now in 2013?
>> Everybody seems to tie the affordability of healthcare to insurance coverage when in reality half of the healthcare costs are hospitals and doctors.