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Breaking News: Nevada Court says MSNBC can bar Kucinich

The Nevada Supreme Court has just ruled that MSNBC is within its rights to bar Rep. Dennis Kucinich from participating in the nationally-televised Democratic presidential debate in a few minutes.

The court decision, issued minutes ago, reverses a District Court order from yesterday that required the network to include Kucinich as a qualified candidate. MSNBC had originally invited the Cleveland congressman, but then rescinded that invitation last week.

Kucinich's lawyers had argued that a contract thus existed and MSNBC was breaking it by un-inviting him.

However, today's Supreme Court decision ruled that no such binding contract existed and the district court "manifestly abused its discretion" in making that interpretation.

The results are the debate will continue this evening at 6 p.m. Pacific with just the top three Democratic candidates--Hillary Clinton, John Edwards and Barack Obama.

--Andrew Malcolm

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it's a vicious circle.

kucinich isn't advertised on TV, so he's excluded from debates because he's "not a contender" and so because he's not in the debates, people don't hear his story, so he becomes less of a contender, and so on and so on.

if this country was a democracy, everyone would have their voice heard. no-matter what. no-matter how much money you have, no matter if your campaign people work out of their houses instead of in a storefront.

kucinich is only "not a contender" if you believe it to be so.
if you believe in your heart that he is the best candidate, let that show in the primaries. vote what's in your heart. not "strategically" if you vote strategically, the moguls have already won.

(and this is why i wish instant runoff voting would become our main way of voting. this electoral bullhockey and primaries and 2-party system is not working for us anymore. let each person's vote count. with IRV, there is no such thing as "throwing away a vote")

The Supreme Court's unanimous order said that blocking the debate unless Kucinich got to participate would be "an unconstitutional prior restraint" on the news network's First Amendment rights. What about the right of the American people to hear an opposing view? This is what happens when you provide corporations with more rights than an American citizen. Shameful. Absolutely shameful.

If the sheep do not wake up and realize that GE gains from not allowing them to hear Kucinich, they will be in Iraq or wars just like it forever. With the number 1 issues being economy and the war, suck on that for a while.

MSNBC is a joke. After their debacle in having Matthews trash Hillary in NH, they pull this stunt with Kucinich. Plenty of other places to get news and commentary that is not so agenda driven.

This is insane ABSOLUTELY INSANE. I cannot believe this is the U.S. I am living in. What is wrong with people. Boycott msnbc. Boycott nbc. We have reached the peak of insanity. We have the audacity to point fingers at other countries for perversion of democracy. GOD help us. We fight a war and many people die because we are defending democracy? What a bunch of hypocrites we are. And to add insult to injury there are, I am sure, hundreds of posts already on the net steadfastly defending NBC''s right to exclude anyone they want. GET THIS THROUGH YOUR HEADS: THE AIR WAVES ARE PUBLIC. BROADCASTERS PERFORM PUBLIC SERVICE. FORGET CORPORATE PROFITS OK? God pleae help us. This is soooo depressing. This is what we all spent time in the military defending?

I posted comments last night, January 15th, at 10:55 pm. The url address I referred readers to was incorrect. Sorry for the inconvenience, but would you please read that again to get the context as it relates to the following website?

I am sickened. Shame on NBC.

Thank you MSNBC for keeping that clown out of the debate. Kucinich makes a mockery of the process. If Kucinich was allowed to debate, you would then have to allow EVERYONE to debate. The district judge said that Kucinich was "viable." Obviously, he isn't following the primaries too closely.

Kucinch lost 10-1 to uncommitted in the Michigan primary. You can't become more of a joke then that.

Give me a break. Lets not forget that this is not Kucinich's first try at running for president. We knew then and we know now that there is no way that Kucinich has a snowballs chance in hell of winning. A lot of people have opinions that differ from the Hillary, Obama, and Edwards, but that doesn't mean that they should be given equal time on national TV. Why give him more time and distract from the candidates that actually have a shot? I honestly don't understand the outrage.

Anyone who still thinks Kucinich has a shot in hell is an idiot. Sorry, but you are. Idiot.

Our democracy is in peril. It is shameful that MSNBC is allowed to exercise such undemocratic powers and perpetuate such unfreedom. Regardless of whether or not one supports Kucinich, they should be outraged at how the corporate media is subverting our democracy.

People who believe that Clinton, Edwards or Obama will bring meaningful change in 2008 are severely disillusioned. The Democratic Party and the Republican Party both represent the interests of big money. They both defend the war machine. They both support neoliberal economic policies that harm the working class majority aound the world. They both stand opposed to healthcare as a human right. They both oppose any discussion on impeachment. The direction that we are currently heading in is very disturbing. If we want change, we need to stop listening to the lies of both the Republican and the Democratic Party and the corporate media that promotes the views of neo-cons and "new democrats." The only real Republican in the race, who stands for what the Republican Party was supposed to represent, is Ron Paul. The only real Democrats in the race, who stands for the ideals of the Democratic Party, are Dennis Kucinich and Mike Gravel. Kucinich is, in my opinion, the only candidate who truly stands for peace, justice, and equality. It's time that we vote for a candidate who actually represents our best interests, socially, politically, and economically.

I can't believe that in America, citizens who are interested... and qualified to run for president, are being blocked from entering debates/running in general. *tsk tsk* Democracy in action?

How can you people honestly believe Kucinich has a chance? He is as viable as Mike Gravel...which means NOT VIABLE AT ALL.

Do you all remember the first "Debate" when each candidate MAYBE had 5-10 minutes each...the American public learned NOTHING.

Why waste the time on someone who has less than 0 chance of winning and take time away from the three viable candidates. If you're not polling in double digits in ANY POLL in ANY STATE...than you are not viable (especially this far along in the process). The 20% of Democrats who are undecided should hear from the people who have the ONLY chances of winning the primary in order to make up their minds.

I like Dennis and have met him several times, but he is a Congressmember, not a President.

(It's not really so much about having a chance. Did Chris Dodd have a chance? And he was in all the debates. The point is to have the testing of ideas. There's not much difference between the top 3, but if pushed by a Kucinich or a Ron Paul in a GOP debate, we might learn something.)

Hmmm...If Ron Paul beat Giuliani THREE TIMES...that must make Guliani a SECOND TIER candidate and he will be excluded from the next debates...RIGHT? OH WAIT SILLY ME the mainstream media has already chosen who the president wil be. Pathetic. Dr Paul has energized the youth and cured the apathy for people like me (middle agers) He needs an EQUAL shot at the presidency...this IS a democracy isn't it?

I would like to see the other 3 candidates, in solidarity, refuse to appear for the debates until Kucinich is allowed to appear.

Voters know that our democratic and republican elected representatives are out of touch with us but have a loving relationship with their corporate financers. There is one thing that corporations understand: profits and bad PR. ABC/Disney and NBC/MSNBC/ General Electric must hear from us through our wallets and our choices. When I found out Congressman Dennis Kucinich was excluded from the debates for the second time, I removed NBC and MSNBC from the remotes favorites to join ABC in the dust bin.
I also decided that my GE profile appliances would not be replaced with more GE's or would I purchase any other GE products. Disneys products were already in the dust bin.
The three Democrats who did debate (pseudo debates I turned off) will not find my vote in their columns in November. I 'd say the Democratic Party wouldn't get any contributuions but I already cut them off when Pelosi took Impeachment off the table. I now fund only progressive democrats who are running against corporate democrats or republicans.

I am very disappointed by the exclusion of Kucinich from the debate, and insulted by the claim that as a cable TV station MSNBC is not bound by the public trust doctrine of the FCC. What kind of democracy are we in when these decisions are upheld by the courts? One in serious need of reform and return to the constitutional roots that Dennis Kucinich stands for.

I was mistakenly thinking he was included in the debate, only to find out about the appeal and last minute exclusion by the courts. What a farce when only 2 or 3 states (if you count Michigan) had voted. Meanwhile Kucinich ranks highly in many polls, and is my top candidate when it comes to being NOT FOR SALE!

GE would lose a lot of its military industrial complex clout with a Kucinich Presidency, plus the health care for all Americans would probably not be to their liking as a bank-related conglomerate.

To all those who talk about a candidate NOT having a chance, I say to you, says who? As an American voter I reserve my right to decide who I would like to see become President of the US until my party picks a nominee. And even then, if I am not satisfied with my parties nominee, I have the option of voting for an Independent candidate. No corporate controlled media organization will decide who has a chance in my mind. That is because I live in a democratic country. Now since when did that change? When did a candidate begin to not have a chance based on 2% of the nations primary electorate? When did the corporate controlled mass media start picking Presidential candidates for us? When did our country STOP being a democratic nation?Anyone who thinks that picking 3 democratic candidates for President is the best thing to do right now is doing a disservice to our nation. Wake up America!

Some of you seem to be missing the point. It doesn't matter whether you, me, NBC, or anyone else thinks that Kucinich has a chance. This is about Democracy. It doesn't matter whether or not he "has a shot", he represents the views of millions of us and he is the only one of the Democrats with the guts to speak the truth. Doesn't have a chance - irrelevant. Irritates the other cantidates - GOOD! Change the Narrative - GOOD! Waste time - How could he waste more time than the brainless NBC commentators who were directing the debate?? They made it clear from the beginning they were only interested in watching a brawl between Clinton and Obama. You seem to think that this exclusion has something to do with the process. Sorry, it has everything to do with Corporate power and dominance.

I hate our coporate control media also. I believe that one of the three canidate should have taken a stand for Dennis. My next donation will go to dennis for Ron Paul. I am a democrat that will vote republican if Billary is nominated. Only if Bloomberg runs- that Republican. We all could take a stand against the media by Boycotting our cable company Shut-out for 3 months. Why Continue to pay for this garbarge.

If you are serious about uninviteing the three branches of the coperate media out of your home BOYCOTT the cable tv for three months. Catch Oberman and PBS on the Webb. Dennis and Paul could use that money.

STOP WATCHING TV! This is nothing more than A STEALING OF OUR RIGHTS. We pay an extremely inflated price (allowed by our so-called government for the people???lol) for the trash that they put into our faces every day...THIS IS A LAST STRAW!

They excluded Dennis because HE TALKS IMPEACHMENT FOR THE MANY IMPEACHABLE ACTS THAT THIS ADMINISTRATION HAS DONE TO US. They dont want the dumb Americans to listen to that!




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About the Columnist
A veteran foreign and national correspondent, Andrew Malcolm has served on the L.A. Times Editorial Board and was a Pulitzer finalist in 2004. He is the author of 10 nonfiction books and father of four. Read more.
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