FCC Rejects Kucinich Complaint About CNN Debate

Jan 22, 2008  •  Post A Comment

The Federal Communications Commission is rejecting candidate U.S. Rep. Dennis Kucinich’s contention that CNN unfairly excluded him from last night’s debate of the Democratic presidential candidates in South Carolina.
In a decision that apparently was handed down late Friday but just published today on the FCC’s Web site, the agency’s Media Bureau cited free speech and the First Amendment for its rejection of the complaint the Kucinich campaign filed against both CNN and its parent, Time Warner.
“Cable television operators have wide discretion in choosing the programming that is available on a cable system,” the FCC said in its decision. “The First Amendment and federal law generally prohibit the commission from involving itself in the content of specific broadcast or cable television programs or otherwise engaging in activities that might be regarded as censorship.”
The Kucinich campaign had complained that as a federally qualified candidate, CNN had no right to exclude him from the debate that was held before the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation. He said his exclusion violated equal-time requirements and “undermines the purpose of the communications act.”
The Media Bureau also said the FCC didn’t have the authority to require CNN to include him.
“The commission is prohibited from engaging in activities that might be regarded as censorship of programming content. Requiring a particular candidate to be included in a debate would constitute such activity and therefore is prohibited,” the bureau said.
The Kucinich campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment.


  1. I was very disappointed that I didn’t get to hear Dennis Kucinich views on the cnn debate last night…..especially the part about
    “change”. …… The liberties this administration has taken with our constitution….the presidential directives, the illegal wiretaps, the civil rights….. these are all changes the Bush administration has implemented into our lives. Who’s going to “change ” this back? How come noone letting Kucinich talk about this? It’s going to take YEARS as it is to get us back into the good graces of the world….let alone all the rights of US citizens that have been trampled on.
    I’m looking forward to hearing from you.
    Jeanie Rutherford

  2. This is typical of a fringe candidate who goes to a radical extent to get in front of a TV camera. He even hired stooges to display his posters in the Rose Parade.
    As far as his congressional district is concerned, I would be surprised if he is reelected there either.

  3. On Democracy NOW they provided a forum for Dennis Kucinich to respond to the same questions that were presented at the NEVADA debate…
    I wonder if they will do it for the ABC and CNN debate.
    Dangerous Ideas

  4. Yeah, they can’t do censorship to include a candidate in a discussion of national importance, but they can do censorship to bleep out the odd F-Bomb that is thrown out, or levy a fine if someone has a “Wardrobe malfunction”. Let’s face it. The powers (status quo) that run this country are afraid of Kucinich’s, and to a large extent, Edward’s message. If either of those two are elected, the status quo will be shaken up and all there little perks will be taken away and their transgressions exposed. So, they feel it is in their best interests to muzzle the man, than let him speak the truth about the hipocracy that ru(i)ns this country.

  5. I very much enjoy listening to Dennis Kucinich’s views on ANY topic. He is a very bright man. I hope he can circumvent the roadblocks and find a suitable public venue where we can have the benefit of his response to the important questions facing us today.

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