MR on RT TV – GOP Primaries a ‘Dog and Pony Show’

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MEDIA ROOTS – For the last few weeks, the GOP primaries have been on the forefront of the political discourse.  The corporate press has extensively covered the five remaining Republican candidates in the Presidential race as they campaign and meet with supporters nationwide.  Some Americans feel the election coverage is overkill and serves as a complete distraction from real issues.  Abby Martin, journalist and founder of Media Roots, weighs in on the subject with Liz Wahl from RT TV.




Liz Wahl Interviews Abby Martin on RT TV


Liz Wahl:  “And for more on this, journalist and Founder of, Abby Martin.  Hi, Abby. 

“So, just, first of all, I wanna get your reaction to this kind of non-stop nitpicking, you know, playing detail by detail; basically, this circus that has been playing out on TV.  What’s your reaction?”  

Abby Martin
(c. 0:18):  “It’s funny.  Every four-year election cycle we have two years where it’s just a constant dog and pony show in the corporate press covering the primaries.  So, two years of every election cycle you have this incessant coverage of campaign dog and pony show.  And, so, it’s a total distraction from real issues.  And Occupy Wall Street, these Federalised crackdowns, now it almost seems passé because it’s just constant, 100%, Primary coverage.

Liz Wahl (c. 0:48):  “We are seeing this kind of coverage early on in the race.  Is it too early, too soon?”

Abby Martin (c. 0:54):  “Absolutely.  100%  Glen Greenwald wrote an excellent article about how this Iowa Caucus was almost, it was a sham, a media ritual, just reinforcing these rituals for elections when, really, in the grand scheme of things, we know there’s voting software that can rig an election and flip the vote.  So, all of these things, it’s too early to tell.  It’s really a distraction from what’s really going on.

“And quietly, just like Obama’s Federalised crackdowns and the repression of human rights, we see now shipping thousands of troops, deploying thousands of troops to Israel for a potential stand-off with Iran.  So, these are all real issues that are not being covered with this Election coverage.”

Liz Wahl (c. 1:42):  “Talk about, maybe, the way they are being covered.  You did just touch upon it.  But, in terms of what they are choosing to cover, are they digging deep enough to the real important issues that matter in the nation right now?  Or are they not really scratching the surface?”

Abby Martin
(c. 2:02):  “The GOP, it’s so interesting.  The GOP race right now, so you see Ron Paul’s coverage, first, the last four years, they had no choice, but to cover him this time because he almost was a, quote, ‘front-runner.’  You see Rick Santorum surging ahead.  You see all this focusing on absurd issues, like Ron Paul’s newsletters from the ‘80s, not touching on Rick Santorum’s open racism about welfare and the ‘welfare queen’ myth that he goes out and talks about in his speeches.  So, you see them cherry-picking these veiled racism within the GOP candidates and their coverage of Ron Paul—finally, they have to give credence to him because he is a front-runner.  But their coverage—you saw Bill Kristol grinning, saying, ‘Oh, well, Ron Paul supporters are really confusing because they’re Dennis Kucinich supporters. I just don’t even know.’  It’s like when they do have to cover him because they can’t not, they choose to cover him in a very propagandised way and try to suppress him and disenfranchise him.  

“But, yeah, the coverage of the Elections are just so absurd.  It’s like watching a circus.  I can’t even believe it.”     

Liz Wahl (c. 3:11):  “Abby, you’re a journalist.  What are, maybe, some of the stories or some of the issues that aren’t being covered?  What’s being missed?”

Abby Martin (c. 3:20):  “Well, the NDAA was passed pretty secretively on New Year’s Eve by Obama.  We have this Constitutional Law professor

Liz Wahl (c. 3:29):  “That is the National, just to clarify that, the National Defense Authorization Act, of course, a very controversial issue.  We haven’t heard too much about it, but this, basically, would give the Government the right to, basically, it almost brings Guantanamo Bay right here to the U.S.  I mean you would think that this is quite a big deal.”

Abby Martin (c. 3:51):  “Yeah.  I mean it’s the biggest evisceration of our Bill of Rights, I think, since 9/11.  I mean Bush tried to pass the Military Commissions Act and there was a big uproar in the blogosphere about that.  And now you see Obama kind of just passing the NDAA, this provision that we thought, ‘Oh, the GOP, and John McCain, and Senator Levin tried to pass this provision.’  And then we find out later that Obama, himself, put in the mandate of anyone, American citizens, who are subject to the U.S. Military going in and arresting anyone.

“I mean it totally eradicates the Posse Comitatus Act and Habeas corpus, our most, it’s the bedrock of liberty of this country.  And the fact that this is not being talked about, the fact that Obama actually signed this into law.  The signing statement that he made doesn’t mean much when successive administrations are going to have this power.  I don’t think that’s what people realise is that this power is now instated for every future administration.  And that’s the scariest part.”

Liz Wahl (c. 4:48):  “Abby, I want to ask you because something like the NDAA, something like that has huge implications for every American.  Yet, why aren’t we hearing about these stories?  We are hearing, in the latest debate, a lot of the focus was on gay marriage or birth control, issues like that.  I mean why is something so incredibly important to every American, why isn’t, why aren’t we focusing on that?  Or why aren’t we seeing that?”    

Abby Martin
(c. 5:16):  “Divide and conquer.  They like to use the issues of abortion and gay rights because, in a country, 350 million people in a country can never agree on these divisive issues in every election.  So, it’s perfect to just bring up these election issues every time.  If we really talked about the real issues that everyone can agree upon:  ending the military-industrial complex; the incessant spending and exponential growth of the military-industrial complex; these never-ending wars; the economy; jobs; these are all issues that everyone across the spectrum can relate to, we want to curtail that.  We want jobs.  But, of course, that’s not gonna help the establishment, if we band together and fight them.  So, that’s why they wanna divide and conquer us.  And that’s why they keep bringing up these issues every time.  

“The problem with these Federal Elections, though, is that everyone puts their faith into a candidate.  And that’s where, you know, people who are putting all their faith in Ron Paul, too, I think is wrong because you need to vote every day.  Every day you need to vote with what you’re doing, supporting these corporations, supporting the establishment.  And that’s when people, I think, get really disillusioned.  When they put all of their faith and hope into these Federal Elections and then every four years nothing changes.”

Liz Wahl (c. 6:28):  “Well, today is just a, you know, the first Primaries underway.  I have a feeling we are going to be seeing a lot more of this.  Thank you so much for coming on the show.  That was journalist and Founder of,  Abby Martin.”

Transcript by Felipe Messina


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