By email, James Zogby's polling firm sent me their latest survey asking about my 2008 election intentions. The survey asked whether I plan to vote, for whom I've voted in the past, and for whom I may vote in the U.S. presidential election. Problem was, the poll even included a list of names with their political affiliations, but Cynthia McKinney, the U.S. Green Party's candidate (nominated at their Chicago convention in July), was excluded. Which four names and political affiliations did Zogby let poll-takers "choose" from? John McCain - Republican, Barack Obama - Democrat, Bob Barr - Libertarian, and even Ralph Nader, this year running as "Independent" since the Green Party chose someone else. (You could wonder whether the foremost Arab American pollster would leave the perennial Arab American presidential candidate off his poll, even to the exclusion of the candidate actually nominated by Mr. Nader's former party.) This poll didn't even offer "other" as a category, nor a blank space in which to write-in a name. Interesting. All men and no Cynthia McKinney. Where are women's - and men's - voices on this? Ms. McKinney's exclusion from the Zogby poll is simply the latest reminder of the social and political times we're in. Then I came across a quote by veteran journalist Bill Moyers, from In These Times and re-published by truthout.org in a piece titled, Fourth Estate a Fifth Column? "Democracy without honest information creates the illusion of popular consent
... at the same time that it enhances the power of the state and the privileged interests that the state protects. And nothing characterizes corporate media today more than its disdain toward the fragile nature of modern life and its indifference toward the complex social debate required of a free and self-governing people." - Bill Moyers, "from an adaptation of his keynote address at the National Conference for Media Reform [written] for In These Times."