Thursday, July 12, 2012

Green Party Still Too Radical For ABC

ABC News political correspondent Matt Negrin is at it again.

In a new post ("Green Party Candidate Jill Stein's Running Mate is not Roseanne Barr," 7/11/2012) on the Green Party's national convention in Baltimore (which starts today), he again goes out of his way to mock and belittle the Greens and third-parties in general.

Negrin calls Jill Stein's recently announced running mate, Cheri Honkala "so obscure that Wikipedia doesn't have a page for her..." Such a juvenile jab says more about Negrin's complete lack of actual research abilities than Honkala's perceived level of notoriety. In other words, this "reporter" was unable to learn anything about Honkala since Wikipedia is, apparently, the only source he consults.

His inability to conduct rudimentary background research on his subject is further displayed in his attribution of Honkala's work as an advocate for the homeless to Stein. Negrin writes, "Long-shot Green Party candidate Jill Stein has chosen her running mate: Cheri Honkala, who, Stein said, is "the nation's leading anti-poverty advocate." (Italics mine.) Yet, this awkward phrasing suggests Honkala does not, in fact, hold this position--that it is merely Stein's opinion that she is an anti-poverty advocate. This is a subtle way of de-legitimizing Honkala's activist work. It's also just shoddy journalism.

Negrin then has to get on his high horse with his outrageous claim that third-parties "are a fun footnote in U.S. presidential elections..." And, of course, he is obligated to rehash the tired, baseless claim that Ralph Nader "spoiled" the 2000 presidential election.

Hey, here's a "fun footnote" Negrin is clearly unfamiliar with: The Republican Party began as a (wait for it...!) third-party. And how about all those antiquated concepts like workers' rights, a five-day, eight-hour work week, workers' compensation and time-and-a-half pay on holidays? The fight for all those things came, not from either of the major parties, but from members of the Socialist Party. That's right--a third-party.

Finally, Negrin once again labels Stein a "radical" for running on a platform that includes creating 25 million jobs, legalizing marijuana, curbing military-spending and instituting universal college education. These may be "radical" policies for corporate news outlets like Disney-owned ABC, but for the majority of Americans they are just common sense.

I am really uncertain what Negrin's aim is with these articles. The Daily Show already has a corner on making fun of progressive politicians. Maybe he should go write for them.

For more on the role of third-parties in American history, check out this clip from the "Bonus Features" of the Ralph Nader documentary, An Unreasonable Man.


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