ABC News/Facebook Presidential Debates Tonight

Tonight, live from New Hampshire, at 7 p.m. Pacific, are the live back-to-back Democrat and Republican ABC/Facebook Presidential Debates — though they are incomplete.

Candidates Dennis Kucinich (D), Mike Gravel (D), and Duncan Hunter (R) have been excluded from these debates, even though they are still running for president.

Ron Paul (R) has been excluded from the Fox News GOP Debate in New Hampshire scheduled for tomorrow night. In a turn of events, the New Hampshire Republican Party has now pulled out as co-sponsor.

Bear in mind that Fox News is excluding Paul from the debate, despite the absence of any objective criteria that would shut out Paul and still include some of the other people they’re inviting. For example, Paul got 10% of the vote in Iowa, while invited candidate Rudy Giuliani took only 4% and is at about the same place as Paul in New Hampshire polls.

See an interview with Dennis Kucinich and Ron Paul by Bill Moyers here.

TheZoo will be live blogging these beauty pageants debates this evening on this thread.

Helen says it all..

There was a great opinion piece by Helen Thomas called “Democrats Need To Take A Stand” in the Seattle PI. She is right on the money.

Here’s an excerpt:

That’s what the 2008 election is all about: answers.

All the candidates should be pinned down on how they feel about Bush’s concept of pre-emptive war; wiretapping without a warrant; waterboarding and other forms of torture; and the policy of “rendition” — sending prisoners to jails abroad where they are subject to abusive interrogation while being held in limbo.

The presidential hopefuls also should be quizzed on the lack of real oversight of CIA activities and immunity for the telecom companies that have cooperated with the administration’s wiretapping schemes.

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Dennis Kucinich and Ron Paul on Bill Moyers Journal

Last night on Bill Moyers Journal on PBS, Moyers interviewed Presidential Candidates Rep. Ron Paul (R) and Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D), along with campaign analyst Kathleen Hall Jamieson.

This weekend both Ron Paul and Dennis Kucinich are being excluded from their party’s presidential debates.

On TheZoo it is not our intention to endorse any one candidate, but it is clear that the mainstream media is going out of their way to ignore these two candidates who have had a big following in this country and a very strong showing in the straw polls across this nation. America deserves to hear from ALL the viable candidates.

So, here are their interviews with Bill Moyers.

First, Dennis Kucinich (or read transcript):

Second, Ron Paul (or read transcript):

You can go here to watch the interview (also VERY interesting) with campaign analyst Kathleen Hall Jamieson, or read the transcript.

Bill Moyers then asks “Do Debates Matter“:

It is a fair question to ask: Do the debates really matter? After years of declining viewership the debates are making a comeback. In 1960, over 66 million people watched the first televised debate out of a total population of 178 million. In 1980 more than 80 million watched the debate between Reagan and Carter. But then as the population swelled to more than 294 million, the numbers slipped, with only 46.6 million watching the first debate in 2000, and nearly ten million less watching the second and third debates. But in 2004 the numbers for the first debate between George Bush and John Kerry had a viewership of 62.4 million.

But now these traditional count methods can’t begin to give an accurate picture of the debates effect on the public. According to THE NEW YORK TIMES, “Experts say that most people watch debates at the same time as they watch other shows, pay the bills, surf the Internet and basically multi-task their way through the evening.” And, with the opportunity to re-watch the action online at any time — the debates have a whole new lifespan.

Read on…