HELL NO, I WON’T SIGN! Moveon.org’s Lopsided Petition Campaign

Here’s the petition I’m called on to sign by moveon.org, an organization I previously supported until they came out with a members’ poll early this year in order to endorse a candidate. I voted for Hillary. They endorsed Obama. I wrote to them at that time, protesting their insistence on calling for an early endorsement.

“Debate moderators abuse the public trust every time they ask trivial questions about gaffes and ‘gotchas’ that only political insiders care about. Enough with the distractions—ABC and other networks must focus on issues that affect people’s daily lives.”

Instead of signing, I replied to moveon.org with the following note:

Absolutely not!!!!!! No I won’t sign. For the first time, Obama wasn’t given a pass. I watched the same thing you and the other pundits watched. Hillary had clear plans with specifics re: Iraq, Iran, crime, the economy, greening, etc. What were you, the biased media, and other messiah hopefuls watching? Poor Obama didn’t know what to do, because he can speak AT the public, and ATTACK Hillary, but can’t think extemporaneously or speak clearly to any plan, policy or issue. Unfortunately, as a lifelong Dem, previously loyal moveon.org member, I see that you’re so wrong and so blind about your early endorsement of Obama, that you can’t even see that he’s not qualified, not ready, nor vetted, nor competent to be President of the US.

ABC moderators asked relevant questions that went to character. Just because Obama finally got pegged on what Hillary’s been going through over the last year, eight years, and fifteen years. Gee, moveon.org didn’t mind when the &*?@ was slung at Hillary. You weren’t sick and tired of it then. You didn’t holler when Obama spewed back at Hillary last week for showing the contents of his mind in the form of gossip about others. That’s new politics? Moveon.org is new politics? I used to think so about the latter, but no longer, as your outrage is uneven and only applies to when “your” candidate is wounded based on his OWN POOR LIFE CHOICES. GIVE ME A BREAK!

Here’s their petition letter in full, complete with references! Okay, all fall in line. Hell, no, I won’t sign.

Dear MoveOn member,

If you missed the Democratic presidential debate on ABC last night, Editor & Publisher called it “perhaps the most embarrassing performance by the media in a major presidential debate in years.”

Moderators George Stephanopoulos and Charlie Gibson spent the first 50 minutes obsessed with distractions that only political insiders care about—verbal gaffes, polling numbers, the stale Rev. Wright story, and the old-news Bosnia story. And, channeling Karl Rove, they directed a video question to Barack Obama asking if he loves the American flag or not. Seriously.

Enough is enough. The public needs the media to stop hurting the national dialogue in this important election year. Can you sign the petition to ABC and other media outlets and pass it on to friends who are also fed up? Click here for our must-see video with excerpts from last night—and to sign the petition:

The petition says: “Debate moderators abuse the public trust every time they ask trivial questions about gaffes and ‘gotchas’ that only political insiders care about. Enough with the distractions—ABC and other networks must focus on issues that affect people’s daily lives.”

We’ll deliver petition signatures to ABC and the networks hosting future debates. And if we reach 100,000 signatures, we’ll reprint the petition in an ad campaign targeting the networks on this issue.

ABC’s natural inclination will be to ignore their critics, so we need to go above and beyond to show them that the public is truly outraged. So, please, think about some friends who may be fed up with 2008 media coverage and forward them this email. If thousands of us do that, it’ll make a huge difference.

The reaction to last night’s debate has been very consistent:

“A stinker, an absolute car crash—thanks to the host network ABC…[It] ran the gamut from banal to inane. At the end of the debate members of the crowd appeared to be booing moderator Charlie Gibson.”—The Guardian’s Richard Adams2

“Halfway through the debate, not a single question on any policy issue had been asked.”—OpenLeft.com’s Chris Bowers3

“For the first 52 minutes…Gibson and Stephanopoulos dwelled entirely on specious and gossipy trivia that already has been hashed and rehashed, in the hope of getting the candidates to claw at one another over disputes that are no longer news. Some were barely news to begin with.”—Washington Post TV critic Tom Shales.4

“We’ve revisited bitter. We’ve gone back to Bosnia. We’ve dragged Rev. Wright back up onto the podium. We’ve mis-spent this debate by allowing Charlie Gibson and George Stephanopoulos to ask questions that skirt what in my mind is what we need to know now.”—Philadelphia Inquirer’s Daniel Rubin5

Shame on ABC for letting voters down with last night’s abysmal debate. Bad debates aren’t just painful to watch—they actually hurt the country by distracting voters and politicians away from big issues of the day.

Please send a message to ABC and other media outlets that we need our national dialogue to focus on the real issues facing Americans. Click here to sign the petition:

Thanks for all you do.

–Adam G., Patrick, Anna, Peter, Justin, and the MoveOn.org Political Action Team
Thursday, April 17th, 2008


1. “Clinton-Obama Debate: ABC Decides Top Issues Facing Americans Are Gaffes, Flag Pins and ’60s Radicals,” Editor & Publisher, April 16, 2008

2. “Worst. Debate. Ever.” The Guardian blog, April 16, 2008

3. “Philadelphia Debate Thread,” Chris Bowers, OpenLeft.com, April 16, 2008

4. “In Pa. Debate, The Clear Loser Is ABC,” Washington Post, April 17, 2008

5. “The Debate Debacle,” The Philadelphia Inquirer blog, April 16, 2008

Not authorized by any candidate or candidate’s committee.


5 thoughts on “HELL NO, I WON’T SIGN! Moveon.org’s Lopsided Petition Campaign

  1. 1dumblonde: Thanks! I saw your post over on The Confluence re: us complaining to our Congresspeople about Obama’s obscene gestures to Hillary and demanding they withdraw their support. Fat chance, but Great idea! My Senators are, well, Schumer and Clinton, who both support her. I’ll see who else’ cage I can rattle. (So disturbing as BO repeatedly cuts her down for his own debate failure, after she said we’d all unite behind whichever candidate — meaning she’d support him if he’s the nominee–which seemed to escape him as he rabble-roused the crowd.)

    Oh, and let’s not forget how he stirred up the crowd with sarcasm by saying they’ve debated 21 times now. So? And why is the crowd agreeing with him that debates are a bad thing? I suppose that spending millions and millions of dollars, blanketing the airwaves with his sarcastic, messianic propaganda is a better way of informing the public about his policies and programs? The dude can’t think on his feet, nor debate coherently–this was clear from the beginning of the election cycle, but became glaringly obvious when there were only two of them left standing. No wonder, he’s complaining. Sorry, but I’m a bit overboard about his bad attitude and how he’s spinning it as the “new way.” It just makes me crazy that he keeps saying this kind of behavior isn’t politics as usual, and irritates me even more that his supporters are buying this. Perhaps he’s right. Because he’s smarter than Bush, and knows better, it’s even worse than politics as usual.

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