Rep. Dennis Kucinich won't be taking part in MSNBC's debate in Las Vegas on Tuesday. It certainly won't be the first time that Kucinich was excluded from a recent Democratic debate. But the difference is Kucinich was initially invited, and had met the criteria, for the MSNBC debate. Then, MSNBC changed the criteria and told Kucinich he was uninvited.
Alternet published a Kucinich press release, which said that 44 hours after Kucinich got a congratulatory letter and invite from NBC to the Nevada debate, they notified him of their changed criteria, and his exclusion.
In the press release, the Kucinich campaign took a shot at the media as a whole: "When 'big media' exert their unbridled control over what Americans can see, hear, and read, then the Constitutional power and right of the citizens to vote is being vetoed by multi-billion corporations that want the votes to go their way."
According to the Los Angeles Times, the original criteria for the debate called for the inclusion of the top four democratic candidates in national polling. With Bill Richardson dropping out of the race last week, that moved Kucinich to fourth place in polls. NBC decided to change the criteria, featuring the top three Dem. candidates: Sen. Hillary Clinton, John Edwards and Sen. Barack Obama.