[Marxism] Michael Parenti also supports Kerry

Suresh borhyaenid at yahoo.com
Sat Mar 20 20:06:35 MST 2004

I don't believe this has been mentioned here before,
but Michael Parenti has also come out in favor of the
"ABB" position, and in support of the Kerry candidacy.
Perhaps this is related to his sympathy with Popular
Front politics in the 30's. Really though, it's
consistent with his generally catholic and unsectarian
support of the left. Oddly enough, he seems to have
taken Edward's populist rhetoric and working-class
shtick seriously. Here's is what he said in reference
to this subject on Democracy Now some weeks back:

"AMY GOODMAN: Michael Parenti, what do you think has
to be done this year? What do you think needs to be
done to turn this country around, since clearly that's
what you would like to see? 

MICHAEL PARENTI: Massive demonstrations, agitations at
all levels on all of these basic issues, and more and
more pressuring of the mainstream media to expose the
kinds of nefarious things that are being perpetrated
by the white house, which not only are bad for the
country, but as one of your opening reports pointed
out, may even jeopardize the very survival of our
globe with global warming. I also believe electoral
strategy is not irrelevant. Elections do matter. It
does matter who gets elected, contrary to what some
people on the militant left will say. It does matter
who gets elected. And… 

AMY GOODMAN: You might have been described in that
place before, the militant left? 

MICHAEL PARENTI: Yeah. I think of myself as a militant
leftist, and I disagree with other people on the
militant left who say it doesn't matter who gets
elected. I mean, I have heard people in A.N.S.W.E.R.
say this. 

AMY GOODMAN: Do those who say that John Kerry voted to
authorize the invasion of Iraq, supported NAFTA,

MICHAEL PARENTI: He still does. 

AMY GOODMAN: …supported the USA Patriot Act. 

MICHAEL PARENTI: Ralph Nader said it correctly. He is
better than Bush, but there's a lot wanting. As a
candidate, I think he will be a very poor candidate. I
have never seen John Kerry give anything but an
engineered response. “Hello, New Hampshire.” The guy
is wooden. He's another Al Gore. 

AMY GOODMAN: John Edwards? 

MICHAEL PARENTI: John Edwards is vastly better. I have
been supporting Dennis Kucinich. If Dennis pulls out
of the race, I will definitely go with John Edwards,
yeah. I think he would actually make ultimately a
stronger candidate than John Kerry."


In searching for this I also came across an interview
with his son Christian Parenti. Apparently Jim Lehrer
from PBS's News Hour, probably the most serious news
program on American television, had lost it over
Parenti's critique of Bush's handling of the parceling
out of reconstruction contracts and the occupation of
Iraq in general. This, I believe, qualifies as a new
low for journalistic lack of independence in the
world's leading bourgeois democracy:

AMY GOODMAN: Welcome back to Democracy Now!, the war
and peace report. I’m Amy Goodman. In the last few
days, Christian Parenti, author of an upcoming book on
occupied Iraq was interviewed on The News Hour with
Jim Lehrer. I wanted to play an excerpt of what you
had to say. 

CHRISTIAN PARENTI (RECORDING): Why are Iraqis so angry
and willing to point the blame at the US after this
sort of bombing? A lot of it has to do with the
failure of meaningful reconstruction. There still
isn't adequate electricity in many towns like Ramadi.
When I was there there wasn't adequate water. Where is
all the money that’s going to Halliburton and Bechtel
to rebuild this country, where is it ending up? And I
think that is one of the most important, fundamental
causes of instability, the corruption around the
contracting with these Bush-connected firms in Iraq
and unless that is dealt with, there is going to be
much more instability for times to come in Iraq. 

AMY GOODMAN: That was Christian Parenti on the air.
What happened after that? 

CHRISTIAN PARENTI: Well, then I went home and went to
sleep and the next morning I got a call from the
producer, who is a very nice guy, Dan Segalan, and he
was upset that I had been unbalanced and I asked him
what was unbalanced and he said, “Well, it is not that
you said that was problematic, but we didn't have
someone to count you are your points about
Halliburton.” I said, “Wait a minute, you don't have
someone countering administration positions every time
they're on.” And he agreed that that was true. He said
but, you know, overall it all balances out. We get
different positions on and overall it all balances
out. Then I don't understand why my comments won't be
balanced out the next time you have someone from the
administration or somewhere else on. And so then he
hung up and he was -- I didn't understand what he was
getting at. And then he called back and said that Jim
Lehrer was so upset that Jim Lehrer was going to read
some sort of apology on the air. Which I thought was
ridiculous. But I was very flattered that he though it
was so important what I said. 

AMY GOODMAN: On March 4, Jim Lehrer returned to the
end of the show, at the end of the program, and read
the following statement – “For those whose were
watching two nights ago, a discussion about Iraq ended
up by -- ended up not being as balanced as is our
standard practice, while unintentional, it was indeed
our mistake and we regret it.” 

CHRISTIAN PARENTI: Surreal is all I can say. I mean, I
think what it shows is the idea logical rigidity of
that show and of most of the mainstream media in this
US, in this country, that they can take issue with
stating facts such as there is corruption in
Halliburton, which is a Bush-connected firm. The
Pentagon has begun criminal investigations against
this firm. Its subsidiaries are continually giving
back money for overcharging. There's nothing at all
controversial about that point."


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