'I've never seen anything like Trump & Sanders in US politics’ – RT's Larry King

U.S. Democratic presidential candidate and U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders arrives with his wife Jane (L) and son Levi (rear) at his Super Tuesday rally in Burlington, Vermont March 1, 2016. © Brian Snyder
An extraordinary event is happening in US politics in the run-up to the presidential election, Larry King, host of Politicking, told RT’s Ameera David and Ed Schultz. Sanders is an unbelievable story, and Trump an incredible one, he added.

RT: Last year the blog FiveThirtyEight found that 46 per cent of media coverage of GOP candidates had to do with Donald Trump. Other candidates who could have been serious contenders didn’t get as much attention. How much of the media do you think has contributed to the Trump phenomenon?

Larry King: Greatly. The media has contributed phenomenally by covering him, ad infinitum. He is a character, I know Donald very well, I have known him for years; he is a television personality, a mogul. And the media, once they saw you put the camera on Trump at that first Republican debate when he took on the lady reporter, and then he took on everybody on the panel, and he looked at [Jeb] Bush and said: “You have no energy.” They got great ratings. So they are following the ratings. As [Leslie] Moonves said yesterday talking to a business conference, “CBS is coining money. It may not be good for the country, but it is good for CBS.” So that is the way they look at it.

I’ve been around politics a long time. I remember the death of Franklin Roosevelt walking down the streets in Brooklyn – so sad; I gave out leaflets for Harry Truman in 1948, when he upset Dewey. I remember listening to the Republican Convention in 1952, when they went to an extra ballot because of [Dwight] Eisenhower and Robert Taft. And then I started covering conventions in 1960. I can tell you from my experience, I have never, ever seen a thing like this year. There is no way to comprehend it; this is an extraordinary event in American politics; it is unbelievable. Sanders is an unbelievable story, and Trump is an incredible story…

So what you’ve got to say, if you’re the head of the network, and over here Trump is speaking, and over there somebody else is speaking, you’re going go to Trump, because Trump tells you there are viewers. I don’t think it is the world’s best thing, but it is what it is.

Catch 22 – US media refuses to focus on third parties’ candidates messages

US media wouldn’t focus on your message until you’re able to demonstrate that you had the kind of support that merited their attention, said Rocky Anderson, former US presidential candidate.

RT: Could you tell us a bit more about your experience running as a third-party candidate?

Rocky Anderson: When we got media coverage, we got a lot of support, because we had a message very much like Bernie Sanders message. We talked about a political revolution; we talked about the corrupting influence of money in our system; we talked about breaking up the banks that are too large to fail, and holding those who created economic disaster - not only in our country, but around the world - accountable for their illegal conduct. None of that has been done. And people should not be forgetting this.

The problem was when I was running in 2012, the media, of course, wouldn’t focus on you – it is sort of a Catch 22 – they wouldn’t focus on your message until you’re able to demonstrate that you had the kind of support that merited their attention. And we see the same thing with the presidential debate now. Presidential Debate Commission, which was formed by the Republican and Democratic parties - they did it so that they can keep everybody else off the stage. Like last time around in 2012, the two parties’ candidates on so many issues, especially having to do with our economy and with our foreign relations, sounded pretty much like Tweedledee and Tweedledum. There wasn’t much difference that you could tell between them. And that is not a service to the American people and it certainly isn’t democratic.       

If Jesse Ventura jumps into the 2016 US presidential race, he changes the dynamics completely.

Former governor of Minnesota and professional wrestler Jesse Ventura said in an interview with RT America's Ed Schultz and Ameera David he is considering taking part in the US presidential campaign as he was successful in beating the two main parties before.

RT: Are you really thinking about jumping into this mess? 

Jesse Ventura: Well, I am considering. The Libertarian Party and I have conversed a couple of times, and they have their convention in the end of May. In the last election, of course, they nominated former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson, a terrific guy kicked out of the Republican Party pretty much. They are very interested in me being their nomination. And I am watching things unfold on the Democratic and the Republican side, and I am seeing this swelling of anger out there. And if in the end it ends up Hillary and not Trump or a regular candidate, or even with Trump. Jesse Ventura coming into the race changes the dynamics of it completely, I would think.

I have been pretty successful at beating the two parties before. I’ve done it twice. I am giving it consideration; it might be a fun time. I am a warrior, I am angry today though at Mr. [Marco] Rubio, because he said I was an “embarrassment,” and for somebody that wants to be commander in chief to call a Vietnam veteran an embarrassment – that disturbs me – a great deal.

RT: Rubio purports to be the best selection for commander in chief because of his ‘foreign policy experience,’ sitting in all these meetings on the Foreign Relations Committee. Being a successful governor in Minnesota, what’s your take on his comment that you were an “embarrassment?”

JV: I think he made a fatal mistake to the people of Minnesota because the people of Minnesota don’t view me as an embarrassment at all. I walk down the street, I get so many people telling me on a daily basis: “You’re the best governor we have ever had…” 

What does he [Rubio] even know about what I accomplished? I put in the light rail line. It would not have happened – mass transit – without me; I revamped the entire property tax system; I gave back rebates – three out of four years people got checks in the mail when they were overcharged because of the robust economy. How dare Rubio say I am an embarrassment? He ought to feel embarrassed, he’s in third place.

RT: Are people tired of the two-party system?

JV: I find it interesting, you hear the Republicans talking about a ‘third-party bid.’ Since when? These two parties have done everything in their power to destroy any third party bid. And I will say this: Trump paid attention back in the Reform Party days because the Republicans sent in Pat Buchanan to destroy the Reform Party, which he did. So Trump is doing to the Republicans the exact thing he saw the Republicans do to the Reform Party.

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.