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An uncomfortable conversation with Andrew Yang

After my first interview with Andrew Yang, I found notes from April 2019 about how he and other candidates had been blocked from appearing on The Last Word, the MSNBC show I worked on for almost seven years. Andrew needed clarification about how the democratic process had been short circuited, so he asked me back to appear with him on Instagram Live today. It was not a comfortable conversation but it was an important one. I hope it's the first of other difficult discussions. We have to be fully transparent if we're going to make the needed changes to help fix this democracy.


I can't thank Andrew enough for providing the space to start this dialogue. I know he didn't realize how personal our conversation was going to get. It might be a challenge, but he gives me hope for the future.


Watch my interview with Andrew on YouTube. Here we discuss my concerns about television news and the possible fixes we may consider:


Watch the Instagram Live follow-up conversation here about how some candidates were blocked from air:



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jadenfoliver
Nov 26, 2020

Although I agree with Allen that the United States is formally a republic that does not disclude it from also being democratic. The electoral college does not decide who is going to become the next president on their own. This argument is not new and has been used as a reason to allow our democratic process of electing our representatives to be circumvented from time to time by those that wish to remain in power.

James Madison argued in the "Federalist No. 63" however that "The cool and deliberate sense of the community ought, in all government, and actually will, in all free governments, ultimately prevail over the views or its rulers". In a nutshell Madison believed that in an…

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thomas.allen
Nov 25, 2020

You use the terminology "fix our democracy." I pledge allegiance to a "republic." The constitution calls us a republic. Instead of "fixing our democracy," we need to "restore the republic."

Every state constitution guarantees a "republican" form of government. We treat the words "democracy" and "republic" as if they are interchangeable. They aren't. Just read the Federalist Papers and you will clearly see that our founders feared a democracy. In fact, the chaos we are seeing in our streets is a reflection of a democracy. They even chant, "this is what democracy looks like." Then we see firebombs, smashed windows, and closed businesses. Democracy is indeed chaos, and our media fan the flames by treating us as a democracy.

The…


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seerymail
Nov 24, 2020

Please see what I have written in the "Let's Chat!" feature, both yesterday and today. Thank you for your understanding.

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rljohnson1
Nov 24, 2020

Watched the Andrew Yang interview (not the long one). Few people on either side of the political spectrum would have the guts to do what you just did. I respect that. Hopefully other editor/journalists will have the principle to do this. I'm sure that was not an easy conversation for Andrew either. Anyway thank you for doing it.

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