Green Party member writes opinion piece about NY Times coverage

How many wrong things can you find in the NYT paragraph about US Green Party?

An opinion piece by Ian Wilder of

Ralph Nader, speaking at BYU's Alternate Comme...

When was the last time this man was a Green Party candidate?

The New York Times did a positive article about the German Green Party‘s growth titled Greens Gain in Germany, and the World Takes Notice. In the article, the Times takes a paragraph to explain why the US Green Party has not had similar success. The quality of the Times reporting on the US Green Party is only matched by the quality of their reporting on WMD in Iraq, in the run-up to the US invasion.

OK for those of you playing at home, let’s see how many things you can find wrong with the following paragraph?

The global surge has remained under the radar in the United States, for many reasons. In a system dominated by two parties, the Greens have no representatives in Congress or, for that matter, in a single state legislature. The party’s image and electoral success in the United States has been tightly bound to the ultimately doomed presidential bids of Ralph Nader rather than depending on the grass-roots methods used to build the Greens in Germany. The German Greens even have their own local chapter in Washington, and they have served as a model for their political cousins abroad.


  1. The Republicans and Democrats “dominate” the US political system because they agree upon rules to keep everyone else out. It’s not just the Green party that can’t break through. No one can. For instance, the rules in New York State to get on the ballot have been called “byzantine”.  The boards of election in NY are divided equally between the Democrats and Republicans. Same for the Federal Election Commission. Same for the Presidential commission on Debates. In NY, a new party may have to get 3 times the number of signatures of a Democratic or Republican candidate to get on the ballot. And then, the Democrat and Republican Parties get the top 2 spots on the ballot every time. Want to get to court to get a fair shake at running for office? Well the standard is not about giving the voters a choice. The standard the courts use is whether a fair law would put too many candidates on the ballot so as to create “voter confusion“. Somehow, the courts think that the same voters who can keep track of 50-something Miss America contestants can’t deal with more than 2 political candidates. Who puts the judges on the bench?
  2. The Green Party has had state legislators. John Eder was elected, and re-elected, to the Maine state legislature. So what happened? The Democrats sent Kucinich several times to Eder’s district to try to get the Greens to change enrollment. And of course, the Democrats and Republicans got together to change the district lines so that Eder’s residence was separated from his voting base.
  3. Ralph Nader has not run on the Green Party line for President since 2000! That’s 2 presidential elections ago, folks. Of course the Times would not know about the 2004 and 2008 Green Party Presidential candidates because the Times never covered them.
  4. The Green Party runs grassroots campaigns all the time. The Green Party of New York State (where the Times is located) holds the national record for running over 100 local candidates in a single year. New York State has had 4 Green party Mayors, and the Village of New Paltz has had a Green Party majority — who were responsible for sparking the same-sex marriage revolution in the US. But again, the Times would not know this because they never cover the Green Party. It’s the corporate media’s famous circular reasoning that if we don’t cover you, then you don’t exist. It’s like when the media demands that Green party candidates show up high enough in the polls to be included in the debates, but refuse to cover the Green Party campaigns equally with the other campaigns, so the Green Party candidate never shows up in the polls. This frame of mind totally ignores the duty of the press to create a marketplace of ideas rather than a market place for advertisement. And it ignores that they have a duty to equally cover every candidate that has met the legal requirement to be on the ballot.
  5. Maybe the German media needs to serve as a model for their cousins in the United States, since the Germans are more likely to cover all parties, unlike the corporate media in the United States.


Ian Wilder is Secretary of The Green Party of Suffolk, a county party in Long Island, New York. Wilder is also a former Co-Chair of The Green Party of New York State. He is co-founder and co-blogger at

This article has been re-posted by Ian Wilder’s wife and co-blogger, Kimberly Wilder, a contributor at IPR.

12 thoughts on “Green Party member writes opinion piece about NY Times coverage

  1. Tiki Barber

    Suck my dirty asspipe! Lick my hairy nutsack!

    Didn’t you people do enough damage by giving us Bush Cheney?! Just….die….already

  2. Dale Sheldon-Hess

    The article also made no mention of proportional representation, which is the ONLY reason the German Green party is in the position it is today.

    Half the seats in the Bundestag are elected by plurality, just like ours. The Green won just one of those 299 seats. The other 67 seats awarded to the Greens were from proportional seats.

    It’s not the press’ fault; we have a two-party POLITICAL system because we have a two-party VOTING system. Change the system.

  3. Dale Sheldon-Hess

    (Whoops; I was looking at the 2009 results when I gave the numbers for seats won, not the latest results. My point still stands though: The success of the German Green party stems from proportional representation.)

  4. paulie

    Half of Nader’s vote in Florida was Arab-American, which usually goes heavily Republican.

    Nader also got many people to come out and vote that would have stayed at home otherwise. Some of those did not end up voting for him, so if anything he helped Gore.

    Why did Gore lose Tennessee and Arkansas?

    Why did Gore not permit Congress to take up the election?

    Stop blaming the Greens for what they did not do.

  5. pete healey

    Nader got 275,000 votes in New York in 2000. After gaining ballot status two years earlier with Grandpa Al Lewis’ campaign for governor, the Greens in New York were a force to be reckoned with in New York. Of course, the debate between the “realos” and the “fundis” went on without cease and all that momentum was squandered in endless internal strife. I know, I was there.

    Dale Sheldon-Hess is correct, one of the main reasons why the German Greens, and other Greens around the world, are so far ahead of the U.S. is PR. No doubt about it, and still the U.S. Greens give it nothing but lip service.

  6. VAGreen

    Yep, that evil Ralph Nader! He’s singlehandedly responsible for Gore losing* and everything bad that Bush did! He made the Democrats enable Bush! He practically invented ego in politics!

    *Gore won Florida when it’s time to bash Bush, and Bush won Florida when it’s time to bash Nader. It’s kind of like Schrodinger’s Cat.

  7. Michael Cavlan RN


    Pete Healey. How the hell are ya?

    Now here is a good man, dedicated to the principles of peace, justice, real grassroots democracy and a willingness to take on the corporate duopoly.

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