Here is the item on the Agenda at the BCC meeting:

26. Scheduling of Adult and Sexually Explicit Programming on Public Access Television
From:  Councilmembers Armstrong, Hawley and Olds
Recommendation:  Direct the City Attorney to develop an ordinance that regulates the hours during which Berkeley’s local public access television station may schedule programming self-described as “for adult viewing” and/or “sexually explicit.”
Contact:  Polly Armstrong, District 8, 981-7180, Mim Hawley, District 5, 981-7150, Betty Olds, District 6, 981-7160

Frank's speech for Berkeley City Council meeting.

Hi, I am Frank Moore. I'm a producer on BTV. I do my own show, UNLIMITED POSSIBILITIES, as well as "sponsor" a show by Mbanna Kantako (well-known as the father of the microradio movement) and the popular show by the sex therapist/educator/personality Dr. Susan Block. All three shows are politically/socially radical, aiming to change society.

Yesterday THE BERKELEY DAILY PLANET called me to get my reaction to the city council’s considering rules for b-tv’s so-called adult programs. It was news to me! And then the questions started coming into my head. Why is the city council making rules for b-tv, a public access station which is charged with promoting free speech? Isn’t that the duty of bcm’s board and staff?
We have had a few months of very public debate after the bcm board made what it now admits was a mistake by trying to move some programs which a few people complained about to the time ghetto of 2am-6am from 10pm-6am in lieu of censorship. The courts have made it very clear that censorship is illegal on public access stations. The board corrected itself at the following meeting, which was packed with people who believe in free speech.

But now we are considering the same mistake again. Why? Why does Berkeley need more limiting rules than the standard 10pm safe harbor rule? Why give up the channel of free speech and of free expression for all of the community just because some are offended by this or that show? Free speech is our right which is our duty to protect.

Now we btv producers ask to be shown after 10pm. We do so not necessarily because of the content, but because of the freedom it gives us. But if you limit shows by their possible content, that’s censorship. That’s illegal. But it is also unworkable. Who will define what is "sexually explicit," "objectionable," and other vague terms? Hey, Kriss Worthington will be on my show. Some people will think that is objectionable. But that is the price of free speech.
Please respect free speech!

Monday, May 13, 2002

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