BCM board meeting. Frank's speech

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. My show is an Anarchist/ Avant-Garde/ Experimental/ Art/ Beat/ Cartoons/ Community/ Counter-Culture/ Alternatives/ Culture/ Dada/ Surrealism/ Erotica/ Essays/ Ethics/ Feminism/ Films/ Gay/ Humanism/ Humor/ Interview/ Lesbianism/ Libertarian/ Literature / Magic/ Music / Performance / Philosophy/ Photography/ Poetry/ Political/ Psychology/ Satire/ Sex/ Spiritual variety show ... or a life on the edge show ... for short. I sponsor Suzy’s show because it is political, educational, and sexual, aiming to bring society into a more humane state of freedom. In both of our shows, eroticism is just one of the elements in the mix. During the many months that our shows have aired on BTV, I have heard there has been a lot of feedback, both positive and negative. This is healthy. This is what public access is all about . Public access is for giving all voices in the community equal access without censorship. This is especially true in Berkeley, the home of the free speech movement. Censorship is NOT a community value in Berkeley! Some people don’t understand this concept. When they see something that offends/challenges/angers them, they think they have the right to force the offending program out of sight. The courageous BTV staff…it does take courage to run a free speech channel of the community…knows that if unpopular views can be forced out of sight, the free exchange of ideas, cultures, etc. will not be possible. This is why censorship is illegal on community public access stations. But when did that ever stop censors?! I have never met a censor who thought/admitted what she was doing was censorship! When Sen. Jesse Helms targeted me and 6 other performance artists as doing "obscene," and "offensive" art [that is, radical art], he said he was protecting minorities from our art!

Last board meeting, you heard from people who do not understand what public access is all about. They wanted to remove Suzy’s show from BTV. They used their kids. If the kids really are the real concern, the parents should establish tv-watching rules for their kids, watch tv with their kids, block the shows that they don't want their kids watching, etc...we were told the v-chip would end such fights. I think the children are not their real concern, rather it is to force their morals on to the rest of us. Funny, both Suzy and I spend a lot of time on our shows talking about ethics, how we think people should live together.

To put it simply, you must provide equal access to all voices in the community, must not put restrictions on that access, not program by popularity or other judgments/pressures. This is the mandate of public access television. This takes courage and commitment.

Unfortunately this mandate was not served well by the resolution you passed last meeting. I’m hoping you have the courage and wisdom to take it back. Putting all "adult" programs that contain "the combination of nudity and sexual acts between two people" in a 2-4am time slot, when there are only a few people watching is censorship, pure and simple. This is time ghettoizing. This is keeping the programming from the people who are watching, who find the programs valuable. This is punishing these programs because some people find some of the contents
challenging! It is also reactionary. Berkeley is not reactionary. This is censorship…and censorship is illegal.

If this was really about kids, the solution is simple. Do what every other channel does. Show programs that are for grown-ups at 10 p.m. or later, within the so-called safe harbor of late-night and early-morning hours when children are assumed to be somewhere other than in front of a television. The 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. window for adult material was established in 1996. Have all programs airing after 10pm, regardless of their content, carry this warning: "THE FOLLOWING IS TVMA. IT MAY CONTAIN MATERIAL THAT MAY NOT BE SUITABLE FOR CHILDERN." This would provide parents information without censoring. The time ghettoizing scheme is not about kids. Kids can always turn on HBO or SHOWTIME if the parents aren’t involved. This scheme is about removing from sight shows that some adults do not like. That is censorship. Censorship is illegal. Censorship is unacceptable.

Thank you.

Back to Censorship Home

Back to FMUP home