No Censorship
May 17, 2002

I attended the Berkeley City Council meeting on Tuesday, May 14 because I was concerned about the fate of our Public Access Channel because of the rumblings of censorship. I left horrified at the state of our City Government.

There was no discussion at all before the vote on the subject of the fate of our Public Access Channel. And although there was one speaker during the Public Comment section of the evening who spoke against the proposed Resolution, it really didn't look like the Mayor and Council Members were engaged or really taking in the input from that speaker or for that matter, any of the speakers on any of the topics of the night. Well, with the exception of when EBMUD made their presentation. To my dismay, that was the only time that the members seemed genuinely interested and engaged and asked questions.
What about the concept of Public Servants?

What about trying to get some input from the producers of shows at B-TV? What about some discussion about the first amendment implications of this resolution? "I don't see it as censorship, but as rescheduling." And no discussion about a statement like that?!

I attended a BCM board meeting earlier this year after that board had voted to move "sexually explicit" programming to the 2am-6am time slot. The room was full of Berkeley residents outraged by that move. There was only one person in that room who supported that move. Did you know that? Does that reflect the percentage of people in Berkeley who support changing the safe harbor from the standard 10pm-6am time slot to anything later?

And how do we define "sexually explicit"? There was no discussion of that at all! I am sure if you asked 10 people, you'd get 10 different answers. Don't you think that is something that needs to be considered?

And, by the way, for the record, I am strongly opposed to the city government getting involved in any way with our Public Access Channel, other than funding it. I would like BCM, the non-profit created to oversee B-TV, to remain independent of the city government.

Thanks to Kriss Worthington who voted against the resolution.

A concerned, long time Berkeley resident,
Linda Mac

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