Censorship battle on BTV
Below is an archive of the censorship battle on BTV
starting with the most recent stuff at the top.

WE WON! Once the ACLU got involved and
threatened to sue the City of Berkley, the proposal disappeared...
and the adult programming continues to play on B-TV uncensored after 10pm.


Photos from Dr. Suzy's visit for a press conference at the Daily Cal

City Council member Kris Worthington, Frank Moore and Dr. Susan Block 9.2.02

Frank's Final Speech to the City Council

Berkeley Free Speech Tango
by Dr. Susan Block, Los Angeles

Letter to the Editor of the Berkeley Daily Planet
Not on my show
by Frank Moore, Berkeley

Letter to the Editor of the Berkeley Daily Planet
Disabled are able to be erotic
by Teresa Cochran Berkeley

ACLU confronts Berkeley
Matthew Artz, Daily Planet Staff

Letter to the Editor of the Berkeley Daily Planet
Defining Indecent

City Council Meeting update
by Frank Moore

Letter to the Editor of the Berkeley Daily Planet
B-TV Proposal Is Limiting
Linda Mac

Letter to the Editor of the Berkeley Daily Planet
Family values best learned from family
Nancy Carleton

Letter to the Editor of the Berkeley Daily Planet
TV is not kid safe
Frank Moore

City may regulate public TV
Front Page, Berkeley Daily Planet
Friday, July 19, 2002
by Kurtis Alexander, Daily Planet Staff

From: Councilmember Dona Spring
Subject: PROPOSED Regulation of “indecent” material on cable access

Letter to the Editor of the Berkeley Daily Planet (unedited version)
by Frank Moore

Letter to the Editor of the Berkeley Daily Planet
Complaints against reverend
by Rev. Tom Sanders

City Council wants to censor local TV
by Teresa Cochran

Letter to the Editor of the Berkeley Daily Planet
B-TV's position clarified
by Brian D. Scott

Letter to the Editor of the Berkeley Daily Planet
Don't let City Council "censor" TV
by -Alexi Malenky, Corey Nicholl

No Censorship
Letter by Michael LaBash

No Censorship
Letter by Linda Mac

Berkeley Voice top story
Vote may force risque shows to wee hours

Berkeley Daily Planet
Council bans sexually-explicit shows before midnight
Read the proposed Ordinance here

Berkeley Daily Planet
City considers censoring TV Council to discuss restrictions on
sexually-explicit public programming

By Kurtis Alexander Daily Planet Staff (05-14-02)

A speech written by Frank Moore to be read at the Berkeley City Council meeting about the following proposal on the Agenda:

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

Visit with Dr Suzy before and after the debate.

BTV aired Part Two of "Viewer Discretion Advised"
... featuring Dr. Susan Block and Svetlana Couteur.

BTV aired the program "Viewer Discretion Advised"
.... Part One of a two-part series about the controversy.

Read the Berkeley Daily Planet article

The board at 2.12.02 meeting rescinded their decision to move adult shows to 2am-4am slot.The story also appeared again on NBC3's 11pm Nightly New that night.

BCM board meeting.
Here's Frank's speech
Here's Mikee's speech

San Jose Mercury News article

West County Times article

The story (and Frank and Linda) also appeared on NBC3's 11pm Nightly News on Monday, Feb 4.

January 17, 2002
The below letter was published in the Berkeley Daily Planet:

Dear members of BCM, BTV, members of the Berkeley City Council, The Press, and Berkeley citizens concerned about censorship, Censorship is NOT a community value in Berkeley!

Hi. I'm a producer on BTV, cable channel 25, which is (for those of you who don't know) our public access channel in Berkeley. I do my own show, UNLIMITED POSSIBILITIES, as well as "sponsor" a show by Mbanna Kantato (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.

A few weeks ago we heard that there would be an attempt to remove Block from BTV. This would be very hard to do because BTV is forbidden by law from censoring the programs. This fact is flashed on BTV every five minutes late at night. But when did that ever stop censors?! I never have met a censor who thought/admitted what she was doing was censorship!

So I wasn't surprised when my sources at BTV told me what happened at the board meeting a few days ago.just shocked and outraged! It seems that two producers who have shows on BTV came to the meeting to complain about the Dr. Susan Block show. They said their kids were watching BTV on New Year's Eve, and Dr. Suzy came on ... and they wanted it off the air! (Mmmm.does that mean if I don't like THEIR shows, I can march in and demand they be removed?) This is silly and extremely scary!

The Board reasonably said they can't do that. But then reason appears to have left The Board didn't send these misguided souls on their way with suggestions that they 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.

Instead The Board proposed a resolution to put all programs that contain the combination of nudity and sexual acts in a 2-4am time slot..when there are only a few people watching! Someone else proposed that it be midnight-2am, but that amendment failed, and the board voted in the 2-4am slot.

This is censorship, pure and simple. 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. It is standard in the mass media to start "adult programming" at 10pm. You can switch on brain-dead, emotionless erotic trash on HBO anytime after 10pm.but, if this foolish rule stands, we can't see deep, thoughtful films about human love, relationships, etc.in fact any r-rated films that contain the combination of nudity and sexual acts.whatever that means before 2am on BTV! This is just some of the absurd rule. Sex in leather would be acceptable. But two nude people lovingly touching, only after 2am on BTV! Scary!

I am told that no one on the staff at BTV even knew this was on the agenda. I am also told that the staff are all very unhappy about this, including >Brian Scott, BTV's executive director. A network of people/producers are going to The Board's next meeting to let The Board know what other people think, since they seem to only be hearing from people who are complaining about the "adult" shows, mostly Dr. Suzy's show. Scott is asking people to call him to tell him what they think about this censorship. Call him! Brian Scott is at 848-2288, extension #15. His email is bscott@betv.org. This censorship, if The Board doesn't return to reason, will develop into a red hot political potato! WE GOT KPFA BACK! WE AIN'T GIVING UP BTV!

I am told The Board ordered Scott to spend the week reviewing adult content tapes for the week of the 28th to decide which ones get moved/censored. WHAT A CREEPY TASK FOR ANY FREEDOM-LOVING PERSON TO BE ASKED TO DO! (The "adult classification was picked by the producers themselves when "adult " meant the shows would start at 10pm or after. Now it has been turned into a censoring tool!) I have talk to Scott. He said that after he reviewed the shows, in his view he found nothing that falls into the frame that The Board gave him. So all shows, including THE SUSAN BLOCK SHOW, will not be move/censored. But BTV needs our help to ENLIGHTEN The Board!

I should stop here. But I'm jealous of Susan Block! Why is her show getting all the attention? My show is as sexy as hers. True, the week The Board picked to judge the contents of the shows on (which is sort of like judging a 700-page book by one randomly selected page!), my show just features an award-winning, one-woman play about mental illness. But there is nudity in it...true, it isn't erotic. But I will try harder! Hey, last night Dr. Suzy didn't even have any nudity! But keep watching! And I'm sure THOSE people will!

Frank Moore



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Last modified May 29, 2023