Friday, September 26, 2008

Freedom of speech: for whom?

UPDATE: 5:15 PM: Naturally the McCormic campaign jumped on this journalistic travesty:

For A Fair and Balanced Panel Discussion on ACTV

The Amherst Bulletin announced yesterday that the Amherst
Community Television station will be hosting a free campaign appearance for the well-heeled state senate incumbent at the expense of his opponent. State Senator Stanley Rosenberg has been invited to be a panelist on a program about Ballot Question 1, to be taped and aired in the run-up to the upcoming election, in which he is facing an opponent, Keith McCormic, who was not invited to appear on the panel. McCormic is considered to be an expert on Ballot Question 1, and will be speaking at a Ballot Question 1 event in Boston on October 4th at Faneuil Hall.

Also, all three panelists are known to oppose Ballot Question 1. For the cable access station to advertise this program as an opportunity for voters to learn about the issues involved is misleading at best, since only one side of the arguments will be presented.

The Bulletin article neglected to mention that the panel discussion is being orchestrated by the League of Women Voters, which, as an organization, is opposed to Ballot Question 1 on the statewide level.

There are two responsible things for ACTV to do: 1) Make the discussion fair and balanced, by inviting speakers (including McCormic) who are in favor of Ballot Question 1; or 2) Bill the event as a slanted panel that will give the arguments against Ballot Question 1. Because if the bias is allowed to go forward unchecked, the impartiality of the station could be called into question. After all, 95.4% of ACTV's revenues come from the Town of Amherst, and most of the rest come from the Massachusetts Cultural Council, which Rosenberg has actively increased funding of during his tenure on Beacon Hill.

Original Post 3:30 PM So the Amherst July 4’th Parade Committee endures years of bureaucratic bullying from the Amherst Select Board, Town Manager, the Amherst Democratic Town Committee and the League of Women Voters to allow any-and-all “opinion/protest” into the private celebratory parade, yet the People’s Republic of Amherst now excludes dissenting opinion/speech on Ballot Question One--the one that would significantly reduce the supply of pork to the public trough.

ACTV is the town of Amherst. They receive $250,000 annually from Comcast –a small slice of overall revenues from Amherst subscribers (5%)—and if they went dark tomorrow that money would be diverted to the town’s General Fund. So it is Amherst tax money.

President Reagan killed the FCC “fairness doctrine” in 1985. Ironically that damn Republican opened the door for folks like ACTV to get away this unfair and unbalanced coverage of a major political ballot question.

State Senator Stan Rosenberg is slated to speak at the Panel Discussion with two other opponents of the ballot question. Keith McCormic, his opponent in the state senate election, champions passage of Question 1.

Talk about a stark difference! Yet Mr. McCormick is being denied a seat at the table.

What are they afraid of?

Amherst Bulletin 9/26/08:

Amherst panel talk takes up Question 1

A panel discussion of ballot Question 1, concerning the repeal of the state income tax, will be taped in front of a live audience Oct. 1 at 7:30 p.m. at the ACTV studio at 246 College St. The panelists are State Sen. Stanley Rosenberg; Pam Schwartz, Western Massachusetts coordinator for the Coalition of Our Communities; and Tim Sheehan, Fort River Elementary School grade 4 teacher at and President of the Amherst-Pelham Teachers Association.

The program is free and open to the public. Parking is limited and the studio seats 50, so residents are advised to arrive early. For information call 253-0633.


Anonymous said...

If Mr. McCormick is not welcome on that panel. He should form his own and request equal time on ACTV. I'd bet a $100 he'd get it.

I can't wait to see how Ed tries to tie this to Umass. !@#$#$#$@#!

Alisa V. Brewer said...

Talk to the Amherst LWV -- as far as I know, it's not ACTV's program, it's the LWV Amherst program (and yes that should have been mentioned in the article in the Bulletin; the phone number is indeed for the Amherst LWV).

LarryK4 said...

So what the Hell difference does that make?

The LWV is supposed to be "non-partisan"...but apparently only when it comes to individual candidates.

On Ballot Questions they can engage in flat out propaganda.

State Senator Stan Rosenberg should really, really rethink this.

After all, he stands about as much chance of losing to McCormic as Dave Keenan stands of winning the Amherst Select Board race (that, of course,would be ZERO).

Anonymous said...

Ed will tie this to UMass in that there is no shortage of true fachists here in the valley.

Ed has a picture of parking outside an Amherst LWV event - apparently Amherst "No Parking" signs don't apply to Democrats....

Ed is convinced that there is no distinction between the Amherst LWV and the Amherst Dems. Sorry folk, objectivity means being objective.

Ed relates this to UMass (note correct spelling) because the concept of only tolerating your view did start at UM - although has now infected elsewhere.

Personally, I think that McCormick should sue the Amherst LWV for violations of the election laws...


Anonymous said...

One other thing:

Ed made an offer to ACTV to be a free cameraman for various conservative events -- and yes, Ed does have relevant training.

Ed isn't waiting for a response from ACTV. They apparently aren't interested in conservative programming....

Anonymous said...

Ed UMass Ed UMass Ed UMass Ed UMass
Ed UMass Ed UMass Ed UMass Ed UMass
Ed UMass Ed UMass Ed UMass Ed UMass
Ed UMass Ed UMass Ed UMass Ed UMass Ed UMass Ed UMass Ed UMass Ed UMass

Anonymous said...

OK, want a real issue that really happened this afternoon?

An Amherst unmarked vehicle (blue plate) is driving down the road in the rain with an AFD pumper essentially tailgating it, and even with well-adjusted air brakes and skilled operators, this isn't the best of situations even if not in the rain.

UM student driving a car sees the official-looking car behind her and stops for a crosswalk so she won't get a ticket. And yes, somehow, there wasn't a MVA....

My point: every police officer I know would say something along the lines of "if I have a 20 ton fire truck on my tail and you hear sirens, just safely get out of the way, we aren't going to ticket you for petty BS stuff....

And the advantage of something resembling community relations between the cops and the kids is that this message would be spread.
And thus, well, we could have had whoever was in that Chief's Car under the front end of an AFD pumper today....


Anonymous said...

This town sucks, and screw the LWV. They make no sense when it comes to fairness. They are the ruling factor for evilness, just like Weiss. Get rid of them all.

Anonymous said...

ED: OK, want a real issue that really happened this afternoon?

US: Does it involve Umass?

ED: Yes

US: Then no. We don't

Anonymous said...

Ed, your story makes no sense. If it was an unmarked blue plate car why assume chief? It could have been from any dept. not just PD. Heck, if it was behind her it might have been a jersey plate. And if there was a siren, why was she still going? She shouldn't have stopped for a crosswalk? Hitting pedestrians isn't really an option, if you ask any police officer I know. I just don't get the point of your latest story.

Anonymous said...

> If it was an unmarked blue plate
> car why assume chief?

Ummmm..... maybe it said something like that on the door?

Don't know, but that might tend to be suggestive....

And my point: as much as some would like to see a Berlin Wall between Amherst & UMass, it not only isn't going to happen but it would be more destructive to Amherst than many can imagine.

Anonymous said...

if it said it on the door then it wasn't UNMARKED, DUH! Why on earth would she think a fire dept. vehicle could give her a ticket for that?
still doesn't make your umass/town theory make sense.

'bach said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
'bach said...

hi larry, someone suggested i get going on my own blog.

please add it to your local link list, if you so choose.

PS can anyone show me how to post links? thanks


(deleted first post since link was absent)

LarryK4 said...

Hey Bach,

Welcome to the blogesphere. Added you to my “required reading” so don’t go getting all weird on me (well actually… it’s the Net--so maybe the weirder the better)

And please don’t pull an Amherst Town Manager kind of operation where you only post once every ten days or so.

To create e a hotlink: when you are in your posting template just below the “Title” box there area a bunch of icons for adding photos, video, spell check, making things Italic, etc. The one five over to the right is the “Link” button. So you simply highlight something in your post and then hit that button. A little box will drop down and ask you to enter the URL for what you are linking to. And as I’m sure you know it has to be exactly correct (I always put my glasses on for that part)

Anonymous said...

Wating for
waiting and praying

Anonymous said...

ACTV also is funded by the Commonwealth, the Mass Cultural Council....

Hatch Act, anyone?