Response to Catholic Channel Letter

Letter To Municipal Service Commission from Lawrence Tavernier

March 27, 2001

Wyandotte Municipal Service Commission
3005 Biddle Ave.
Wyandotte, MI 48192

Dear Wyandotte Municipal Service Commission,

I am writing you this letter in response to the communication from Mrs. Debbie Bloomfield. I listened to this letter at City Council and at your meeting March 20, 2001. I also have been at the meetings that Mrs. Bloomfield attended and many more.

I must let my feelings be known.

I agree with a statment made that thirteen percent responded however eighty-seven or even half of that did not. 'Does this mean that forty three percent are happy with the channels and do not want a change?'

I reflect back to the initial request from Mrs. Bloomfield to exchange CTN for EWTN and in hindsight that would have satisfied her and the army she now has acquired. As the battle drew on and weeks into a year the scope of Debbie's group has changed. It is to remove MTV, E!, and other channels that they find offensive, again this is about 400 people. Are we hearing censorship?

I also reflect back to the time when City Council, James Wagner was Mayor, that the concept of installing cable was researched. A panel was assembled and they recommended that it would be possible to have cable and recommented that it be sent to a vote of the citizens. This panel also recommended that a second group be put into place as a steering committee to insure that smut channels like Playboy, Hustler, and Penthouse were not allowed in the city. The council, in its wisdom placed these questions on a ballot and the response was to have cable, no steering committee, and no smut channels. The council then assigned the responsibility for installation, administration, and maintenance to Municipal Service Commission with council being the Franchiser getting five percent of revenues to go into the general fund.

It is my belief that the commission has done an excellent job performing it tasks regarding cable. I do not feel there needs to be any changes made except the franchising fee, or a percentage of, should be used for improvements to the cable system ageing equipment.

I also feel that Mrs. Bloomfield and her group are attempting to be a censorship committee to remove programs like MTV. The grounds that are used for MTV removal are:

1. Rated low on the survey

2. Has smut material in its programs

3. Gives kids ideas such as the high school incidents

The first point is correct they did score low however this could have been the effect of coaching by the commission, DMS staff. At a commission meeting Debbie asked 'How can I get EWTN on the cable?' The reply was to get her group all to vote for what they wanted. The commission did not extend the same assistance to others who want their channel to get high rating so it can be placed on the channel. Another point about this survey is that adults rated the channel alignments why doesn't the commisssion pole the Wyandotte High School and Middle School students and see what they would like to see?

The second point is that there is smut on the MTV channel. I, as a Roman Catholic, feel that many programs cross the line however I choose not to view them. I also feel that the commission should send a letter to MTV stating that they scored lowest on the survey and that it could be due to the contents of the programming. I also look at the Soap Operas, Jenny Jones, Jerry Springer, other talk shows, programs that transmit a life style against our beliefs. Why isn't Mrs. Bloomfield asking for their removal?

The third point was the linking of handguns in the schools and what has resulted because of them. I have not read or heard that the courts, prosecutors, or police have made a link to MTV's programs and the shootings. I believe that it leads to behavioral problems in the school and neighborhoods. I feel that Mrs. Bllomfield's comments concerning the high school incidents were tossed in to sweeten her position.

You the commission as cable administration and council as franchisers have to walk a fine line with the censorship issue. A small cable company said no, to contents. The producers sued and won their case. The producers of the program were the KKK. The cable company aired the tape. Be careful of MTV!

I believe it would be far simpler to replace to ask the catholic churches, in Wyandotte, which programs they prefer CTN or EWTN. based upon the results of polling the churches membership then aligns the channel.

I also believe that the argument of a greater catholic population should not deterine a second catholic channel. I believe that there should be equity; I mean where is the Lutheran, Methodist, Baptist, Jewish, and Agnostic channels. I believe cable would better serve the community by looking into placing these faiths on cable before placing a second catholic program on Channel 21.

As long as programs are being requested lets have the 'Do-It Yourself, DIY, Home Repair' channel added, I believe some home owners could benifit from this station.

Thank you for reading my letter,

(signed) Lawrence Tavernier

cc: Mayor and City Council Wyandotte Michigan

Posted by susana on 04/09/2001
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