“It is the absolute right of the State to supervise the formation of public opinion.”
– Joseph Goebbels
Scranton City Council, The Plot Thickens
by: Joe Leonardi
This is going to be short and sweet. I was going to wait before posting, but after listening to WILK all morning I felt the need to comment.
It has been reported that Mayor Doherty wants to take control of public access television. Well, right now, he wants to have other organizations bid on it. But since he has approval authority — one has to wonder.
This reminds me very much of when I was living in York, PA. I was a member of York Community Access Television (YCAT). I hosted a television show on YCAT and I was the moderator for some political debates that aired on the station. There were constant battles over control of YCAT. I always found it quite interesting, because though I knew some folks watched — I just didn’t think the influence was that great. After I left; YCAT became White Rose Community Television, which is now controlled by the York City Government. The York City council president used to be on YCAT’s board. He recently ran for Congress with success equal to mine. Recently there were some personal negatives being said about him at a televised Council meeting. He ordered the meeting adjourned and thus the cameras were turned off. They still cover the meetings, though I don’t know the extent of what is going on. The impression I get, from the occasional newspaper reports I read on line, is it seems to be getting messy.
We must question what exactly is going on. The fact that York City took over an independent community television station, in my opinion, is a horrible conflict of interest. Is Scranton going to attempt the same travesty? Are politicians seeking higher office attempting, via co-opting public access television, to control the media to control the message and supervise the formation of public opinion? I’m not making allegations, but the parallels are interesting. Questions need to be more than just asked, they require answers.
I’m happy Steve Corbett is back in the area, living in Scranton and showing an interest in his community. It appears a little time in laid back, sunny California has done nothing to lessen Mr. Corbett’s tenacity. Scranton City Government picked the wrong time to do this, the watchdog is in the house!