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Sunday, September 28, 2008

Public Access TV Comes to an End

How do you shut down free speech and generate more City tax revenue at the same time? By passing a law signed by forced out politicians Fabian "Fellow Mirthala Banger" Nunez and Lloyd "Daddy couldn't buy me a Senate seat" Levine.

Among other things, AB2987 authored by Levine and Nunez will essentially allow cable operators to shut down public access television channels and instead pay a significant fee to the City.  Then, theoretically, it would be up to the City to allow time for public access programming on it's community affairs Channel 36, if it wanted.

On Wednesday, the Clowncil approved a mostly meangingless measure by Members Tony Cardenas and Jan Perry instructing the City's Information Technology Agency to review what impact this law will have and what options there are.  However, the City's resident expert on cable television, Councilman Bill Rosendahl, himself a former cable television executive and on-air personality, lamented the Nunez-Levine act will mean the death of public access. In the clip below, both Rosendahl and Council Member Dennis Zine make passioned pleas of support for public access followed by Tom LeBong who makes some sort of non-sequitir reference to the old 1950s cop drama, Highway Patrol starring Broderick Crawford.

We remember that City Councilman Bernard Parks ordered the public affairs program Full Disclosure from it's airwaves. Who at City Hall will decide which program air and which don't?

On the other hand, with YouTube, blogs and other forms of technology is public access even necessary? I am certain more people read this blog than watch most of the shows on Channel 25 here in the East Valley (truthfully most of them are awful). That's a question that should be considered over time however it's ultimately a decision that should be up to the cable operators as private businesses and not have to be shaken down by politicians who will only waste the money.

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Anonymous Anonymous said:

Are you saying that all free public access shows will be gone? Or just channel 35? Isn't 35 a city channel?

September 28, 2008 1:22 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Just dropping in to say HAPPY BIRTHDAY MAYOR SAM...

September 28, 2008 3:14 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Someone needs to knock out the lights (bulbs) of that little prick, Lloyd Levine!!!

And when in the hell is that shitty anchor baby, Nunez, going to be deported???

There's a revolution coming soon, very soon!!!!

September 28, 2008 3:33 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:


To Sign and Send a letter visit Full Disclosure link:


September 28, 2008 3:47 PM  

Blogger Zuma Dogg said:


As someone who has aired on public access for 8 years, and have used YouTube a lot...

no comparison...TV, even cheesy public access BLOWS YouTube away.

YouTube is too fragmented. With TV, even with 200 channels, it's still a very limited universe. And it's broadcast to hundreds of thousands of people at the same time.

City Council can do more than aks for a report as to what can be done. What kind of non-leader talk is that?

If they care so much about keeping a public access running, I am told they can use City TV as a channel carrier and automate the shows. (One big public access for the city.)

But why would they give their constituents a chance to speak up against them for what they are doing?

Why do you think the plug is being pulled?

Of course, they have a very good reason as to why this happened...

Oh yeah, let's wait for a report, then study the report, then report back on the report...and Villar will be governor by then.

September 28, 2008 4:44 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

In the days of Z Channel, public access was an important, democratic piece of the Free Speech puzzle. Thanks to fiber optics, in the next 10 years, we will have ten thousand channels from around the world available to us via satellite. I can't be too concerned about some "channel" that has been used for crap on the public dime...

September 28, 2008 5:05 PM  

Blogger Michael Higby said:

Though Zuma Dogg has a point I also believe there is a time and it's coming very soon that technology will not only make Public Access irrelevant but will do the same to traditional media, especially newspapers.

However, we need to also not forget the shake-down of the cable companies by local government to allow them the "privilege" of jettisoning public access.

September 28, 2008 6:17 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

From four years ago: "NEW YORK (CNN/Money) - Adelphia founder John Rigas was found guilty of conspiracy, securities fraud and bank fraud Thursday -- the most serious charges he faced over concealing $2.3 billion in loans and stealing more than $100 million from the now-bankrupt cable company."

How loudly shall we weep for these guys?

September 28, 2008 6:31 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

And the guy that stole the Dodgers uniform probably got more time than him!

September 28, 2008 7:20 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Bill Rosendahl's old cable show was NOT publc access. It was a regular program presented by the cable company.

This issue has been discussed for a long time.

There are a very few good shows on public access, but for the most part it's just pure silliness -- people dressing up their dogs, putting tin foil on their heads to keep the space aliens away, mystics, and people with a need for attention like Zuma Dog.

As one poster noted, the advances in techology, especially in fiber options is making it easier for the legitimate and valuable information to be made available so cable companies don't have to spend resources support freak shows.

And the Internet is much more valuable way to communicate now. Only people with cable service can view public access shows, which isn't nearly as large as the number of people who are connected to the Internet.

The world is changing.

September 29, 2008 2:31 PM  

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