Sunday, July 09, 2006

Censorship on Public Channels: Watch Video


Los Angeles, CA The Full Disclosure Network™ is featuring a one minute Video Alert entitled “CENSORSHIP ON PUBLIC CHANNELS” available FREE. In addition to being available 24/7, on demand, on the Internet the video is to be featured in all Full Disclosure™ programs statewide to create public awareness of the impending threat to the First Amendment, Free Speech and political discourse posed by the censorship of public cable channels.


Without any warning or notice the office of L. A City Councilman Bernard Parks, Chairman of the powerful council budget committee notified the management of city-run L. A. City View Channel 35 that his long time sponsorship of the Full Disclosure™ public affairs program was terminated. The letter of termination states “Its recent airing of several episodes contentious content has sparked numerous inquiries from public-access television producers citywide critiquing the integrity of the station and, in-turn the City” The letter did not describe what the offensive contents in the programs were.


The surprising termination letter is in conflict with Bernard Parks long association with the program. He is featured prominently on the Full Disclosure™ website making glowing remarks of praise and endorsement of the show in an eight minute video featuring many nationally prominent individuals, entitled “Mini-Documentary” that can be viewed here. Full Disclosure’s numerous attempts to reach Parks for an explanation were unsuccessful. However, Parks did send this curious email message.

Station Manager Tony Ighani informed Full Disclosure the City View Channel #35 has never received any complaints about the content of the program. And, according to Ighani, Bernard Parks office has yet to produce any documentation of complaints, leading to speculation that the termination may be politically motivated.


Without specifically documenting why he was terminating the Emmy Award winning cable and Internet TV show, Park’s June 14, 2006 letter instructed station management to “please remove our sponsorship of Leslie Dutton’s Full Disclosure™ Program on Channel 35 LACITY View, effective immediately." It also indicates that he will be hand picking a replacement to “fill the void”, saying “As we look forward to supporting other programming, we will ensure that prospective candidates seeking to air their shows operate in a professional manner that doesn’t jeopardize the stature and integrity of the station and the City.” “We should not be in a position whereby we are willingly or otherwise giving the impression of impropriety.”


“This is an alarming and shocking development that could open the door to widespread censorship and political control of the public cable channels” said Leslie Dutton, producer and host of the Full Disclosure™ program. “Our viewers should be aware that the public channels may be in jeopardy. If politicians can control the public cable channels and silence Full Disclosure™ for controversial content, then certainly freedom and democracy may be in danger too. Just prior to the June election the L. A. City View Channel refused to run our Sheriffs Candidate Forum. It appears there are certain topics someone does not want us to talk about. It may be that Bernard Parks or someone in his office is under pressure to stop us from informing the public.” Dutton said.


For fourteen years the Emmy Award winning Full Disclosure™ public affairs program has been produced as a non-commercial, independent television production, without government support. Until recently the programs have been free from censorship and featured on 43 cable systems on public channels operated by city governments and cable companies throughout California. Ironically Parks appeared in the Full Disclosure 2001-2002 Emmy Award winning series entitled L.A. War Against Terrorism that also featured Councilman Mark Ridley-Thomas, LAPD Captain Ken Hillman and L.A. County Sheriff Leroy Baca.


Full Disclosure™ was first sponsored on City View Channel #35 in 1992, under the auspices of the Los Angeles Police Department, then by the Elected Charter Reform Commission, City Councilman Dennis Zine and finally in 2003 as an elected official Bernard Parks requested a permanent weekly time-slot for the Full Disclosure public affairs programs. These programs have been featured on Saturdays from 12 to 1 p.m. and provided to the City at no cost, as a public service of the non-profit, educational organization Full Disclosure Network. Among the City officials featured on the programs over the past fourteen years are: All the LAPD Chiefs of Police, many City Council members, District Attorneys, LAUSD officials, Board Members and Investigators, City Controller, Police Commission Presidents, Executive Directors and Inspector Generals, just to name a few.

Full Disclosure Network™ is billed as "the news behind the news" and is seen on 43 cable cable television systems and video streamed on the Internet. Channels and airtimes are listed by community from the website.

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