Wednesday, March 25, 2009

In the End, the Feds Are the Rescue Team Against Third-world Suppression of Our Free Speech Public Education Broadcast

Public TV Gentlepeople:

I see you have cut out Citizen's Comment section again.

This makes three recent meetings in which I made a comment in the citizens' section that you have edited out of public broadcast; in the first instance of this practice, you deleted my comment section and resumed it with the next citizen. This practice of selective elimination threatens the First Amendment.

I pulled up the public-education site last night after attending the board meeting and saw that the citizens' comment section was on the tape. I was the only citizen to comment. Overnight citizens' comment section disappeared.

I suspect you have responded to the school board and Superintendent Elia's directions to cut my comment off the tape because they don't not want criticism of the administration and board, which is a citizen's right and duty. It's mine.

The board members took an oath of office to protect the Constitution, not to maul it. And Ms. Elia's orders to you gives the lie to the board's policy of honoring the United States Constitution.

I called after the first program which cut the citizens' comment section. The woman to whom I spoke assured me that it was still on the tape, that I probably had some technical problem. I now believe that she lied. I believe that the cutting was deliberate and remains deliberate and that the school board and superintendent instigate it and that you follow their orders and not the dictates of the First Amendment.

This cutting of citizens' comments violates citizens' First-Amendment rights and endangers any government funding you enjoy.

I ask that you restore the original three tapes with the citizens' comment sections intact.

Alternative to restoring citizens' comment to the three tapes you have abridged and a promising not to abridge citizens' comments in the future, please send me a copy of your sources of government funding so that I can file with the agencies for a compliance review of your station to ensure that you are not violating citizens' First-Amendment rights. I can also ask the help of the FCC and our elected officials to guard citizens' First-Amendment rights at Tampa's public-broadcast TV station.

Lee Drury De Cesare
15316 Gulf Boulevard 802
Madeira Beach, FL 33708

c: Governor Crist
Senator Mel Martinez
Senator Bill Nelson
Congressman Bill Young

Jeffery Tignor, FCC
All members Hillsborough County School Board

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