It didn't even take a week for the public's worst fears to be realized regarding the recent censorship of Davenport's "Public with Business" portion of council meetings. At last week's Community Development meeting, chaired by Alderman Bill Sherwood, the cameras were turned off during the "Public with Business" segment as promised, whereupon Alderman Sherwood proceeded to ignore citizen Niky Bowles during her allotted five-minute presentation by taking a call on his cell phone.

"Hello again everyone, and welcome to another edition of Blowhard Roundtable, the in-your-face cable news talkfest where the participants aren't afraid to make waves, take on the tough issues, and say inane things on national television.

I would like to set the record straight on the recent controversy surrounding the Davenport City Council's decision not to televise the "Public with Business" portion of our meetings. There was never any desire or attempt to "censor" the voice of the people.

The January 27, 2001, Des Moines Register article on both Davenport's and Cedar Rapids' decision to censor "Public with Business" is a great example of how the media can misguide the public. The reporter gave no context for any of the pertinent aspects of the story.

A list of candidates who are running in upcoming local elections. The Illinois Primary Election is February 27, with the General Election on April 3. The special elections in Iowa will be held March 6.
MOLINE
Mayor
Dave Duran (D)
Stan Leach (R)
Georgine Corby (I)

Alderman At-Large
Joseph A.

What's On

8:56 a.m. Network headquarters.
"Good morning, everyone. Turn off your cell phone and take a seat. Now, I won't beat around the bush. Our programming is getting creamed by everything, including village board meetings.

Last week marked the darkest day in Davenport in recent history, and by many accounts the beginning of the end for Davenport's current city council. To the horror of the public, our only champion, Mayor Phil Yerington, turned tail and joined five aldermen (Moritz-1st Ward, McGivern-6th Ward, Sherwood-At-Large, Englemann-8th Ward, and Brown-7th Ward) in censoring the "Public with Business" segment of city council meetings from being broadcast on our community cable channel.

"...you see, here in the 21st century, the television viewer has an incredible number of choices. There's cable TV, satellite TV, on-demand TV ? not to mention exciting new digital advancements like HDTV. But our market research found that despite all those wonderful possibilities, what consumers really want to see on TV is someone who's not lying."


"Gosh, where can they find that?"


"Exactly. And that's why we think we have a hit on our hands with TTTTTV."


"TTTTTV?"


"'Tell the Total Truth Television.' Brand-new technology, very cutting-edge. We feed the standard broadcast signal through a special filter which converts the spin, rhetoric, half-truths, and outright lies into the real deal. We're talking state-of-the-art infotainment here."


"Wow! Does it really work?"


"Judge for yourself. Here's a tape of those Senate Judiciary hearings. See if you can spot the difference."


"...now, Senator Ashcroft, I understand that you're a right-wing, Bible-thumping, Pentecostal zealot, correct?"


"That's right, Senator Kennedy. And I believe you're a left-wing, booze-guzzling, libertine, if I'm not mistaken."


"Exactly. Which is why I find it hard to believe that you don't drink, smoke, or gamble."


"Not only that, my religion prevents me from driving off a bridge with my girlfriend in the car."


"Oh yeah? You people are so far out you don't even dance, do you?"


"That's right, Ted. It's a lifestyle you might check into, unless you're going for the Most Bloated Senator award. Have you seen yourself in a mirror lately? You look like the body that washed up on the beach in Cast Away."


"At least I didn't accept a degree from some college that didn't even allow interracial dating. Or tell some southern magazine that all those slave-holding Confederates were 'patriots.' What's your favorite movie? Gone With The Wind?"


"Only the first half. And what's yours? Lost Weekend'?


"I'll ask the questions here, padre. So let's get this straight. You really expect us to believe that you'd enforce all the nation's laws, even though you don't agree with any of them?"


"That's right."


"C'mon, seriously?"


"So help me God."


"What is this, a trick? Do you have the real John Ashcroft tied up in back or something?"


"Nope. I'm just flexible."


"How did the Bush people wind up with you, anyway? I can't believe you were their first choice."


"Second. They couldn't spell 'Racicot.'"


"So you wouldn't try to overturn Roe v. Wade?"


"Nope."


"Promise?"


"Everyone knows I'm as honest as the day is long."


"Which day is that, the one up at the Arctic Circle?"


"Excuse me, Senator. I read somewhere that you actually favor carrying concealed weapons."


"That's right."


"Are you carrying one right now?"


"One more pushy question, pal, and you're going to find out."


"Wow! This TTTTTV is great! You have any more tapes?"


"Not yet, but we're working on it. We ran Clinton's last speech through the filter, but it came out blank."


"How about Bush's inauguration?"


"We're crossing our fingers."



Copyright 2000 Newrite, Inc. All rights reserved. GLW's on WGN Radio AM 720 and wgnradio.com.

I spoke too soon!!! In a recent editorial (Reader issue #304, January 3, 2001), I lauded Davenport's City Council for continuing the policy of airing council meetings on public television. However, during its annual goal-setting sessions, which took place last Sunday and Monday, January 14 and 15, this same council voted 8-2 in favor of censoring the last portion of their meetings, commonly referred to as "Public with Business (PWB)," by purposely withholding it from an ever-growing viewership.

First I would like to thank the River Cities' Reader for confirming what so many members of the minority community suspected for some time. Your article "Fashion Police on the Beat in QC Clubs," published in the January 3-9 edition (Issue 304), bears witness to the fact that the dress codes that are displayed in the windows and walls of these nightclubs eerily resemble signs posted 40 years ago: No Coloreds Allowed.

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