To the editor:
Jordan Marsh’s “Straight-to-Video Film Festival” in the December 25 Reader was another example of humor at the expense of fact.
The “True Colors” item reminds readers of Roland Burris’s notorious “white boys” remark during the gubernatorial primary. The piece includes such glib toss-off lines as “the sound track is mysteriously silenced,” and invites readers to “draw their own conclusions.”
What conclusions are readers intended to draw?
It is erroneous to credit the tape of Burris’s speech as “produced by Chicago Access Network.” The tape was made by an independent community producer. Chicago Access Corporation does not censor or edit tapes producers have submitted, certainly not in order to avoid controversy. So long as submissions are noncommercial and do not violate obscenity, libel, or slander laws, producers’ First Amendment rights are strictly guarded. If a viewer objects to the way an issue is portrayed on the channels, they are welcome to produce a rebuttal. We’ll train them in using the equipment, and we’ll cablecast their program to the entire city.
When the Burris story first broke, most journalists covering the story called to get the facts about the tape’s origins and CAC policies. In “Straight-to-Video,” the Reader opted instead for an easy laugh. If you’re going to take a cheap shot at another media outlet, at least do your homework. CAN TV offers a unique service to Chicagoans, providing a vehicle for expression that’s not available anywhere else. Reader staff would do a better service to their readers if they understood and acknowledged the nature of the organizations they cover.
Ed M. Koziarski