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Public Access Elephants 

Letters published June 27, 2002

Eight years on the air must count for something:

We were very disturbed by Thomas Francis's article "Public Access Denied" [May 23]. He chose to write about public access without even consulting the elephant in the living room. Our nonprofit Liberation Brew Productions produces five hours of programming for Adelphia, and we've been doing it since 1994. We've been on for two hours a week in the suburbs since 1996.

During that time, Ralph Nader, Gloria Steinem, Jerry Brown, Randall Robinson, Pete Seeger, and scores of other political, labor, and social luminaries have appeared on our shows. We broadcast Colorado Silver Bullets (the first professional women's baseball team) games. We have covered most of the alternative labor and progressive political demonstrations that have taken place in Cleveland over the past eight years. We've aired some of the best alternative music. We broadcast the PETA commercial that MTV censored. We've shown the best experimental films. Our flagship show, Liberation Brew (8 p.m. Tuesdays on channels 26 or 54 in Cleveland; 11 p.m. Mondays on the suburban channels), is probably the most sophisticated political comedy on television. How could Mr. Francis write an article about public access cable and miss us? Our sponsors are all offended, including Shredco ("Keeping secrets secret for 30 years"), Homeland Security ("We'll keep you safe, but you'll be sorry"), and the Committee to Reelect Gore in 2004 ("He may not stand for anything, but at least he was elected").

Incidentally, we also have many problems with public access and would be happy to network with other producers to increase our local voice. It would help if the other alternative media in the city covered our activities.

Tom Smith, Judy Wildwater Beckman, River Smith, and Rick Smith
Cleveland

Cops aren't always the bad guys:

Once again, your liberal rag has seen fit to bash hardworking police officers and corporations ["Couch Patrol," May 16], making them look like bad guys rather than the deadbeats and scumbags you seem to love. Did you ask officers on the scene their side of the story? I doubt it. It just so happens they conducted an illegal entry into a home and are not mentioned in the lawsuit. How convenient.

Far be it from me to support Rent-A-Center. I think it's a disgusting concept to have someone else's used furniture; however, they provide an opportunity for people with bad or no credit to get something to sit on and have a TV to watch. What do they ask in return? Pay your rent. Wow, what a concept: Someone provides a thing or service, and you pay them for it.

Hey, Ms. Putre, the next time you get something stolen from you and the police catch the guy, maybe they will just ask him nicely to give it back. And when he doesn't, they'll say, "Sorry about your luck. Take him to small-claims court and have a nice day."

Brian McEntee
Cleveland

Let's turn the other cheek to strip clubs:

I am so sick and tired of Christians running our government. I'm especially sick of them treating grown men and women like little kids.

The "six feet" proposal discussed in "Attack of the Puritans" [May 29] is just another example of Christians sticking their nose where it doesn't belong. They act like these dancers are on shackles and forced to dance for men. These women chose to dance of their own free will. Some women actually love to entertain guys that way, and there's not a single thing wrong with that. Some women like it because it is fast money, and there's nothing wrong with fast money, either.

I am 32 years old. I'm a mature adult, capable of making my own decisions. And if I want to go to a strip joint, I will go to a damn strip joint. They need to stop telling me how I should live my life. I love the company of beautiful and sensual women. If they want to rub their boobs in my face, I have no problems with that. I am an average, ordinary, everyday Joe with basic human needs, one of which is desire.

These fundamentalists know that if you make laws ridiculous enough, the customers will not go back, causing financial suicide for the strip joints. Something needs to be done to protect the adult entertainment business. It breaks my heart when they are always portrayed as the villain. The Christians are the real villains, always acting like our baby-sitters when we don't need one. I don't want to be saved. I don't need to be saved. Stay out of my private life.

Bryan Griffin
Brooklyn

The Free Times is dead:

To whomever said I was "in over my head," I was the best editor that paper had in 10 years ["Meltdown at the Free Times," June 12]. Granted, it might not be a high bar to hurdle, but if anyone had a grasp of that job, it was me. I'll let the unprecedented 15 Press Club awards in 2000 -- including first place for editorial writing, investigative, local, and consumer reporting, etc. -- speak to that. As to the demise of the Free Times, as far as I'm concerned, it's already dead.

Lisa Chamberlain
Cleveland

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