Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Is your cable company censoring shows?

CNN's much ballyhooed project about racism in America aired last night, promising to expose how racism still lingers in this country, often in stealth mode. Among the pieces of the story was a visit to Vidor, Texas, a former "sundown" town (where blacks had to be out by dusk) and once home to a big KKK branch.

But at just the moment the Vidor segment was to be aired, TVs here in Southeast Texas went blank. The outage lasted about 5 minutes -- ironically the exact length of time of the segment that had everybody's attention here in Southeast Texas. Hmmm. Interesting timing.

"We had a power problem on Channel 8 and Channel 22," Time-Warner Cable's George Perrett told the Beaumont Enterprise. "An engineer at the head end went to replace the computer and when he replaced the computer, he reset 8 and 22 and inadvertently caused a power failure on CNN [Channel 32]. Once the computers reset, everything was back up to normal. Everything was out less than a minute."

Was it an unlucky convergence of glitches on two unrelated channels ... or a deliberate vandalism by someone inside Time-Warner (oddly, a sister company of CNN)?

The timing, the topic and the location make it unlikely it was an accident. More likely, a sniveling nerd-insurgent who decided Southeast Texans needn't see the Vidor segment -- somebody who knew exactly the right buttons to push at the right moment -- succeeded in his guerilla tactics.

If you want to see the whole CNN documentary, including the segment that was, in my mind, purposely censored by the cable TV company, click here.

And if you want to air your opinions to Time-Warner, call (409) 727-1515, or click here.


SingingSkies said...

Seemed like a well-planned 'coincidence' to me, too. The irony is that if they'd just let things play out as planned, there would probably have been little publicity generated. As it stands now, many of those who may not have even known about the CNN segment will probably check it out via internet or one of the CNN reshowings. It certainly piqued my interest when the news last night commented on it.

Or could it be that the 'glitcher' wanted more people to see it? hmmmmm...

Anonymous said...

emil anonymously said, Guess the ironic connection between this subject and subject of previous post hasn't been lost on anyone.

jillmalitz said...

Hummm... You sure you weren't watching an episode of "The Twilight Zone"? That is a little odd, to say the least.

Anonymous said...

Anyone that believes this is 'censorship' is flat out wrong. I worked at a t.v. network as a playback operator and their reason made total sense.

I too accidentally knocked a program off the air onetime because I was rewiring some VTR's (The old U-Matic 3/4inch decks!).

Playing t.v. shows at a network is bascially the same thing as playing a DVD at home. Plugs can get pulled by accident, it happens.

Then again...if people want to believe in a 'right-wing' conspiracy go ahead. But you're only making yourself look completely IGNORANT and STUPID of the facts.

jason said...

So what you're saying is that a totally random error happened at exactly the same 5-minute period that an unfriendly broadcast was being aired about a local town, and it happened on the only one of 70-plus channels that was airing it? You're right that doesn't sound like deliberate behavior at all!! And we're all just paranoid people for coming up with such a far-fetched notion. Shame on us.

But you educated me about one thing ... TV techno-duds are probably all idiots.