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.