Tuesday, April 10, 2012

LWV bans audio and video recording of 11th CD forum

The League of Women Voters has scheduled a forum with Democratic 11th Congressional District candidates Bill Vinsko and Gene Stilp this Thursday at Wyoming Seminary in Kingston. If past performance is any indicator the event will be sparsely attended so it was good to hear that Service Electric TV planned to tape the event and broadcast it on their public service channel.

The LWV says that will not be allowed and furthermore no person of any kind will be allowed to record anything in any way during the debate, neither audio or video. I guess that means the local TV stations won't be able to send a camera crew and print reporters can't use a recorder to ensure the accuracy in quoting the candidates.

I'm not sure how they plan to enforce this rule. If I show up will I be frisked at the door by a league member looking for a contraband recording device? Will they call the cops if I turn it on?

Bill Vinsko says he's OK with this.

Attached are the rules that we were provided to me by the LWV. I will follow their rules.
I am looking forward to the debate.

In a letter to the candidates dated April 2nd rule 12 states "No taping or other recording will be permitted at the forum."

On the other hand Gene Stilp is squealing like a pig (sorry, I couldn't resist) over this decision.

In a letter to the LWV he said:

It is time to again correct the League and state that the debate must be fully open to the press. Bring back Service Electric so that the debate can be rebroadcast for all those who are interested but cannot attend. Let the Channel 28,16, 22 and whoever record video and audio. Let the radio stations record the debate. Let the social media record and put it on Facebook and Twitter. Let the written press utilize whatever devices they need (they do audio and video also for their websites) and put it in the morning papers.
While I appreciate your efforts to conduct a debate you must remember that this is America. This is Pennsylvania. This is the Wyoming Valley. We still have the First Amendment here and the League should be fighting to enhance the First Amendment not to censor it.

1 comment:

Jennifer said...

Apparently, the LWV has now clarified that the recording ban applies to campaign staffers, not to the media.