Published on Save Access (

FL: Help Save Public Access TV

By saveaccess
Created 09/18/2007 - 2:44pm

Note: an email received at Florida is
reeling with cuts to PEG as a result of the recently passed
state video franchise. While community members will likely
strike back at their municipalities, we want to remind
everyone to reserve a good dose of anger for the phone
companies who were the cause of this situation in the
first place.

Help Save Public Access TV

What if the press did not tell us when our government leaders were
lying to us? How would we know who to vote for? What if we did not
know whether or not our elected leaders were trying to stamp out free
speech or were depriving us of a benefit that we obtained in exchange
for a property right that the government took from us and were lying
to us about their actions?

(Warning! Those of you who believe that politicians and the press
would not lie may want to stop here before your illusions are

Hopefully, we all understand that our Founders protected freedom of
the press so that the press would inform us of the actions of our
leaders so that we could make informed choices when we cast our votes.
This is why a free flow of information is critical to the
preservation of democracy.

But, what if the members of the press could not, or would not, inform
us about the actions of our government leaders? If so, could we
expect our leaders to act in the best interest of the public? Would
we continue to enjoy the benefits of democracy if most people were not
aware of the actions of our leaders, or even worse, if many people
were completely misinformed about their actions?

You may believe that a government will act in the public's best
interest without a free press which scrutinizes the actions of
government if you are ignorant of history and world affairs. However,
if you realize that most countries which suffer under the rule of
tyrants do not have a free press, then you probably understand the
connection and the need to support a free press which serves as a
government watchdog.

Of course, most people believe we have a free press which serves as a
government watchdog here in the USA. But, do we, or do we have a
press which has given up its most important role for some reason or
another? Do we have a press which lives up to its role or a
propaganda machine? Let's look at an example of coverage of the
elimination of public access TV by the press in the Tampa Bay Area.

I think that we all know what a budget cut means. It means that
revenue and expenditures will be reduced below the previous year's
levels. Right? Well, not anymore, at least not in Floriduh! What
if only a portion of revenue was required to be cut and overall
revenue and expenditures increased, would that still be a cut? Of
course, not. An increase is not a cut, and a cut is not an increase
unless you are in some Orwellian nightmare where 2 plus 2 is 5 and an
increase is a cut because the government says so.

Here in Floriduh, the elected commissioners in Hillsborough and
Pinellas counties are telling us that an increase in overall revenue
and expenditures is a cut, and they are using that "cut" to justify
eliminating funding for public access TV and educational TV. See the
links below which show that Pinellas County's revenue and expenditures
went from $1,557,508,990 in fiscal year 2005 to $1,762,692,350 in 2006
and $1,986,522,700 in 2007 and are projected to be $2,022,745,300 in
2008 and that Hillsborough County's revenue and expenditures went from
$1,717,750,904 in 2005 to $1,797,801,682 in 2006 and $1,994,683,301 in
2007 and are projected to be $2,067,609,332 in 2008.

Surely, if the commissioners are calling an increase in revenue and
expenditures a cut, the press would expose their improper use of the
word cut. You would think so. However, although it only took me
about an hour to do the research to find out the truth about the
budgets, apparently the corporate news media can't allocate the
resources to do this research. Instead, rather than informing the
public that there were no real budget cuts and that tax revenue and
expenditures have grown dramatically, the press has parroted the
government's false claims about budget cuts. Also, some "news"
stories have attempted to undermine support for public access TV by
claiming that its shows are obscene. See the links below for some of
the stories which have been written about this issue and think about

Why would the independent and once respected St. Petersburg Times go
along with this budget cut propaganda? Why would other members of the
"free" press not expose the truth about these false claims of cuts in
the budgets? Could it be that the commissioners and those who support
their elections want to silence the public by eliminating the public's
ability to get its views out to large audiences through public access
TV and educational TV? Could it be that the corporate "free" press
wants to eliminate competition especially since quite often that
competition exposes misleading stories or issues that the corporate
"free" press is ignoring?

Do you want to allow your government to silence the ability of members
of the community to speak to large audiences through public access TV
and educational TV? Can our democracy survive if we rely solely on
the corporate "free" press to inform us of budget "cuts" and other
important news?

Would you like to do something to help save public access TV and
educational TV in the Tampa Bay Area? If so, take a couple of minutes
right now and send the following message or your own to the
commissioners in Hillsborough County and Pinellas County.

I have seen your budget information. An increase in both revenue and
expenditures is NOT a budget cut!!! There is more than enough money
in the budget to continue funding public access TV and educational TV.
Stop the lies, quit trying to stifle the public's ability to speak,
and provide full funding to public access TV and educational TV. If
not, I will remember your actions on this important issue in the next

The email list for the Hillsborough County Commissioners follows:,,,,,,,

You can email the Pinellas County Commissioners at

Thank you for your interest and your help in preserving a free press
and the appropriate use of the word cut.


Mark A. Adams JD/MBA

P.S. Also, please forward this to your contacts. We need as many
people as possible to help in this fight to save public access TV and
educational TV.

For more information see the following links:

Mark Adams and John Russell Speak at Hillsborough County Commission
Meeting on Budget "Cuts"

Luke Lirot, Esquire on the importance of Public Access TV

Mark Adams at FCC Hearing in Tampa on the failure of the corporate media

Video Link to Mark Adams speaking at Voting System Reform Rally in
Tallahassee, Florida on March 21, 2007

Hillsborough County Commission Flip Flops on Vote to fund Public Access

Save Access' blog about Floriduh

Tampa Bay Community Network – Hillsborough County Public Access TV

Pinellas County Public Access TV

Link to speech titled "No Justice, No Peace" given by Mark A. Adams,
Esquire JD/MBA at the National Judicial Reform Conference at Rice
University in Houston, Texas on August 11, 2007. Careful, you will
learn things that they don't want you to know! Maybe that's why they
eliminated funding for public access TV and educational TV.
Higher Quality Video
Lower Quality Video

Links to budget information:

Pinellas County Budget for 2005 see page 10 for total revenue and expenditures

Pinellas County Budget for 2006 see page 12 for total revenue and expenditures

Pinellas County Budget for 2007 see pages 7 through 12 for total
revenue and expenditures

Pinellas County Budget for 2008 see pages 10 through 12 for total
revenue and expenditures

Hillsborough County Revenues 2006 through 2009 see pages 18 and 19

Links to Articles about budget cuts and public access:

St. Pete Times Article – County Begins to Cut 7 Percent from Budget

St. Pete Times Article – Hillsborough May Face Layoffs

St. Pete Times Opinion – Shoving Democracy Farther From View - A nice
commentary, but why does he not mention the truth about increases in
revenue and expenditures?

St. Pete Times Article – Sports Still Get the Funds

St. Pete Times Opinion on Commissioner Norman's Plan to Spend
$40,000,000 on Sports Complex

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