After reading Mayor Dickert's commentary concerning CAR25, Racine's public access cable channel, I have decided to weigh in.
Starting with the commentary's title - CAR25 needs to spread positive news about Racine - Mayor Dickert repeatedly emphasizes the importance of relaying positive news concerning Racine. "I believe we have to provide a great message that demonstrates the positive things going on in Racine" and "I have also worked to steer CAR25 in the direction of positive messaging" and so on.
But all this positivity is being undermined as "some of the programming currently defeats the very purpose of a positive message for our city." And "Unfortunately, the very producers that are opposing change are the ones currently providing programs that speak negatively about Racine."
So no more negativity, right? Here is where the message gets a bit muddled. The mayor then assures the opponents of the proposed changes to CAR25 that "they will still have their access to production equipment and the free broadcast of their content."
Either the city will control content or producers will, but not both. The city will either proceed with an all-positive propaganda program or dissenters will continue to dissent, but not both.
I can't imagine that the Mayor would go to all this trouble just to continue allowing negative programming, so I must conclude that the CAR25 changes are designed to reign in the dissenters. The channel will be "public access" in name only while the mayor will control the information disseminated about Racine.
As a frequent dissenter about Racine politics and an infrequent dissenter on CAR25, I understand that dissenters can be a pain in the buttocks. But we serve a critical role in a free society. We keep or at least attempt to keep elected officials on their toes and honest. We inspire debate. We annoy. We rally. We complain. And sometimes, our insistence prevents elected officials from going too far.
And silencing opposing points of views is going too far.