TEMPER TANTRUMS IN TAMPA

Catalyst June Issue 2002

      Public access television has too often been a home for off-the-wall types to vent their anger and obscenities. In Tampa, Florida, it has gotten so bad that the Catholic League was summoned to act.
      There is an outfit there called Speak Up Tampa Bay that puts on a program called “The Happy Show.” In one of the shows a young man was shown dressed in a nun’s habit mouthing off about all kinds of things. In another show they featured a woman showering offering closeups of her genitals. The Catholic League protested the Speak Up Tampa Bay, a not-for-profit group, and its show.
      In a letter to the Hillsborough Board of County Commissioners, William Donohue asked whether Speak Up Tampa Bay had violated its contract with the Board of Commissioners. Donohue noted that a county staff attorney had rendered an opinion charging the group with a breach of contract.
      As a result of the Catholic League’s action, the Board voted 5-2 to force Speak Up Tampa Bay to provide documentation that it is not in violation of its contract. The group is now threatening a lawsuit if the county doesn’t withdraw its breach of contract claim. We will keep league members abreast of the outcome.

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Written by Bill