Here is an introductory note about the attachments to the notice of the ACAP meeting of August, 2008, but also with some recollections which have come into my consciousness recently and may be relevant. I still believe ACAP might well be destined to become one of the most important and influential organizations in the time ahead. This grows out of not only the unique qualities and circumstances of broader communications developments – and how it has been politically supported - but mostly because of the unique way the Access Cable Television Phenomena has – and continues to be - financed.
I may be wrong - or off base - but I think it might well be relevant to an analysis - particularly the one page summary - could be an important gateway toward getting a head of steam up about Binary Economics - particularly as an extension of the UNIQUE Public Access financing as a Template to extend: "the UNIQUE underlying logic & the accepted precedent of Public Access Cable Television to the rest of the National & World Economy to the much more inclusive “Means of Production” which have been Historically - & Remain – Plutocratic & all but totally exempt from the salubrious example of the pace setting Public Access Cable Television movement" - near the end of the one page summary. It seems obvious the major problem confronting mankind is the need of a new Paradigm which can Liberate and that the major sticking point is a lack of a “Comprehensively Conceived” & adequately articulated challenge to the outdated Paradigm at the level of Economic Theory.
I would appreciate if you could give it, and the other attachments which go into some depth as to the logic and means to real liberating change, your serious attention.
But I have added to my thinking and remembrances from my past experience other items it might useful to introduce and share. One idea is that the movers and shakers in the Cable Television Industry might be able to better see and realize the Public Relations values of their support of "The Public" in a way similar to the general pride and Public Relation value realized by the Industry's support of C-SPAN. They all (both the visionaries good guys - of which their are many - AND even many of the "Bean Counters" who have apparently successfully taken the battle to the State level in 14 States to avoid the obligation to support The Public in the acronym (P)EG obligations which had been accepted by the Cable Industry) recognize the existence of C-SPAN as the "Jewel in their Crown".
I know from personal contact that Brian Lamb (Founder and still current leader of C-SPAN) – I did a program with him in May of 1977 when I was thinking of an "Intellectual Leadership Channel" to fill the emerging communications Satellite connected cable systems across the country. We were warming our hands over coffee after videotaping a program & talking and he recognizing me from the Public Access Realm by making clear he was ALL FOR Public Access. But he also took out an envelope and a pencil and said he wanted to start a National Cable Program Service to initially bring into the living rooms of America the proceedings of the U.S. House of Representative and asked me what I thought. He put down a big "C" saying it would be (C)able and then Excitedly saying it would be connected and delivered by (S)satellite and would be concerned with (P)public (A)fairs and would obviously be a (N)network - thus C-SPAN!
Brian pulled it off in spades and there is hardly a person - even the most extremely materialistic - in the World of Big Cable - that does not sing the praises of their "Jewel in their Crown" - C-SPAN! And Brian (with whom I have lost close friendly effective connection in the intervening years) - was truly in support of Public Access. So I know was (and still is) Ted Turner (with whom I taped and aired on the public access channels in New York a one hour program in January of 1979) and to a somewhat lesser degree Robert Wussler the Co-Founder of CNN (in 1980) were "FOR" Public Access.
From my many visits to meeting of the National Cable Television Association in the 1970s and 80s - its the main Cable Industry organization which sponsors lobbying and all sorts of regional and National Conferences etc. for the people in the Cable Industry - that many - a majority - were in support of Public Access. I videotaped and aired in New York many programs with many of them. The “Conversations” list of Industry leaders is long.
Also I have more recently drawn inspiration by attending the meeting of the Alliance for Community Media a few weeks ago which had mostly all (Board of Directors or Senior Administration and Staff) representatives of the 3,000 odd Public Access facilities across the country and they have gathered considerable "power" as a movement - but maybe the best conversation I had was with a man who was on the a panel which AMY GOODMAN - the Keynote speaker at the plenary session had invited three to participate in the "address" (I can't find his card and forget his name - but the conversation (30 minutes or so in the chandelier encrusted deluxe lobby of the Omni Shoreham Hotel (where all the Presidential Inaugural Balls are traditionally held) and he was from the Wider World of Washington Politics Etc. He had worked in the Office of and was still in good contact with RICHARD WILEY www.wileyrein.com/richard_wiley (who was Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission and with whom I had taped and aired two programs on Public Access in New York - one in March of 1976 and another in Jan. of 1979) and he was always welcoming of me to Washington - always took my calls etc.. He is apparently still very active at the head of the most influential communications Law firm in Washington.
I hope I may find some of those old programs and have them available to me now that I have successfully won an auction on E-Bay for a 3/4 inch player that should arrive any day now. I was happy to discover Richard Wiley is still in Washington and one of the major players concerning Communications policy decision making and he was always very favorably disposed toward Public Access.
Another great supporter of Public Access at the FCC was Commissioner NICOLAS JOHNSON - a very good friend of public access. I taped & aired a 60 Min. Program with him in August of 1975.
One other of Note within the Industry was ROBERT ROSENCRANS Columbia College Today (I taped program with him Dec. 1977 - he was all in favor of Public Access!) - he also brought the initial start Up Capital to C-SPAN and also to ROBERT JOHNSON (The Founding Chairman of Black Entertainment Network - who after a long build out sold the Network to become the first ever Black Billionaire in America. I produced a program with him within weeks of his starting BET and paired it with Robert Wussler - the Co-Founder of CNN which I uploaded to You Tube a couple of weeks ago. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QMytokCi5X4
There were many, many others we talked to and aired programs with and they all were favorably inclined toward Public Access. They may have been saying that to Co-opt me - but I think it was genuine.
I am thinking I should try and recover many of those programs – many of which I have lost track of – but there may well be copies around – re-air them and maybe reconnect with some of the relevant guests in the interest Public Access and ACAP.
Here is a link to the History of C-SPAN which could perhaps be utilized to encourage a "Win - Win" - (opening on a Non Violent - in the words of Marshall Rosenberg?) - to help gain support for Public Access & ACAP? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/C-SPAN
In case you are interested in the Philosophy and thinking which informs all we are doing you might look at a link to my activity which I was a professor of Geography at the New Paltz (pronounced and also alternatively spelled PULSE) Campus of the New York State University.
The link to 1970: Synergetic Educational Manifesto 1970 (And Beyond)