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How Local Cities Deal With Profane Gadflies?

By Terry Miller

More than a few eyebrows were raised about two controversial speakers at a recent Pasadena council meeting. Additionally, the First Amendment rights of those who spoke, regardless of the content or character of their diatribes was called into question.

Read More: Pasadena Prepares Potential Action Against Profane Public Commenters

Last week’s controversial public comment period in which certain individuals made crude and offensive remarks directed at council prompted Pasadena officials to bleep the offending words of two speakers when the video was posted to the website.

We contacted Pasadena’s public information officer, Lisa Derderian, for comment on this rather unusual event and subsequent editing of the video:

“The council meeting was broadcast live and as part of that broadcast there was/is no delay and no editing of content. As it relates to rebroadcast and video available on-line, the city did request of Pasadena Media that it bleep out certain words deemed to be offensive. No content was altered. There is no written city policy directly related to this issue. If anyone wishes to view an unedited version of the recording we can provide that.”

We contacted other local cities about their policy on editing posted videos of council meetings:

“I won’t comment on what another city is doing with their videos. I will let you know that we have never edited one of our videos for content. We have, on rare occasions, edited them when there were technical glitches in the live video stream (bad audio, chyrons missing, bad lighting, etc.) to make them easier to watch later,” shared Dominic Lazaretto, Arcadia city manager.

“Sierra Madre broadcasts City Council meetings live and has not altered or edited any rebroadcasts of the meeting,” said Gabriel L. Engeland, Sierra Madre city manager.

“Just as is the case in Sierra Madre and Arcadia, here in Monrovia, we broadcast City Council meetings live and unedited. Also, for all of our rebroadcasts, we rerun the meetings as is,” stated Oliver Chi, Monrovia city manager.

Just what Pasadena will do in future remains to be seen.

May 16, 2019

About Author

tmiller Terry Miller has been in the newspaper business for 35 plus years, following in the footsteps of his father who was a Foreign Correspondent for the London Daily Telegraph when the family emigrated to New York from London abroad the Queen Mary. When not shooting pictures or chasing a breaking news story, Miller spends entirely too much time and effort with Little British Sports Cars...more like an addiction, his wife of 20 years says.


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