More muzzles

By BOSTON PHOENIX LETTERS  |  August 4, 2010

Mr. Faraone overlooked the real news about BNN. Under the leadership of former board president DeWayne Lehman and General Manager Curtis Henderson, BNN in recent years has done more to secure the future of public-access television to Boston than has been done in decades. For over 20 years, BNN shuffled from building to building, and public access was tethered to the commercial real-estate rental market. In 2005, BNN partnered with nonprofit developer Urban Edge to buy and redevelop the MBTA’s former Egleston Square substation, which had sat vacant for 20 years and was a community eyesore.

This bold move gave BNN a permanent home in a historically preserved Silver LEED–certified green building, with upgraded digital equipment and expanded youth programs, attracting over 20,000 visitors to Egleston Square since we moved there. The extent of the community’s participation was also overlooked, as our dedicated community producers create dozens of new programs every week for our community channels, truly reflecting the tremendous diversity of our city.

The challenges faced by small media nonprofits have always been great. While BNN has made significant progress, we continue to strive toward better serving as the voice of Boston’s neighborhoods and providing greater public access to television airways. We hope your readers will stay tuned, come visit us in Egleston Square, and be part of our ongoing evolution as a community organization serving and representing every community of the city. We also hope the Phoenix will join us and turn its attention to the stories of inspiration that happen every day at BNN, rather than the negative sensationalism of this article.

Glenn Williams
President, Board of Directors
Boston Neighborhood Network

Chris Faraone responds:
Though I was concerned at the beginning of your letter to read that my article allegedly “contains many inaccuracies,” I was relieved to discover that you did not identify a single factual error. Had there been a legitimate miscommunication, I would have especially regretted not being able to reach BNN board members and administrators in the several attempts I made to contact them.

I’m disappointed in your institution’s blanket dismissal of the concerns raised in my article. Since it was published, I’ve been contacted by nearly a dozen additional former BNN employees with similar stories. Are they also insignificant? Furthermore, I should note that my sources were not just “former employees,” as you wrote, but also frustrated workers in your building who fear for the future of the network.

Soccer column flops
I read with utter disgust the July 16 “Sports Blotter” column that suggested that Brazilians “embrace” men who beat women. How can you allow such an irresponsible statement?

I am a Brazilian man, and I can assure you that violence against women (even “raising a hand” to a woman, as your writer puts it) is a serious crime in Brazil. I can further assure you, having just come back from Brazil, that Brazilians want Bruno Souza and his cohorts in jail (and, as a matter of fact, they already are).

If your writer didn’t research the facts, please do not allow him to invent them and portray people from a certain country in his bigoted manner. That does not help to make his brainless column more interesting.

By the way, inform Matt Taibbi that the 2010 World Cup final did not end in penalty kicks. Spain beat Holland beautifully 1-0 and is now a true world champion, unlike the Red Sox, Celtics, or Patriots, who call themselves “world champions” without ever having played any other teams from other countries.

Robson Goulart

Matt Taibbi responds:
I apologize to all Brazilian people for my short-sighted and inappropriate comments.

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