A properly pissed off birdie forwarded me NBC News’ restrictions on tonight’s presidential debates, which are many and lead off with this: “internet use is not permitted.”
I think that’s ridiculous and so I sought to find out why they would do this. I called Joe Alicastro, producer of the debate for MSNBC, who was on site. I asked him why they were restricting use of the material on the internet. He twice didn’t answer and said “that’s our policy.” I said I know that’s their policy. I asked why. He would not answer.
I asked whether he thought the Amerian people had a right to this debate since it is our election. He said that “the American people have ample opportunity to view the debate on MCNBC and two North Carolina stations.”
Shameful. What makes NBC think it has the right to own the democratic discussion in this country?
Alicastro specifically said that we could blog the event — thank you — but could not use video. Hmmm. What do you have to say about that, bloggers? Fellow journalists?
Then Alicastro got pissed off himself and said that I had “not made an appointment for an interview” and “grabbed his cell phone number” (given to me by his colleagues at the company) and then he ended with “byeee” and hung up.
I have put in a call with Steve Capus, head of NBC News, with whom I served on a panel at the Radio Televison News Directors Association last week — where he and we discussed the wonders of the internet and remixing and discussing. I’ll ask Capus the same question: Why?
And let’s repeat Larry Lessig’s call for the parties to insist that the debates be open for use on the internet — but us, the people.
Here, for your amazement, are the myriad restrictions MSNBC put on what they think is their — but is truly our — debate:
USAGE RULES FOR USE OF AUDIO OR VIDEO OF MSNBC MATERIAL RULES FOR “THE SOUTH CAROLINA DEMOCRATIC CANDIDATES DEBATE” FROM MSNBC:
(The following rules apply to all media organizations that are not part of NBC)
News organizations, including radio, network television, cable television and local television may use excerpts of “The South Carolina Democratic Candidates Debate” subject to the following restrictions (internet use is not permitted):
1. An unobstructed onscreen credit “MSNBC” must appear during each debate excerpt and remain on screen for the entire excerpt.
2. Each debate excerpt must be introduced with an audio credit to MSNBC.
3. No excerpt may air in any medium until the live debate concludes at 8:30 pm ET.
4. No more than a combined total of 2 minutes of excerpts may be chosen for use during the period from the end of the live debate (8:30 pm ET) until 1:00 am ET on Friday, April 27. After 1:00 am ET, Friday, April 27, a total of 10 minutes may be selected (including any excerpts aired before 1:00AM). The selected excerpts may air as often as desired but the total of excerpts chosen may not exceed the limits outlined.
5. No excerpts may be aired after 8:30 pm on Saturday, May 26th. Excerpts may not be archived. Any further use of excerpts is by express permission of MSNBC only.
6. All debate excerpts must be taped directly from MSNBC’s cablecast or obtained directly from MSNBC and may not be obtained from other sources, such as satellite or other forms of transmission. No portions of the live event not aired by MSNBC may be used.
A feed of MSNBC’s telecast of the debate will be provided (details below), additionally limited audio/video mults will be available on site in the media center.
(Crossposted from Prezvid)