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Some students aren't laughing at raunchy campus TV show

By The Associated Press
05.02.02

STORRS, Conn. — In the final full week of classes at the University of Connecticut, some students are embroiled in a test of principles — freedom of speech vs. tolerance.

At issue is a student-run television show that some female students say is degrading to women and contributes to a misogynistic atmosphere.

But one of the co-hosts of "I Did Your Mother," says the show is about humor and a move to censor the hour-long program is unconstitutional.

"I am more upset that these people have nothing better to do than infringe on my freedom of speech," said co-host Joseph Kingsley. "We're doing nothing on the air that hasn't been on Howard Stern or a thousand other shows. It's getting way too much criticism if you ask me."

The show is broadcast on UCTV, a student-run channel on UConn's cable system. It features Kingsley and fellow co-host Peter Pietro, a junior, who banter with callers and cast members and put on skits — many of them sexually graphic.

A recent broadcast included simulated sex between a man and woman and discussions of sexual positions and techniques.

The callers included both men and women.

A rally to protest the show was planned for today. The show, say the critics, creates a hostile climate and they want it taken off the air.

"It's terrible. It's offensive to everyone who goes here," said senior Cheryl Eureka, one of several women who say they plan to bring a sexual harassment complaint against the show to the dean of students.

University officials say they don't police what gets broadcast on UCTV because it is independently run by a student board, much like the campus newspaper and radio station. It is funded by student fees.

"The only guidelines would be federal guidelines," said Eddie Daniels, director of campus activities. "We don't have anybody that reviews something before it goes on the air. The first level of accountability is with the students."

Daniels said he's seen bits of the show and was personally offended by some of its content. "But what's offensive to me is entertainment to the next person," he said.

The show's final broadcast of the school year is scheduled for next week. Daniels said that before next fall university officials plan to meet with the UCTV board to discuss the impact of certain programming.

"The purpose is to talk to students about community," Daniels said. "One of the things we're trying to build and enhance is a sense of community and see if we can create some ways of having a positive impact and not offending segments of our community."

Kingsley, a senior communications major, said attacks on his show are unfair to the station. He said the station gives all students a chance to produce on their own show and learn the craft in the process.

"That's the only reason I get upset. UCTV offers a lot of that for all students," he said. Kingsley, who came up with show's title, strongly denies he does not respect women — especially mothers.

"I respect my mother more than anyone on this earth, I just happened to have something called a sense of humor that these protesters do not," Kingsley said.

His own mother, he admits "is not a big fan" of the show.

"She is eagerly awaiting my graduation," he said.


Related

Kentucky college creates board to oversee TV station content

Murray State University administrators set new guidelines for campus cable station after it airs programs that school official calls racist. 10.28.02

Sexual harassment


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