Letter: Video removal of School Board Candidate Forum is counter-productive
The following is a letter to the editor submitted to the newspaper by a reader. It does not necessarily reflect the views of the Echo Press. To submit a letter, send it to firstname.lastname@example.org or Echo Press, P.O. Box 549, Alexandria, MN 56308.
To the editor:
The Alexandria chapter of the American Association of University Women (AAUW) removal of the full-length video of the School Board Candidate Forum held on September 13, 2021 is counter-productive to their stated goal of educating the public. As hosts to a public political forum, they have a duty to provide this content to the public. Candidates and attendees were not allowed to make their own recording, and there is no copyright claim to political discourse.
Sixteen clips were created and posted to The Parents United YouTube page, providing easily viewable segments. The clips include moderator Ken Howell’s question and the full answer of each candidate. In the description of each clip posted, a link is provided to the full video on the Voice of Alexandria’s YouTube page, allowing viewers an easy path to viewing the forum in its entirety. However, now those links lead nowhere.
The editing of the clips are now being unfairly characterized by the AAUW as "manipulation." This is the excuse they are using to deny the public access to the full video.
"The AAUW's claim is absurd. These are Jeff Patience’s own words. What context would make their meaning different?" said Laura Knudsen, creator of the video clips. “Manipulation would be dubbing over his words or clipping words together to make a sentence Patience didn't say.”
The 16 clips will remain available on the Parents United 206 YouTube channel for viewing and sharing. The video juxtaposing Patience's statement with a concerned mother’s speech has been removed for now.
If the AAUW’s real intent Is to educate the public, they should re-post the video. Its removal appears to be to appease one candidate whose statements are unfavorable to the public’s ears.
Parent leader, Parents United For Responsive Education