GROTON — A program exploring an “insider job” theory for the 2001 collapse of New York City’s World Trade Center is making some Groton Channel viewers uneasy.
They say they have problems with the station airing the video, given that Groton Channel operates out of a public school, Groton-Dunstable Regional High. Others argue that the issue is a matter of free speech.
Either way, residents are getting a crash course on how a public-access station operates: They have no control over what’s shown, providing that it meets legal standards.
Dunstable resident Joan Simmons calls “9/11: Blueprint for Truth” mere “propaganda” that doesn’t belong on the station.
John Ellenberger, who serves on the town’s Cable Advisory Committee, said that by law, what goes out on the air cannot be censored. Groton Channel officials stress that the station must air any materials that residents ask to be broadcast.
In the videotape, Richard Gage, a San Francisco architect, argues that somebody must have detonated explosives inside the World Trade Center towers to make them collapse after terrorists crashed planes into the buildings. The video has been airing every Monday night.
According to Groton Channel program director Bob Colman, the channel belongs to the town of Groton, but Charter Communications pays for the entire cost of the operation under its franchise agreement with the town. The station also rents the studio space at Groton-Dunstable free of cost. People in both Groton and Dunstable can watch the channel, but only Groton residents can use it to have something broadcast.
This upsets Simmons. She’s thinking about trying to get a film that refutes the claims on the station. She said she has already contacted The History Channel about a piece she saw that argued against a 9/11 conspiracy.