The joke's on us  

Adelphia's recent decision to move Jon Stewart's faux news program The Daily Show from 9 p.m. to midnight has sparked intense anger, outrage, fury. You get the picture.

After all, many believe Stewart reports current events far more accurately than the "pros" do.

Here are just a few comments that have loaded up the Independent's e-mail over the past week:

"If Adelphia moves Jon Stewart's Daily Show to a later time slot I move off their customer list," writes Naomi Walsh of Colorado Springs. "Social responsibility, you know. One enlightened decision at a time."

Tim Marfisi, also of Colorado Springs, has this to say: "Does it ever stop? Why is it that the powers that be just won't leave things alone? I am truly getting sick of being told what is best for me, because it sure seems like it ... I'm tired of paying more and more and getting less and less. Moving The Daily Show to midnight is part of the bringing us all in line for a right-wing brainwashing ..."

Writes Jason Rigler: "I am with Adelphia right now, and am planning on cutting their cable service altogether, but retain my cable modem, which will still cost me $58.95 a month. But since I live in Fountain, there is no other broadband alternative available. They really seem to get you by combining services, knowing they're the only game in town.

I am going to call DirecTV forthwith and see what sort of alternative they have to Adelphia's pathetic 'service. '

And on it goes.

Here's Sue Anderson's take: "I am outraged that one of the only shows on TV that is worth watching, The Daily Show, will be moved to midnight. For what reason? I would cancel my Adelphia service, but my alternative is ... oh yeah, I don't have one."

Actually, Anderson -- as many others noted -- does have an alternative. She could get a satellite dish.

But before we succumb to the urge to blame the decision on likely pressure from Focus on the Family -- which many readers have done -- or other vast right-wing conspiracies, let's take a look at some facts.

According to Adelphia spokeswoman Sandra Mann, the cable company's approximately 15-member management team made the decision to change Comedy Central's entire lineup -- which includes The Daily Show -- to conform to the channel's own wishes.

Currently, Adelphia uses the "East Coast feed" when it comes to airing Comedy Central's line-up. That means we see all of its shows two hours earlier than when they air say, in New York. East Coast viewers see The Daily Show at 11 p.m. Colorado Springs viewers see it at 9 p.m.

Adelphia decided to switch to the "West Coast feed," meaning that Colorado Springs viewers will see all of the Comedy Central lineup an hour later than they do now. Since people in Los Angeles see The Daily Show at 11 p.m., Colorado Springs viewers will have to wait until midnight to get their Daily fix.

"That's what [Adelphia] should have been doing since day one," said Tony Fox, executive vice president of communications for Comedy Central. "The unfortunate thing is you are used to seeing [The Daily Show] at 9."

"Content sensitivity" is the buzzword when it comes to programming. And Fox has that phrase down pat.

"We're an adult channel, and we don't want young kids watching stuff running on the wrong time," he said. The Daily Show, which he describes as "smart and provocative," isn't really the issue. But South Park, which Comedy Central also includes in its line up, and is currently shown in Colorado Springs at 8 p.m., should, according to Fox, run later because its an "adult" show.

Mann, the Adelphia spokesperson, declined to say how many of its 103,000 cable subscribers have complained about -- or congratulated -- the company's decision. "That's proprietary," she said.

While the suits upstairs have perfectly rational explanations for their decision, the affected masses aren't exactly soothed.

"When people grow weary enough of it will we stand as strong and peaceful as the Ukraine people when they peacefully stood ground, en masse, numbers too large to ignore, to face their political 'wrongs'?" asked Shelley Moore of Colorado Springs. "Or will we just roll over as we, and corporate America, seem to be doing so well?

"Of course if we did the same, I doubt the Guard would refrain from shooting."

More readers' comments appear on the letters to the editor section this week on page 6 and online at www.csindy.com.


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