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TV Station to Petition: "Move on..."

A mass email urging Capital Region residents to sign a move-on-dot-org petition directed at a local public television station is apparently without merit.

The email begins "Dear Albany MoveOn member" - it's from one Michele Scher, who started a petition on the left-leaning move-on-dot-org website regarding  Citizen Koch, the TV documentary about the Koch brothers and their involvement with the Tea Party, which, according to the petition, has been blocked from airing on WMHT. 

Some of the signatures appearing on the online petition suggest that people signing it believe they are appealing directly to WMHT.

WMHT executive Vice President Scott Sauer says he was aware of the petition and was surprised because WMHT had aired the program on three occasions: November 13, 14 and 17 of 2012.

Update October 9, 2013 ::: Scott Sauer has retracted his original statement. He says there was confusion when he searched WMHT's database of previously aired programs using the keyword "Koch."  He did indicate that if PBS, another public television distributor or the producers of Citizen Koch themselves offer the program to WMHT, the station will consider airing it. (See revision information below.)

When Scher, who lives in Beacon, was informed that WMHT aired the program in 2012, she explained  that wasn't -quote-" the impression I remember when I was asked to start the petition from MoveOn.org" She did not disclose the identity of the individual who requested she start the petition. She is listed as the first person to sign that petition, back on August 17th of this year.  MoveOn’s website says: "MoveOn Petitions is an open tool that anyone can use to post a petition advocating any point of view."

Scott Sauer hopes in the future people will check with WMHT before paying attention to anything they see on social media. He says a quick call to the station could have set the record straight.

Sauer says there are no plans to run the program again. The Koch brothers are billionaires who have spent heavily on conservative causes and candidates.

Dave Lucas is WAMC’s Capital Region Bureau Chief. Born and raised in Albany, he’s been involved in nearly every aspect of local radio since 1981. Before joining WAMC, Dave was a reporter and anchor at WGY in Schenectady. Prior to that he hosted talk shows on WYJB and WROW, including the 1999 series of overnight radio broadcasts tracking the JonBenet Ramsey murder case with a cast of callers and characters from all over the world via the internet. In 2012, Dave received a Communicator Award of Distinction for his WAMC news story "Fail: The NYS Flood Panel," which explores whether the damage from Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee could have been prevented or at least curbed. Dave began his radio career as a “morning personality” at WABY in Albany.
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