Willmar Regional Access Channels pulls 13th episode of ‘Kandi Rapper’ due to complaint
WILLMAR -- A written complaint about threats and harassment led Willmar city officials to pull last week's episode of a local man's weekly televised opinion program from the Willmar Regional Access Channels schedule.
WILLMAR - A written complaint about threats and harassment led Willmar city officials to pull last week’s episode of a local man’s weekly televised opinion program from the Willmar Regional Access Channels schedule.
The city pulled the 13th episode of Bob Skor’s “Kandi Rapper” from the WRAC schedule after Beverly Dougherty and her son, Jason, cited among other things in an April 29 letter what they said was “continued defamation and harassment’’ on Skor’s series. Copies of the letter were sent to Mayor Marv Calvin and Kevin Halliday, city clerk and interim city administrator.
Skor does not identify Dougherty and her son by name in his series, but Dougherty believes Skor refers to her and Jason.
“I know he does because at the City Council meeting Monday night, he said, ‘There’s my boy over there,’ and was pointing at Jason. I know it’s me and him,’’ Dougherty said. “We’re basically in all the episodes.’’
Their letter said Skor “crossed the line’’ by calling a federal grantmaker and told the grantmaker: “and that woman and her son are getting all kinds of money from the federal government to give to Foxhole Brewhouse.’’
“This is a direct quote from the grantmaker and is in my email records,’’ according to the Dougherty letter.
The grantmaker contacted by Skor was Paul Pierson, area specialist with the U.S. Department of Agriculture in Worthington. In a copy of an email provided to the Tribune by Dougherty, Pierson replied to Skor that Willmar Downtown Development was funded under the Rural Business Enterprise Technical Assistance Grant to small business in Willmar.
Dougherty told the Tribune that Skor called Pierson “to insinuate that me and my son are getting all this money, insinuating that we are being dishonest. I take that really personally. He has it wrong.’’
Dougherty said she writes for USDA grants for the downtown food hub project. Dougherty said she and financial consultants receive a fee for their services, but most of the money goes to Willmar Downtown Development. Dougherty is project coordinator for Willmar Downtown Development.
“It’s meant to bring projects forward that are aligned with local food projects,’’ Dougherty explained.
The Tribune emailed a request to Skor for a comment. In a reply, Skor said he would be happy to comment once he gets more information about why the episode was pulled.
“All I know is that it was blocked by a mother/son team,’’ he said. “Once I get more info on this issue, I’ll be happy to comment! ’’
Skor made reference to the 13th episode when he resumed “Kandi Rapper” Tuesday with his 14th episode.
“There was a little bump in the road due to a little karma. I heard that somebody blocked it. We’ll see how this plays out,’’ he told viewers.
Halliday said anyone can come in and produce a show at the city-owned WRAC, with proper scheduling.
Willmar Regional Access Channels said its mission is to “provide opportunities for individuals, educational, governmental, civic and charitable groups to produce and cablecast and broadcast programs that will promote open expression, bilingual education, economic growth, public forums and enrichment of the multi-cultural, artistic and civic aspects of life in the regional area of Willmar.’’
Halliday said all programs are deemed compliant until the city receives a complaint letter or if staff views anything as pornography.
Once a complaint is received in writing, the program episode is pulled and a copy is sent to cable franchise attorney Brian Grogan of Moss & Barnett of Minneapolis for a legal opinion. Halliday said an opinion is pending.
Halliday did not identify the Doughertys as the letter writers, citing data privacy.
The Tribune learned of their identity, however, through other sources.
In accordance with city’s rules, Halliday said Skor, as program producer, was notified of the complaint, and the program was pulled from the schedule pending review.
If the program is determined to be compliant, the program will be added back to the schedule, Halliday said.
If the program is determined to violate city’s rules, then Skor will be informed and the program will remain off the air, Halliday said.
However, Skor, as the producer, owns the recordings, and Skor could remove them from the schedule if he so desires. Halliday said WRAC policy is simply not to store private shows, such as church episodes.
“We store our produced shows, council tapes, etc., and perhaps others if private shows are dropped off by a carrier with no intent to ever come back and get the VHS/DVD,’’ Halliday said.
“I think the formal explanation is that general video tapes for cable segments have an official records retention length of ‘until superseded.’
As soon as episode No. 1 is replaced with episode No. 2, we no longer have to keep it,’’ he said.