Last Updated:October 21 @ 05:07 pm

Cameraman refuses to film guns

By The Morning Call, Allentown, Pennsylvania

Could this be the end of "Pennsylvania Crossfire"?

The long-running current events show, which airs on RCN, Service Electric and Blue Ridge cable stations, may have taped its last episode because of a dispute over guns.

According to show producer John Brinson, a camera operator complained when guest Manny Kapelsohn, an Upper Macungie Township attorney and firearms instructor, brought two pistols and a semiautomatic rifle to the RCN studio in Bath on Thursday.

The guns were meant to illustrate a discussion of gun rights in the wake of the school massacre in Newtown, Conn., and the Obama administration's proposals to ban certain types of rifles, armor-piercing bullets and high-capacity magazines.

Brinson said the guns were inoperative -- they were unloaded, lacked firing pins and had their triggers taped -- but the camera operator insisted they be removed, citing corporate policy barring firearms from RCN property. The studio manager called RCN's corporate office in Bethlehem, which sided with the camera operator.

Angered by what he perceived as editorial meddling, Brinson halted the taping and said he may never resume.

"I said, 'We're out of here,' and we packed up and left," Brinson added, recalling the incident in a phone interview Friday from his home in Weisenberg Township. "I told the manager, 'This might be the end of ["Pennsylvania Crossfire"].' "

RCN spokeswoman Joanne Guerriero said the matter might have turned out differently had Brinson told RCN workers beforehand that guns would be on the set. The company's violence-free workplace policy is similar to that of public schools in barring weapons of any sort.

"I believe if they had said to us, 'We're doing something a little different,' we would have probably come to some accommodation," Guerriero said. "But because people were not aware it was going to happen, [the guns] physically being there was upsetting."

RCN doesn't exercise editorial control over the program and wasn't trying to do so, Guerriero said.

When the employee complained, "We had to look at the company policy," she said. "And whether the guns are props, toys or inoperable, we had to answer to it."

Guns are an immensely sensitive topic since the Connecticut shooting claimed the lives of 20 children and six adults.

Shortly after the massacre, "Meet the Press" anchor David Gregory was drawn into the controversy after displaying a high-capacity gun magazine on the show. The magazines are banned in Washington, D.C., where the program is taped. Authorities contemplated charging the host, but didn't.

Brinson, who has produced "Pennsylvania Crossfire" since the death of its creator, former Allentown Mayor Joseph Daddona, said he hasn't decided for sure whether to end the show for good.

"We're exploring all options," he said. "However, we were very, very upset about RCN's position."

He added that he bears no ill will toward the camera operator.

"She had an emotional reaction," he said. "A lot of people have emotional reactions like that to guns. And I'm not blaming the station manager, because [the camera operator] was putting the heat on him about company policy."

Attorney Don Russo, a regular panelist on the show who serves as a liberal foil to the conservative Brinson, wrote a letter to The Morning Call praising Brinson for refusing to buckle in the dispute.

"John Brinson walked out of RCN, refusing to allow anyone to dictate what he could talk about on his own show," wrote Russo, who despite his liberal politics is a gun owner with a carry permit. "Sadly, we rarely witness that kind of conviction any more. Thank God, there are still some people who refuse to go along to get along."

Brinson joined the show -- which began in 1989 as "Lehigh Valley Crossfire" -- as a regular panelist in 1993, facing off against Daylin Leach, who is now a state senator.

When Daddona died in 2004, Brinson took over as producer and renamed the show.

"It's a very good discussion show," Brinson said. "Don Russo and I have very good discussions. We don't shout, scream and yell. We disagree, but it's good-natured."

Guerriero said RCN has had a cordial relationship with Brinson and Russo, "and we hope we can continue that relationship."

___

(c)2013 The Morning Call (Allentown, Pa.)

Visit The Morning Call (Allentown, Pa.) at www.mcall.com

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17 Comments

  1. HisStoryUnComment by HisStoryUn
    February 2, 2013 @ 10:48 am

    Change the policy – fire the camera operator – start over.

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    • jimcottonComment by jimcotton
      February 2, 2013 @ 12:52 pm

      Amen. What kind of panty-wastes are we bringing up these days?

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      Rating: 4.9/5 (35 votes cast)
    • rzraickComment by rzraick
      February 2, 2013 @ 2:15 pm

      I believe the cameraman’s job is to operate the camera, not to make programming policy. I would fire the guy for not doing his job. There is nothing wrong with using props to facilitate an open discussion. Would the camera man object to showing photographs of guns to convey information? Ithere is common sense, and there is emotional craziness. This is an example of the latter.

      He could not be more wrong or misguided in his actions. One of the greatest threats to our country today is to allow ourselves to be manipulated by emotionalism and to supress an open dicussion on these matters.

      This is in a nut shell what is happening with the entire national debate. There is no debate when one side stops it.

      Gun grabbers want to force their ideas on everyone without debate. This is a tyrannical appraoch.

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    • mach37Comment by mach37
      February 2, 2013 @ 3:31 pm

      The camera “operator” was a female, maybe had something to do with “emotions” do ya think? But this goes along with the zero-tolerance policy in so many schools now, kids are not allowed to even THINK about guns, or point fingers in a gun-like fashion. Or the little girl with a bubble-maker that looked a little like a gun being suspended for wanting to “shoot” a classmate with bubbles.

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  2. susieqComment by susieq
    February 2, 2013 @ 11:06 am

    Tell Obama to stop taking donations from all of his lib Hollywood pals who make films with nothing but guns…why doesn’t the coward Obama do that? Oh, I forgot, the Savior can turn water into wine, walk on water and heal the sick…

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  3. kid721952Comment by kid721952
    February 2, 2013 @ 11:08 am

    Is RCN the ONLY news station in that town,I’m sure other stations would be glad to report the news obviously this station IS NOT A NEWS STATION AND REPORT ALL NEWS LIKE THEY ARE SUPPOSED TO,must be a liberal station and only report what obama tells them to,guns are only as dangerous as the one using them

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    Rating: 4.8/5 (34 votes cast)
  4. usafoldsargeComment by usafoldsarge
    February 2, 2013 @ 11:58 am

    Ya suppose that RCN doesn’t show any of the various detective shows, Mob Doctor, multiple CSI shows, High Chapparel, Gunsmoke…..

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  5. thgdriverComment by thgdriver
    February 2, 2013 @ 12:08 pm

    If the mentally ill person had stolen his mothers car instead of her gun then ran it into children waiting at a school bus stop would we be having the same raging debate over cars?

    Guns, cars, baseball bats, hammers, knives, the list of things used as weapons is long.

    The camerawomen used the stations gun policy only as a means to inject her own narrow minded views on guns in my opinion.

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    • mysticComment by mystic
      February 2, 2013 @ 12:52 pm

      Exactly and very well put ThgDriver!

      What I find immensely disturbing is that those who know or understand little about weapons are the one’s making the charge forward to change policy about said weapons. It’s amazing! We have the blind leading the blind, trying to tell the sighted what to see…it’s amazingly dumb, it’s overly emotional in it’s content and has no rational basis for it’s emotional bases.

      A camerawoman working for a news station was so emotionally distraught at the ‘sight’ of guns, that she created an issue. Wow…what’s gonna happen when she has to ‘shoot’ something truly disturbing? Perhaps this woman needs to find a nice safe desk job somewhere?

      Looking at a baseball bat, a car, a crowbar shouldn’t incite or illicit an emotional response in anyone. These are inanimate objects for crying out loud! Someone using a baseball bat, or a car or a crowbar to hurt you…now there’s something to be emotional about!

      ~M

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    • mach37Comment by mach37
      February 2, 2013 @ 2:09 pm

      That’s not a hypothetical: I remember several instances of cars being rammed through schoolyard fences by California nuts, with no reaction from the libs.

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  6. CliffystonesComment by Cliffystones
    February 2, 2013 @ 12:13 pm

    “The company’s violence-free workplace policy is similar to that of public schools in barring weapons of any sort.”

    After all that was done to these guns to render them inoperable, they were less than baseball bats as “weapons”. A baseball bat or tire iron is more ergonomically capable of being used as a weapon than an inoperable firearm. So where’s the common sense? Oh yea, anti-gun libs have none.

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  7. CharlieComment by vietnamvet
    February 2, 2013 @ 12:28 pm

    ” … “But because people were not aware it was going to happen, [the guns] physically being there was upsetting.” … ”

    Isn’t it always ‘discomfort’ that guides the lives of the liberal/progressive left?
    How many times have we heard of them wanting a rule, ordinance, or law passed because something ‘makes them uncomfortable’?
    A cross standing in the middle of an uninhabited desert, rarely even seen by humans, is enough to make atheists so ‘uncomfortable’ they sue to have it torn down.

    Forget logic, reason, tradition, history, mathematics, and all other decision-making measures. For those on the left, it always ‘feelings’.

    If it feels good … do it. But, if you don’t do it … it probably feels bad.
    If it feels bad … nobody else can do it, either.

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  8. prairelivingComment by praireliving
    February 2, 2013 @ 1:03 pm

    I can’t even imagine how someone could get so upset over an inanimate object. I’d be interested to know how many of these people who are so afraid of guns that an unloaded, inoperable gun sends them into a tizzy spend some of their weekend sitting in a movie theater watching the latest movie which, for the most part, contain guns and violence. Talk about hypocrites.

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    • mach37Comment by mach37
      February 2, 2013 @ 2:05 pm

      Democrats get very emotional over inanimate objects, thinking that guns have a life of their own. Surely you have seen actors on TV shows carrying pistols by just two fingers, as if they could get a disease just from touching a gun.

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  9. Pingback: The big list of who supports the gun-grabbers – spend your money wisely! #MolonLabe — 1389 Blog - Counterjihad!

  10. middlegroundComment by middleground
    February 2, 2013 @ 4:05 pm

    First we prohibit the mentally disturbed from being involuntarily committed, we close the hospitals for the mentally disturbed, we don’t want to include treatment verification of those who are under care for mental illness, and then we blame guns for killing children. Makes as much sense as everything else we have our political leadership doing. Last year 500 youth were killed in Chicago by those who weren’t supposed to have guns, so let’s ban guns for those who are responsible gun owners. Why, because it sounds good to the Liberals and it excites them. Years ago TV was reported to show 5000 violent murders a week, Hollywood pours out violent movies and authors dwell on every mass murderer they can merely to sell a book.

    It isn’t guns that are the problem, it is glorifying someone for committing a crime and trying to make money from the murderer’s actions. The Conn. shooting should never have reported the name or background of the shooter, just stated that a crazy had killed 26 innocent people and before this action had been reported as violent.

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  11. odayterrenceComment by odayterrence
    February 2, 2013 @ 11:06 pm

    So…the camera operator is upset because her task was to film a few guns? She probably takes pride in supporting the 1st Amendment, while she expresses fear and hatred of the 2nd Amendment. Wait until the day comes when she has an armed government agent censoring her work and determining what she can/can’t film, prison being the result of disobedience. She’ll wish she had a gun too, as she mourns the loss of the 1st Amendment. Why was it lost to her? Because of her support towards the destruction of it’s Guardian…the 2nd Amendment.

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  12. gavinwcaComment by gavinwca
    February 10, 2013 @ 11:49 pm

    The sight of an inoperative firearm so scares a libral wussie that they can not do their job. Then every one else has to change a programs format to apease this little dork.. Pennsylvania run run by Union thugs who wear guns and wimpy camera dorks.who cn not tand the sight of a gun. Boy how things change.

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