Political Arguments Lead YMCA to Ban 24-Hour News | Athletic Business

Political Arguments Lead YMCA to Ban 24-Hour News

On Tuesday, the Greater Scranton YMCA posted a ban notice at the front desk: no more 24-hour news shows will be permitted to play on the clubs dozen or so televisions.

The ban of well-known news channels such as CNN, Fox News and MSNBC was prompted by a series of complaints from members who were made to feel uncomfortable.

Last week, a member of the club walked in on an argument in the men’s locker room, which had escalated into shouting and harsh language, and reported the scene to management.

The decision was finally made to ban the shows completely, making official the club’s long-standing unwritten policy of not running politically charged content.

Not all local YMCA members agree with the club’s actions, with one long-time member telling The Times Tribune he believes that the ban sets a dangerous precedent.

“I know they like to have open debate and I think that’s great, that’s part of our rights as Americans,” said Greater Scranton YMCA CEO Trish Fisher, “but safety is our No. 1 concern.”

However, attorney and board member Timothy Malone has long been advocating for such a policy, and says his and other members’ misgivings are well-founded.

In Tuesday’s posted notice of the ban, Fisher wrote, “I wish I could say that all members are able to have open and nonthreatening debate around current topics, but that is not the case.”

“There have been several instances in which a member has felt threatened. It is not about bias, or individual views, but rather safety.”

There has been no word of potential consequences for patrons breaking the ban. Other, non-24-hour news shows are not included in the ban.

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