Tim Bruer's "gesture" from the July 7 city council meeting, as captured from the RealMedia stream generated by City Channel's website.
It was probably the most in-demand video of a Madison Common Council meeting ever. Yet when people clicked on the video on Madison City Channel's website, all they got was an error message.
During the July 7 meeting, Ald. Tim Bruer made a hand gesture toward clerk Tammy Peters - a gesture she found insulting. The clerk's office complained, and the city attorney's office dismissed the complaint. (See "Bruer Gesture Draws Complaint," 7/31/09.)
Was there a conspiracy to suppress the video?
"I can absolutely tell you that was 100% not the case," says City Channel manager Brad Clark. "The grand conspiracy theorists can have a field day with this, but it didn't happen."
Dave Faust of the city's IT department, which stores the videos on its server, also denies foul play: "There was nothing deliberate to keep that meeting from being viewed."
The problem, they say, is with the city's outdated indexing software, which lets people click on agenda items to view that part of the meeting. The July 7 meeting is now online, but without the indexing.
City Channel hopes to soon upgrade from the clunky Real Player program it uses to the more popular Quicktime or Windows Media Viewer.