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article imageCNN, MSNBC and Fox News banned from Scranton YMCA gym

By Arthur Weinreb     Mar 6, 2017 in Politics
Scranton - The Greater Scranton YMCA has banned its members from watching CNN, Fox News, and MSNBC while using the gym because viewing those stations was causing too many political arguments that verged on becoming violent.
One of the activities at the local YMCA is martial arts. None of the participants are supposed to get hurt but real fights almost broke out. The reason: members got into political arguments after watching one of the cable news networks on the gym's television sets. So the board of the YMCA decided to ban all three major cable networks.
Trish Fischer, the chief executive of the gym, said the topic came up at last Thursday’s board meeting. In one recent incident, two gym members who were exercising almost came to blows and had to be kept apart by other members. Some members complained they felt uncomfortable exercising while the news was being shown on the gym’s televisions because of the political arguments that resulted from what was being watched.
Fischer said while she is all for open debates, some grown men cannot control themselves and safety is their No. One priority. Fischer added the Y is a role model for children so “We decided to take a proactive approach to all this.”
Pennsylvania is a battleground state
Trump made his last campaign stop in Scranton before going on to win Pennsylvania. Former vice-president Joe Biden, who was born in that city, campaigned for Clinton there days before Election Day. Scranton is located in Lackawanna County and although the state went to Trump, Clinton won the county with 49.8 percent of the vote. People are obviously divided and take their politics seriously in Scranton.
Fischer told SF Gate she was not sure who was responsible for fighting almost breaking out; the members themselves or the heated rhetoric coming from the politicians on the screen. She said she did not want to use the word “blame” but felt a decision had to be made for the safety of all members.
Fischer said more people were pleased with the decision or at least understood than were opposed. Fischer said she only received three emails and one telephone call complaining about the decision to ban the networks.
Scranton not the first YMCA to ban CNN
The CNN Center in Atlanta.
The CNN Center in Atlanta.
Josh Hallett (CC BY 2.0)
Inauguration Day, The Hill reported a YMCA in Valparaiso, Indiana banned CNN after Trump referred to the cable news network as “fake news.” In a release, the Y said they wanted to get rid of “perceived political bias” associated with CNN. The Valparaiso YMCA said from then on they would only show local news on their television sets. One member criticized the decision as “blatant censorship.”
According to Fischer, things have cooled down considerably since people using the gym can no longer watch Fox News, CNN and MSNBC.
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