Scranton YMCA bans 24-hour news channels at its work-out facility

Decision comes after directors say political discussions led to near fights

DUNMORE, LACKAWANNA COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) - It seems like politics is everywhere these days but one place is now hitting the "off button."

After some near fights, the Greater Scranton YMCA will no longer broadcast the big three 24-hour news networks at its gym.

Just like the political climate in our country there is definitely mixed reaction to the decision to ban CNN, FOX NEWS and MSNBC.

Given the heated discussions that have taken place inside recently, some think the change is needed but others think it is just an over-reaction.

As people worked-up a sweat Wednesday inside the Greater Scranton YMCA, there was no sweating the work going on in Washington, D.C.

On the TV's there was ESPN and The Weather Channel but none of the 24-hour news networks.

They are now banned and people like Chris Wagner like the idea.

"We come here to get de-stressed and we're totally stressed out in this country right now!" Wagner said.

In a letter to members announcing the decision, CEO Trish Fisher says there have been several recent incidents in the gym where political discussions have turned threatening.

One almost ended in a locker-room fight.

"There was one that was broken up by another member that was just about ready to go physical and we've had members step forward saying they've felt a little uncomfortable about the arguments that were going on over the politics," Fisher said.

Fisher says the decision is really about safety.

Shes knows turning off the networks won't stop political conversations but she thinks turning off the news could tone down the rhetoric.

"I think it is probably an over-reaction. There was a lot of arguing going on during the election, protesting and that type of thing but I think it's all gone," David Dimmick said.

Love it or hate it, the ban itself is now even a focal point of debate according to some YMCA members.

"They're all complaining that they think they should keep it and stuff but in my opinion, I think they should remove it because it will stop all the problems, people fighting and that's what the big problem is here," Joshua Worobey of Scranton said.

The CEO of the Greater Scranton YMCA says the response overall so far has been "overwhelming positive."

As of right now, the ban is permanent but if things calm down directors say they could possibly reconsider it.

 


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