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[1]Template:Copypaste Template:Wikify Template:Unreferenced Christian Community Television (CCTV) was Rick Shur's DBA (doing business as) from 1984–94, when he hosted The Closet Case Show on Manhattan Cable public access television as the character, Rick X. He started the show in June, 1984, with coverage of the annual Christopher Street Liberation Day Parade down Fifth Avenue in Manhattan. Among those interviewed were men with AIDS marching behind the Gay Men's Health Crisis banner.

In November 1984, Rick (as he called himself, a disembodied voice since he never actually appeared on camera) changed the nature of the show from covering interesting activities in New York City to providing erotic entertainment for gay men in the AIDS era. He promoted "outercourse" as a safe alternative to insertive sex during the epidemic, mutual masturbation with creative play. His entertainment included underwear ads cut out of magazines, locker room scenes, and other scenes of incidental male pulchritude found in mainstream movies, and in December 1984, he presented a "friend" of his, "The Ten O'Clock Cowboy," who silently stripped out of his cowboy duds in Rick's apartment.

Rick invited members of the viewing audience to submit photos so that they, too, could strip for thousands of viewers across the island of Manhattan, always wearing a bandanna to cover the face so that they could live out their exhibitionist fantasy without jeapordizing their social standing at home or at work. The show became popular, and the New York Native added the name "X" to "Rick," so it was Chuck Ortleb, the famed AIDS questioner, who actually created the "Rick X" nomenclature.

Rick was soon invited to clubs to videotape strippers and go boys, some of whom performed for the camera in Rick's home (without bandannas, as they enjoyed the publicity), but generally people who performed in Rick's studio apartment (the Closet Case Studio) were anonymous gay urban professionals and students. At clubs, bars, show palaces, and hotel rooms, Rick videotaped known performers like Dane Ford, Joey Stefano, Jeff Stryker, Chris Burns, Mapplethorpe model Joe Simmons, as well as club celebrities like Michael Alig, Keoki, RuPaul, the Lady Bunny, Larry Tee, and many others.

The Closet Case Show played an important role in the so-called "outing" of David Geffen. In 1990, Chip Duckett, one of New York's leading club promoters, featured Joey Stefano at his club Mars. Before the club opened, Duckett held a dinner at Florent, in the Village, for Joey, to which he invited Rick (with his camera rolling), Michael Musto of the Village Voice, Robin Byrd (on whose cable show Joey was appearing that week), and Jess Cagle of US & People Magazine. Rick and Jess prodded Joey to name any famous clients who had used his escorting services. Joey offered the tidbit that he and Geffen had played with butt plugs. Rick suspected that neither Cagle's Time Warner magazine lawyers nor Musto's Village Voice lawyers would let them print this piece of information, but that if he put the videotaped interview on his popular public access cable show, they would probably be allowed to report the television event. Hungry for increased notoriety, Rick aired the interview, and subsequently, Michael Musto reported it as an easy-to-guess blind item in his Voice column, while OutWeek Magazine, the gay magazine known for "outing" people, starting with Malcolm Forbes, reported on the interview, naming Geffen explicitly. [At the same time, Rick was also serving as the first OutWeek events calendar editor, a position he held from 1989-90.] The interview, in its entirety, appears on Rick's Closet Case Show website, at RickX.com.

Rick had an ongoing battle with Time Warner, the owner of Manhattan Cable, over censorship. His allies in the fight were Al Goldstein, publisher of Screw, and Robin Byrd, both of whom had shows on the leased (commercial) public access channel. At first, Time Warner would only allow soft male members to be displayed. Later, Rick convinced them that an erection wasn't obscene and hard-ons were finally allowed as long as they weren't touched. The fight over whether or not masturbation could be displayed finally ended in 1990, when Time Warner lawyers finally relented, accepting Rick's argument that promoting masturbation during the AIDS crisis served a real social purpose, and after that, fellatio with a condom was also presented when the Gay Men's Health Crisis gave Rick a copy of their AIDS education video, Midnight Snack, to air on his show. Rick never promoted anal intercourse, even with condoms, since he didn't believe that condoms were reliable enough to be called "safe" when the so-called AIDS virus was purported to be absolutely deadly. Rick believed that non-insertive sex was the better option until the crisis ended.

After Midnight Snack aired in New York City, Rick sent his copy of the GMHC video to a public access show in Austin, Texas. As soon as it aired, the state of Texas prosecuted the local cable show for obscenity, and the producers were found guilty, thus ending any kind of uncensored sex education in that state. Since Rick had provided the "obscene" material to the Texans, he was liable for arrest as the purveyor of this contraband, and although Rick's mother and older brother are both natives of Texas, since this court decision, he has never again set foot in that state.

In 1994, Time Warner took away Rick's long-held midnight slot, relegating his show to 2:00 AM in the morning. Rick assumed that this was the company's way of dealing with the conservative complaints about explicit content that was being allowed to air. After ten years of fighting, he decided that he had had enough, and rather than accept a time slot that would significantly diminish his audience, he decided to pull the show. Another reason he decided to quit was that he assumed the Internet would soon overshadow public access cable television.

ReferencesEdit

  1. Rick Shur

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