Channel One News Hall of Shame: VIDEO: Normalizing alcohol and drug use among teens (2011)

August 8, 2017
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From Jim Metrock: Channel One News has a long history of normalizing teen alcohol use. I’m posting this 2011 article to remind parents and educators why Channel One News is so controversial.

Why would Channel One show this gratuitous clip of booze bottles?

From Channel One’s official scripts for April 7 and 8, 2011 (Our highlights in RED and our comments in BLUE):

On April 7, 2011, Channel One News aired this irresponsible report on “binge” drinking:

[GARY]

‘DO YOU SEE GREAT RISK IN DRINKING 5 OR MORE ALCOHOLIC DRINKS A DAY?’ THAT’S THE QUESTION TEENS WERE ASKED IN A RECENT SURVEY. HOW DID THEY ANSWER? [Wait just a minute, Channel One. What in the world are you talking about?! Your audience is all below the legal drinking age. Middle school students make up the largest part of your captive audience.  “FIVE OR MORE DRINKS A DAY”?!  The message you are sending by mentioning the “study” is anything LESS than 5 drinks a day for a middle school student probably isn’t too bad.]

45 PERCENT OF TEENS SAID NO THEY DON’T THINK BINGE DRINKING IS A BIG DEAL – OR DANGEROUS. [No parent is around to talk to a sixth grade student about this reckless story. This is hitting kids like a sack of bricks in the face. Are you beginning to understand why only a small minority of schools still have Channel One News in their classrooms?]

BINGE DRINKING IS HAVING 5 OR MORE DRINKS IN A ROW FOR A BOY, AND 4 OR MORE DRINKS IN A ROW FOR A GIRL. [Does that make a 3-beer-a-day eighth grader a “moderate” drinker?]

BUT ACCORDING TO ANOTHER STUDY OUT THIS WEEK – IT *IS* DANGEROUS FOR TEENS AND COULD DAMAGE TEENS BRAINS.

BECAUSE TEEN’S BRAINS – AND BODIES – ARE STILL GROWING, THE SAME AMOUNT OF ALCOHOL HAS WORSE LONG-TERM EFFECT ON TEENS THAN ON ADULTS ACCORDING TO RESEARCHERS.

THEY FOUND THAT BINGE DRINKING AMONG TEENS CAN LEAD TO LOWER INTELLIGENCE AND IMPULSIVE BEHAVIOR. [Notice “BINGE DRINKING” can lead to “impulsive behavior.” Just plain DRINKING probably won’t.]

68 PERCENT OF TEENS SAY THEY HAD TRIED ALCOHOL. AND THE AVERAGE AGE FOR THEIR FIRST DRINK WAS 14. [Unbelievable. Thanks, Channel One News for another terrible message to students. You have helped to undo a lot of anti-drug and teen drinking work by schools.]

 

That was bad enough, but then they followed it up with another story the next day that further normalized drug use and teen drinking.

 

[JUSTIN]

YESTERDAY WE TOLD YOU ABOUT A NEW REPORT ON TEEN BINGE DRINKING. WELL TODAY WE’RE TAKING A DEEPER LOOK AT THAT REPORT.

IT HAS SOME SURPRISING INFO ABOUT DRUG AND ALCOHOL ABUSE.

SHELBY HOLLIDAY BREAKS IT DOWN. 

[SHELBY]

 

 

 

“THOUSANDS OF TEENAGERS WERE DRUNK AND HIGH” How does Channel One News know that? Was this statement necessary?

AT A MUSIC RAVE LIKE THIS ONE IN LOS ANGELES, THOUSANDS OF TEENAGERS WERE DRUNK AND HIGH. [“Thousands”? Message: If you aren’t drunk or stoned at a party, you’re a loser.  Sure this story talks about a young person dying and the dangers of such use, but young people often are not scared by such information. The normalizing message is the one that comes through loud and clear: “MOST young do drugs.”]

15 YEAR OLD SASHA RODRIGUEZ DRANK WATER LACED WITH ECSTASY. SHE LATER OVERDOSED AND DIED.

 

Channel One News takes pride in showing middle school students what specific drugs look like and how they are ingested. Parents have no knowledge beforehand about what Channel One will show to students.

HER STORY IS NOT UNIQUE. IN THE LAST THREE YEARS, ECSTASY USE AMONG TEENAGERS HAS JUMPED 67-PERCENT. 1 IN 10 TEENS NOW USE IT.

MARIJUANA USE IS UP TOO- 22 PERCENT WITH 4 IN 10 TEENS SMOKING POT.

MARIJUANA USE IS UP TOO- 22 PERCENT WITH 4 IN 10 TEENS SMOKING POT.

 

How utterly demoralizing.

ALCOHOL ABUSE IS EVEN WORSE.71% PERCENT OF TEENS HAVE A DRINK BEFORE THEY LEAVE HIGH SCHOOL.

ON AVERAGE, THEY START DRINKING AT JUST 14 YEARS OLD. 25% OF THEM BY AGE 12

“i’m kind of surprised that people don’t think it’s such a big deal”

AND IT IS A BIG DEAL – TEENS WHO START DRINKING OR DOING DRUGS EARLY ARE MUCH MORE LIKELY THAN THEIR PEERS TO DEVELOP PROBLEMS AS ADULTS.

ABOUT HALF OF ALL ADULTS WITH DRUG OR ALCOHOL PROBLEMS STARTED USING BEFORE THE AGE OF 15. NINETY PERCENT OF THEM STARTED USING BEFORE THE AGE OF 18.

 

Why stage a young looking person at a bar for this classroom report?

 

BUT WHY IS DRUG AND ALCOHOL ABUSE GOING UP NOW – WHEN FOR MANY YEARS IT WAS ON ITS WAY DOWN?

EXPERTS SAY IT’S BECAUSE PARENTS AND THE GOVERNMENT AREN’T DOING AS MUCH AS THEY DID IN THE PAST TO EDUCATE YOUNG PEOPLE ABOUT THE DANGERS. [Hey, Channel One News, don’t browbeat parents for not doing enough. One big problem young people have is Channel One’s long history of advertising PG-13 movies drenched with drug and alcohol references. Channel One’s Paul Folkemer has approved numerous ads for movies that glorified teen drinking.]

“Over this last decade there has been less of a message getting out if you will. A lot of the programs that used to exist have been cut, through successive rounds of budget cuts.”

THERE ARE STILL LOTS OF ADS AND CAMPAIGNS SHOWING THE DANGERS OF TOBACCO – AND THEY HAVE MADE A DIFFERENCE IN TEENS ATTITUDES TOWARDS SMOKING. BUT WITH FEWER PROGRAMS ABOUT DRUGS AND ALCOHOL, EXPERTS SAY TEENS DON’T REALIZE HOW DANGEROUS THEY CAN BE.

“people look down upon someone who smokes cigarettes more than they look down upon weed you drink and smoke and get high at parties and then after the party you come and relax after the party by getting high and drinking. It’s never ending. [Another message that says, “A LOT of teens use drugs and drink alcohol.” This normalizes such use among those students forced to watch Channel One News.]

ONE THING IS CLEAR – THE MORE TEENS KNOW ABOUT THE DANGERS OF DRUGS AND ALCOHOL, LIKE ADDICTION, BRAIN DAMAGE AND EVEN DEATH – THE LESS LIKELY THEY ARE TO ABUSE THEM. [“Abuse”? This language sends a message that if you are a minor and you are moderate in your alcohol consumption, then you are OK. Schools have no say in how Channel One News talks to students about drugs and alcohol. Channel One has a long history of conveying concern only about “problem” and “binge” drinking among teens. Channel One News doesn’t want to come off sounding like a parent and they want to maintain a “cool” approach to alcohol and drugs so they have always (at least since 1996) stressed that excessive drug and alcohol use is not good.]

RESEARCH SHOWS YOUNG PEOPLE WHO TALK ABOUT THESE ISSUES AT HOME ARE HALF AS LIKELY TO USE ALCOHOL AND DRUGS AS THOSE WHO DON’T.

MEANING THEY’RE LESS LIKELY TO OVERDOSE AT A PARTY LIKE THIS.

SHELBY HOLLIDAY, CHANNEL ONE NEWS

 

Watch the video for yourself:

NOTE: Channel One forced YouTube to take down our video. Channel One News does everything they can to keep parents from seeing what their children see on their controversial in-classroom TV show.

 

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