Letter From Judge McGuire To Paul Folkemer

October 17, 1998
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October 17, 1998 – Letter From Judge McGuire To Paul Folkemer

 

 

This letter from Judge McGuire to Paul Folkemer, Channel One, was OCR scanned onto our web site. Any typos are from the scanning process. Judge McGuire sent a 27-page complaint about the indecent content on “Dawson’s Creek” to the FCC this spring. We will post that entire complaint soon on this web site. Advertising “Dawson’s Creek” to children is one of the most offensive actions taken by Channel One.

DISTRICT COURT OF COVINGTON COUNTY

COVINGTON COUNTY COURTHOUSE

Andalusia, Alabama 36420

Frank “Trippy’ McGuire,
Judge District Court of Covington County

October 9, 1998

Mr. Paul Folkemer
Vice President, Channel One
600 Madison Avenue
6th Floor
New York, New York 10022

Dear Mr. Folkemer,

I understand that you represented to the Shelby County, Alabama, Board of Education that you are the individual responsible for approving TV advertising on Channel One News. While I understand from my friends in Shelby County that you personally have been pleasant to deal with, nevertheless, the company you represent insists on pandering ads for sleazy TV shows such as the sexually suggestive “Dawson’s Creek.”

I have two children enrolled in school here in Covington County, Alabama, both of whom watch Channel One each morning as part of their school day. My youngest child is a fifth grader.

I highly resent Channel One’s advertising the WB teen drama “Dawson’s Creek,” to a captive audience of young people. I understand that these ads also urge the students to enter a “Dawson’s Creek” contest.

For your information, I am enclosing a copy of a cover letter I mailed to Alabama Senator Richard Shelby in March, when I sent him a courtesy copy of a twenty-seven page complaint I filed with the Federal Communications Commission concerning “Dawson’s Creek.” Also enclosed is his reply.

I am also enclosing an article by syndicated columnist, John Leo, which is an accurate summation of the episodes of “Dawson’s Creek” that he viewed. I would add that subsequent episodes of “Dawson’s Creek” showed the further development of the sexual relationship between Pacey and his high school English teacher, including a segment displaying a slow motion, zoomed in close-up of the teacher’s face and facial expressions while she is having sex with Pacey.

“Dawson’s Creek” creator, Kevin Williamson, in the March 7,1998 TV Guide Magazine, is quoted as describing himself as “a goof.” At least he’s honest. I would be interested in knowing your excuse for promoting the casual sex theme of “Dawson’s Creek’ to a captive audience of young people; your excuse for treating young people as pawns for profit and suckers for sleaze, human hormones instead of human beings.

As a Juvenile Judge, I sometimes feel that those of us in the Juvenile Justice System are fighting a losing battle over the choices young people make, when yourself and others in the TV media are fueling flames already burning out of control by promoting indecent TV shows to a captive and young audience. That is completely irresponsible. In the name of “news and entertainment,” you are helping to corrupt them, while myself and others in the Juvenile Justice System are trying to help them, attempting to turn them away from the destructive lifestyles being promoted. Being young and vulnerable, many of them do not have the ability to distinguish between the real world and the sexual fantasyland depicted by Hollywood and promoted by programs aimed at them, such as “Dawson’s Creek.”

For “Dawson’s Creek” creator Kevin Williamson, yourself, as well as others who promote “Dawson’s Creek,” to take advantage of young peoples’ natural curiosity about sex, is not news and entertainment, it is raw exploitation in its worst form.

I cannot understand the mentality of those who deliberately pursue a course of conduct horribly detrimental to literally hundreds of thousands of young people. I also cannot understand how you, a former educator, could be a party to that conduct.

I have been informed that Senator Shelby is considering a Senate investigation concerning Channel One. I am sending him a copy of this letter, thus adding my voice to the increasing number of complaints against Channel One. I am also sending a copy of this letter, together with the enclosures, to the school systems in my area, for their information.

I would like to reiterate a paragraph in my previous letter to Senator Shelby:

“I cannot comprehend the mindset of people who would not only lead young people astray, but would also entice them to do it. The usual people whose interests are adverse to my own are drug dealers, child abusers, child molesters and child rapists, Now I can honestly add network TV producers to that list. TV producers are leaving a disgusting legacy to today’s children, tomorrow’s future.”

To that list of anti-child groups, I am adding Channel One.


Very truly yours,

Frank L. McGuire, III

District Judge

FLM/pmc

Enclosures

cc: Senator Richard Shelby

School Superintendents

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