U. S. Senate Hearing On Channel One News

May 20, 1999
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Ralph Nader, Pat Ellis, Jim Metrock, and Phyllis Schafly at the May 20, 1999 U.S. Senate hearing on Channel One. Mr. Nader and Mrs. Schafly testified against Channel One at the hearing and Mrs. Ellis and Mr. Metrock of Obligation submitted written testimony. The hearing clearly exposed Channel One’s commercial exploitation of schoolchildren.

 

 

The U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions held a hearing on Channel One on Thursday, May 20, 1999.

Jim Metrock’s initial observations:

Channel One spent mega-bucks to prevent this hearing. They hired Washington lobbyists and ran a smear campaign against Senator Richard Shelby in an effort to make him back away from looking at their company.

Channel One’s money failed them. As extremely well-dressed and extremely well-paid Channel One lobbyists looked on, Phyllis Schlafly of the Eagle Forum and Ralph Nader ripped the mask off this marketing company. “It’s all about money,” Nader said. Schlafly said Channel One is everything we don’t like about TV in spades.”

We will publish much of the the hearing when we receive it. We will publish the pro-Channel One testimony too. Some of their testimony was as damaging to the Channel One company as what our side said.

For example, Dr. Paul Folkemer, VP of Education for Channel One, represented Channel One at the hearing. Dr. Folkemer may have been a great principal, but a spokesperson he is not. It doesn’t help that he has a truly lousy product to pitch to very intelligent people.

With an army of Channel One executives and lobbyists in the room, Dr. Folkemer shocked the room when he said that he, Dr. Folkemer, was the advocate for children at Channel One. Uh oh. It is probably the truth, but the hot shots from Primedia had to have cringed at that statement. It gave the clear impression that the Channel One company is a hostile environment for people who have the best interest of children at heart.

Dr. Folkemer also made a misleading statement to the U.S. Senators when he tried to defuse the claim that Marilyn Manson’s music and lyrics were played for children to get their attention. More on this soon.

Dr. Diane Berreth, Deputy Executive Director of the Association of Supervision and Curriculum Development was a very effective framer of the issue of commercialism in schools. She said the ASCD’s position that no brand name products should be promoted in a classroom has remained unchanged through the years. Her complete comments will be posted here later and will be instructional for anyone interested in maintaining the integrity of classrooms.

Mrs. Phyllis Schlafly and Ralph Nader were powerful. I admire these two giants . They are principled, uncompromising individuals – national treasures. I look forward to sharing their testimony with visitors to this site.

We now know who speaks well of Channel One. Some are paid to say good things about this marketing company; some are ill-informed. The battle in joined.

Much more on the Senate hearing soon.

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