West Palm Beach School Shooting

May 27, 2000
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May 26, 2000

To: Paul Folkemer, Jim Ritts, Jeff Ballabon, Tom Rogers, and Roger Wolfson

Today there is yet another incident of violence in our public schools (West Palm Beach). I have called on you before to end the promotion of violent entertainment to America’s schoolchildren and I have heard absolutely nothing. Do you think marketing violence is a joke? Do you think that by being silent these concerns will all go away?

It is absolutely shameful what you Channel One executives have advertised to children. And then you make it difficult for anyone to see your show in its entirety, which means including the commercials.

You refuse to release to the public the list of movies and TV shows you have urged children to watch. You have also steadfastly refused to release the list of music you have compelled children to listen to. The reason you haven’t is because you are ashamed of what your company has done

How much longer can you gentlemen hide under your desks? Your elegant Madison Avenue and Fifth Avenue offices can’t protect you forever from the contempt of the public. You certainly have worked hard to earn that contempt.

I would suggest that you do these three things quickly:

1. Put in writing a pledge that Channel One will never advertise any TV show or movie or video game.

2. Release the list of all movies and TV shows that have been advertised on Channel One since KIII bought Channel One.

3. Release the list of all music that has been played on Channel One since KIII bought Channel One.

Surely even the most rabid advertising executive among you is beginning to understand that the public doesn’t want violence to be marketed to their child during school. It is not enough that your company says they have stopped doing that. (Which you haven’t said.) You must make a serious statement about the future policy of your company.

I would like to hear from somebody soon.

Sincerely,

Jim Metrock Obligation, Inc.

Note: It appears that the school system where this shooting took place is under contract to show Channel One to its students. It is yet to be determined if the Lake Worth Middle School has Channel One and if the Channel One ads for violent entertainment were shown to the students.

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