News About Channel One Jan. – July 2000

July 31, 2000

Channel One – The Most Controversial
Show On Television -2000

January – July 2000


August – December 2000


July 24,
2000 – I Go See Channel One’s "Loser" Movie –
COLOR=”#ff0000″ FACE=”Arial”>Beware Explicit Language Is Used
to Describe A Truly Offensive Movie

15, 2000 – A Student Speaks Out About Channel One – By Ken McNatt,
Oil City, Pennsylvania

12, 2000 – Letter to Congress: Channel One Peddles Bad Nutrition,
Undermines Efforts to Promote Good Eating Habits

Update: Good News and Bad News – The good
news for Channel One is that the MPAA finally agreed to give the
Channel One promoted movie called "Loser" a PG13 rating.
The bad news for kids is that it is a "hard PG13." It
barely escaped a "R" rating. This movie, from all accounts,
will be offensive combination of sex jokes, vulgarities and profanities.
Just like the Channel One advertised "Supernova" earlier
this year, this is an adult movie being pushed on children.

Obligation’s Jim Metrock said, "This
new aggressiveness from Channel One is revolting. One man gives
final approval to all web and TV show ads. That man is Paul Folkemer.
He already acknowledges that every movie commercial he approves
is done without him seeing the movie. If an executive can be more
irresponsible, I don’t know how. I would like Folkemer and every
Channel One executive to take a bus load of children to see the
movie "Loser". I would like them to sit and hear the
sex jokes and wince with each profanity. These Channel One executives
are pocketing loads of cash for selling this filth to children.
I think when they make the movie of Channel One’s rise and fall,
I think they could pick no better title than… Real Losers."

  WIDTH=”90″ HEIGHT=”154″ ALIGN=”BOTTOM” BORDER=”0″ NATURALSIZEFLAG=”3″> SRC=”image/smmissiontomars.jpg” WIDTH=”130″ HEIGHT=”176″ ALIGN=”BOTTOM”
BORDER=”0″ NATURALSIZEFLAG=”3″> height=”199″ align=”BOTTOM” border=”0″ naturalsizeflag=”3″> SRC=”image/smwaterboy.jpg” WIDTH=”131″ HEIGHT=”195″ ALIGN=”BOTTOM”

One’s Dr. Paul Folkemer thought these movies were OK for your
child. Who does he think he is?



8, 2000 – Channel One Advertises Unbelievably Sleazy Movie to

said, "Channel One continues to think that children can handle
movies filled with strong sexual content and profanity. Our friends
at Channel One are promoting the movie "Loser" to its
children audience. Channel One’s official web site,,
is running a contest so children can win tickets to this yet to
be rated movie. The stars of this movie are the stars from last
year’s gross-out ‘American Pie’. Please click on this link to
see what Channel One is doing to our children and then email Paul
Folkemer, the man who approved this ad and tell him what you think."

Channel One has a history of HREF=”webmovies.html”>reviewing and promoting R-rated movies on
its web site. This is just the latest offense.

Dr. Paul Folkemer’s email address


d COLOR=”#ff0000″ FACE=”Arial”>Proof that Channel One executives
have lost their minds. Channel One makes money by promoting raunchy
movie to children.


July 7, 2000 – New Wave of Aggressive
Junk Food Ads Run on Channel One in Spring

Channel One’s assault on good
nutrition in our public schools escalated in March, April and
May. New ads for McDonalds, Nestle Crunch Bars, Fruit Loops, Pepsi,
Tostitos Tortilla Chips, Hostess Cupcakes, and Starbust and Skittles
candy were rolled out by Channel One’s management.

Jim Metrock said, "Schools
won’t tolerate this much longer. The health of schoolchildren
is far more important that the value of Channel One’s television
equipment. What makes these junk food ads even worse are the contests
Channel One promotes to get the kids to eat more candy and drink
more soft drinks. In March Channel One dangles $1 million in front
of kids to get them to eat more McDonalds products. In April,
Channel One runs a contest to get kids to eat more Nestle Crunch
bars. In May, they run a "Match the fruit and win the loot"
contest for Starburst and Skittles candy."

"I have just written again
to Dr. Paul Folkemer of Channel One and I have pleaded with him
to stop approving the candy, soft drink and entertainment commercials
for the Channel One audience that goes down to age ten,"
Metrock said. "Dr. Folkemer is the man who approves all the
commercials on Channel One. He approved the commercials I just
mentioned. Parents and teachers will be marching into school board
rooms around the country this fall, if Channel One is still being
shown to their children."

Obligation will soon have pictures
of Channel One commercials on our web site so parents and teachers
can download the still photos to show school board members.


June 16, 2000 Forget the News
Kids, Primedia’s Channel One Pushes NSync On Web Site – Channel
One Wants Personal Information From Children

Channel One wants to know about
your child. Obligation has stopped them before but now they are
back pushing the envelope.

information from children the common practice among marketing
firms like Channel One is to stage a contest. Dangle something
children want in front of them and then tell them that you have
to supply personal information in order to get a chance for the

It’s as old as the hills. Channel
One executives are doing nothing that hasn’t been done by hucksters
that came before them.

Instead of supplying children
with webcasts during the summer with their anchor/reporters, Channel
One is concentrating on getting more information from their children

Channel One wants to give children
a NSync CD and T-shirt, but you have to enter their contest.

Your child must supply his or
her name, age, name of their school, email address, street address,
city, state and ZIP.

"This is outrageous,"
said Obligation president Jim Metrock. "Parents must let
Channel One and their parent company, Primedia know that this
is irresponsible and reckless. They are getting children to become
use to supplying personal identifying information to strangers.
When will the exploitation stop?"

The only protection for children
is a warning that appears when the child clicks on the N’Sync
contest button. "You must be at least 13 years old (sic)
to enter the contest." Then the child is told that by clicking
the OK button they confirm that they are at least 13. The Channel
One executives think this will protect them (the executives) from
the strict new FTC rules concerning soliciting information from

But it won’t There is no warning
to children about how this information is going to be used by
Channel One. There needs to be a statement telling children where
to go to read the privacy statement for the web site.

Better than that, Channel One
should get out of the business of gathering personal identifying
information about children.

Metrock said, "I urge Paul
Folkemer, Jeff Ballabon, Noreen Clarke, Jim Ritts, and Roger Wolfson
and any other Channel One executive who has any authority to stop
this assault on children. Don’t ever ask a child for any personal
information. Parents don’t want you prying into their children’s


June 15, 2000 – Another One Bites
The Dust – Andy Hill President of Channel One Programming Leaves

The carnage continues at the controversial
Channel One Network. The company often held up their president
of programming, Andy Hill, as a reason why parents should trust
Channel One. They said in their literature that Hill was the man
who brought America "Touched By An Angel" so parents
should feel good about the man in charge of programming for their
children at school.

Jim Metrock said, "It never
made any sense for Channel One to think Andy Hill would make any
parent feel good about this TV show. Mr. Hill was not a journalist.
He was not a professional educator. He came from CBS Entertainment.
He was ‘Mr. Hollywood." That sent a chill done the spine
of parents. Whatever the reason for Hill’s sudden and shocking
departure, the Channel One TV show remains in deep trouble. Watch
for more heads to roll and more executives to jump ship. You can
almost hear Celine Dion singing the theme from ‘Titanic.’"

June 1,
2000 – New Low For Channel One – "Entertainmenteen"


is rising up against Channel One. Kick Madison Avenue and Hollywood
out of your child’s classroom. Channel One is robbing precious
school time from your child or grandchild. Join the nationwide
effort to bring sanity back to public schools.

us at



May 27, 2000 – Email to Channel
One Execs After West Palm Beach School Shooting

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.


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.

May 26, 2000 – Teacher Email Dropped
By Channel One – Reason: No Teachers

Channel One announced they have
dropped their year long effort to get teachers to sign up for
free Channel One email. Obligation has monitored the Channel One
"Teach 1" forums which were a side-by-side feature with
their email. Hardly any teacher used the forum section and it
is not surprising that few used the email feature.

It appears that Channel One’s
web presence is of little concern to teachers and students. Channel
One has three web sites at present: for students; for teachers; and for parents.

Jim Metrock said, "Since
Obligation forced Channel One to drop the R-rated movie reviews
and sex advice columns for kids, Channel has been like
a ghost town. They keep trying to put advertising on the site
but they usually shoot themselves in the foot. There is no advertising
on the site now and they would be wise to keep all ads off."

"The site is a professional looking site, which
is out of character for Channel One," said Metrock. "This
site is not so much for teachers as it is for the Channel One
PR department. They are constantly selling themselves here. The
parents site is a disaster. It hasn’t been changed for over six
months. There is a feature called "Ask Dr. Folkemer"
on this site that is suppose to help parents, but Dr. Folkemer
told me this January that he never answers any questions. Why
am I not shocked?"

May 26, 2000 – Center for Media
Literacy Partners With Channel One

In a continuing effort to look
reputable, Channel One has found another organization that will
"partner" with them. This time it’s a media literacy
group in California called the Center for Media Literacy. It is
not known if this group was paid to enter this relationship. Last
year a so-called media literacy expert named Renee Hobbs entered
into a contract with Channel One. This would have been unthinkable
for a media literacy professional a few years ago.

Channel One is being condemned
across the nation for compelling children to watch commercials
for products that are harmful, such as candy and soft drinks and
violent entertainment. Channel One hopes to deflect criticism
by finding "media literacy experts" who wouldn’t mind
endorsing Channel One, especially if money is passing hands.

Jim Metrock said, "It is
appalling that any group that is serious about media literacy
and the welfare of children would ever enter into a relationship
with Channel One. The founder of this group is Ms. Elizabeth Thoman.
Obligation has written her to protest her decision to "partner"
with this extremely controversial marketing company. We have asked
if the Center has received any money from Channel One or its parent
company, Primedia. We will post her reply on this web site."

Metrock continued, "There
appear to be two factions in the media literacy movement. One
group will accept money from corporations that want to shield
themselves from public criticism and the other group will not
sacrifice principles for cash. Renee Hobbs and the Center for
Media Literacy appear to be firmly in the first group and the
New Mexico Media Literacy Project in the second. Media literacy
is very important, but the public needs to cut off money to the
media literacy pretenders and rechannel the money to organizations
that have principles and guts, such as the NMMLP."

Let these "experts"
know what you think of them. Urge Ms. Thoman to repudiate Channel

Center for Media Literacy SIZE=”-1″ FACE=”Arial”>

4727 Wilshire Blvd., #403

Los Angeles, CA 90010

Toll Free (800) 226-9494

Tel (323) 931-4177

Fax (323) 931-4474

Elizabeth Thoman, Founder and

Tessa Jolls, Executive Director,


May 23, 2000 – "All Who Want
A National Curriculum For Schools Please Raise Your Hand."

Channel One Executive, Roger Wolfson, Praises
Channel One For Being "…Closest Thing to a National Curriculum"

Channel One executive, Roger Wolfson,
told Progressive Magazine that "In spite of the bad stuff
you hear from Nader and the opponents it (Channel One News) really
is the closest thing this country has to a national curriculum."

Jim Metrock, president of Obligation,
said, "Mr. Wolfson was being totally honest and he is right.
Channel One is a national curriculum that a large number of secondary
schoolchildren are forced to experience. All local control is
lost for that 13 minutes a day that Channel One is required to
be shown. This is curriculum that comes straight from Channel
One’s Hollywood studio into the classroom. Communities across
the country are finding out about this ‘national curriculum’ and
they are throwing Channel One out."

Metrock continued, "We don’t
want a ‘national curriculum’ for our children in Alabama and we
sure don’t want Mr. Wolfson and his fellow Channel One executives
to be the ones creating it. As Channel One has said in their promotional
material, they want to ‘shape’ the views of their young audience.
We should all be very, very concerned about that."

FACE=”Arial”>May 23, 2000 – Progressive Magazine Uncovers Channel
One’s Strange Bedfellows

May 17, 2000 – Advertisers Losing
Interest In Channel One? They Better Be

Primedia’s president Tom Rogers
recently mentioned that Channel One is losing advertiser support.
Evidently three big advertisers have seriously lowered their spending
on this controversial TV show or they might have totally withdrawn
from the show.

Obligation urges all companies
that are advertising on Channel One and to remove
their financial support. There are other more respectable ways
to get commercial messages to teens.

Hopefully, more advertisers will
distance themselves from Channel One. Here is one thing you can
do to help kids. Call They are a new advertiser on
Channel One’s TV show. Talk to Danielle Kimbell and ask her to
not use Channel One to get their ad message out. Her number is
800-468-2562. This is a small advertiser that probably doesn’t
know the controversy about Channel One. We will be starting a
new campaign aimed at Channel One’s advertisers soon. The public
can stop this commercial exploitation. All it takes is a little

May 17, 2000 – Vestavia Hills
High School Dumps Channel One After Nine Years – Teachers See
Little to No Value in Controversial Show

Channel One Continues to Implode in Alabama

News reported today that Vestavia Hills High School has ended
their contract with Channel One. A poll taken by the school librarian
showed that an overwhelming majority of teachers, who were under
contract to show the program, were in fact not showing it to students.
91% of teachers said they were not honoring the contract and were
not exposing the students to Channel One’s content.

Jim Metrock said, "This is
a victory for the students of this great school. Channel One had
no place in a school that is so dedicated to academics. This is
the school my son attends and I know teachers have never cared
for this program."

For years, Vestavia Hills H.S.
showed Channel One before school started. "I guess it was
a way to exploit the exploiter," said Metrock. "The
school would run Channel One at 7:45 AM and kids would pile into
the classrooms shortly before 8:00. They would see the ending
credits. Channel One knew what was going on, but they didn’t care.
Just like they don’t care about our middle school not honoring
their contract."

The article states: "Dr.
Newman (VHHS principal) has received no complaints from students
or parents since Channel One was disconnected at the high school,
she said."

Metrock said, "Channel One
is a liability for schools. No one is going to fight to keep this
messy advertising gimmick in their schools. By kicking Channel
One to the curb, Vestavia Hills joins the growing list of area
high schools that have kicked Channel One to the curb. Hoover
H.S. , Mountain Brook and Homewood H.S. have never allowed Channel
One on their school grounds. Last year, all eight of neighboring
Shelby County’s high schools backed the removal of Channel One.
Last month, Walker County’s high school dumped Channel One. The
superintendent of the second largest school system in Alabama,
Jefferson County, has indicated to a TV reporter that they are
not honoring their contract with Channel One. All taxpayers should
be very happy with the rejection of Channel One by Alabama schools."


May 17, 2000 – Channel One and
AOL Team Up to Dump Toxic Waste on Teens –
FACE=”Arial”>Channel One is a sponsor and content provider for
AOL’s Teen web site. On this site, children are exposed to age-inappropriate
content such as movie reviews by E! Entertainment. Music acts
that are known for their sexually-explicit lyrics are commonly
featured on this site. Chat rooms and message boards are here
for children to use.

Channel One’s presence on this
site is disturbing. During the Channel One in-school TV show,
kids are urged to visit this AOL site. Again it gives the impression
that the school is endorsing this site," said Jim Metrock.
"Obligation urges Channel One to remove itself from this
offensive site. "Give our children a break from this trash,
Channel One," Metrock said. "If you are advertising
this site to children on your show and if you are an ‘anchor’
on the site, then you are going to be partially responsible for
the content."

If you have AOL, check it out
yourself. Type "Teens" as a keyword.

16, 2000 Channel One Publishes Pro-Cheating Comments From Channel
One Students

14, 2000 – What Schools Have Sold Their Students To The Channel
One Marketing Company?

3, 2000 – President Clinton Condemned for Channel One Appearance

25, 2000 – Dr. Folkemer’s "Dear Principal" Letter –
Unethical and Unbelievable

Dark World of Channel One

– The Most Depressing Way to Start a School Day

20, 2000 – States Urged to Study Channel One’s Promotion of Violent
Entertainment to Captive Audience of Students

SIZE=”+1″ FACE=”Arial”>April 17, 2000 – National Columnist Arianna
Huffington Tells Channel One to Get Out of Schools

16, 2000 – Ralph Reed Offers Money for Pro-Channel One Opinion

Channel One’s Jeff Ballabon quoted in the
Harrisburg, PA Patriot-News, referring to the efforts of scholars
and conservative and liberal groups opposing Channel One: "It’s
hard to express how unconcerned we are that this is going to
impact us negatively."

April 13, 2000 – NYU Honors Obligation
and Commercial Alert for Work Against Commercialism in Schools

Arianna Huffington presented Gary Ruskin
of Commercial Alert and Pat Ellis and Jim Metrock of Obligation
with an award to honor their efforts against companies like Channel
One and ZapMe!. Ralph Nader was also honored and he also spoke
against Channel One’s commercial exploitation of schoolchildren.

SIZE=”+1″ FACE=”Arial”>March 18, 2000 – Seattle Times Says Turn
Off Channel One

March, 2000 – Alabama Pediatricians
Pass Resolution Opposing Commercials in Classroom

No big surprise here – pediatricians don’t
like anyone forcing children to watch commercials for candy bars,
soft drinks and violent movies. Alabama pediatricians deserve
a lot of credit for standing up for the poorest children in Alabama
who are injured the most by Channel One’s advertising assault.

Here is part of the resolution:

"Be it Resolved, The Alabama Chapter
of the American Academy of Pediatrics ethically opposes contractually
obligating Alabama school children to observe commercials during
classroom time in exchange for or loan of equipment, supplies
or other materials."

Jim Metrock, said "Who knows better
about what children need and don’t need than pediatricians. I
salute our state pediatricians for taking this position. It will
greatly aid efforts to secure a commercial-free school day for
Alabama schoolchildren."

SIZE=”+1″ FACE=”Arial”>March 25, 2000 – St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Editorial Exposes Channel One’s Exploitation

Letter to Alabama State Superintendent Ed Richardson
SIZE=”+2″ FACE=”Arial”> (Channel One
is promoting violent entertainment to our children and the Superintendent
has to take action.)

18, 2000 – What the Hiring of Jim Ritts As Channel One’s New President
Means for Your Child

FACE=”Arial”>March 14, 2000 – Hear What Phyllis Schlafly Has
To Say About Channel One? (March 14 Radio Spot)

March 13,
2000 – Is Channel One’s Gravy Train Over In Seattle?

March 11, 2000 – Today’s Channel
One Poll on

 Do you buckle up?

o FACE=”Arial”>Always

o FACE=”Arial”>Usually

o FACE=”Arial”>When I think of it

o FACE=”Arial”>No way

This is a typical Channel One poll. Everything with Channel One
is value-neutral. The idea that they have "No Way"
as a cool-sounding answer is irresponsible. There is only one
good answer for teens (and adults).

Why even ask this question?

March 6, 2000 – Channel One Shocks
Teachers and Parents With Controversial "Meth in America"

From Jim Metrock: I have just seen the three-part
series entitled "Meth in America" that appeared on Channel
One February 9,10, and 11. The report was actually done by MTV
and a MTV "reporter" (who use to be a Channel One "reporter")
presented the series to our children.

Our children are getting a drug education
from Channel One and MTV. These are the last two companies you
want teaching your children anything, especially anything to do
with drugs. Students as young as eleven in classes with Channel
One were told by the Channel One anchor to tune into MTV that
night to watch see more about this drug called meth. Actually,our
children saw plenty on Channel One. They saw a young woman get
ready to inject herself. It was no big deal to her. She prepared
the drug in a public restroom as the MTV/Channel One camera recorded
it all and gave our children a long lurid peek into the drug world.

This report gave children the impression
that every student is doing drugs. Marijuana and beer are OK compared
to meth. The three-part series ends with the MTV reporter saying
to kids that if they have a PROBLEM with meth you can call a certain
number. Of course, the inference is that some can use the drug
meth and not have a problem. Earlier in the report a young man
is interviewed and says that only after a period of time measured
in MONTHS does meth become a problem.

Children were told it was easy to make meth
in your own home. People are doing this all the time. They even
pan across the household materials and ingredients you need to
make it at home. The message was clear, even if unintended – "You
can make big money by finding out the ingredients to meth and
making it at home."

They show a home that was busted by the
police. The officer says that when parents use to go out of town
you would simply have beer parties by minors now you have meth
parties. That was irresponsible for Channel One to tell children.
It gave the impression that beer was acceptable for children.

Channel One’s report told our children all
the "street" names for meth. Why did they do that? Why
do our children have to be so steeped in the drug culture that
MTV has itself promoted with it’s drug-drenched music videos?

We don’t need drug education by Channel
One and MTV. We will have more on this series. If Channel One
is still being shown in your school, demand that it be turned

Southern Baptist Resolution Urging the Removal of Channel One
from Schools

March 2,
2000 – Historic Letters Go Out Protesting Channel One

The Ghost of Chris Whittle
Returns to Channel One

WIDTH=”254″ HEIGHT=”190″ ALIGN=”LEFT” BORDER=”0″ NATURALSIZEFLAG=”0″> SIZE=”+1″ FACE=”Arial”>March 1, 2000 – Channel One Returns to
Whittle Days in Stunning Announcement

Channel One has been without a permanent
president for over six months. Today they announced the hiring
of Jim Ritts as Channel One’s new president. There is nothing
"new" about Ritts. He was one of the co-founders of
Channel One back when the controversial Chris Whittle owned the
company (1989-1994).

In 1994, Whittle Communications was forced
to sell Channel One to K-III Communications, a company owned by
Kohlberg, Kravis and Roberts. K-III changed its name to Primedia
in 1997.

Ritts was the marketing director for Whittle.
He left Channel One in 1995 to run the LPGA golf tour. Last year
he became the Chairman of Digital Entertainment Network, a youth-oriented
web site. On February 14,2000 DEN announced the resignation of
Ritts with little comment. On February 29, Tom Rogers, Primedia
CEO, announces the hiring of Ritts as president of Channel One.

Jim Metrock, Obligation’s president said,
"A new century dawns and Channel One goes back to the Whittle
days for their leadership. Jim Ritts was Chris Whittle’s marketing
director. Channel One has always tried to distance themselves
from the excesses of Whittle’s management. Now, incredibly, they
go to the chief Whittle huckster for their leadership. Parents
and educators should find no comfort in this hiring."

Metrock continued, "Primedia’s hiring
of Jim Ritts appears to indicate a new era of hard-nosed marketing
to America’s children. Channel One again has a marketing executive
as its president. It should be clear to everyone that this company
has little to do with journalism and education. It’s all about
pushing sleazy movies and junk food on schoolchildren."

"The Whittle days are back at Channel
One. Hopefully, this will help galvanize communities into taking
action to kick Channel One out of their children’s classrooms,
" said Metrock.

24, 2000 – Channel One Dumps Sex and Violence Again on Children

Diane Gramley
Reviews Channel One Ads – A Great Resource for Parents

19, 2000 – Channel One’s "Doctor Love" Answers Children’s
Romance Questions


February 17, 2000 – CBS "Early
Show" Giving Channel One Unearned Respectability

It appears that ABC News has ended their
"special relationship" with the controversial Channel
One TV show. Gone are any signs of ABC News on the dismal
site. Gone are the references to the ABC/Channel One partnership.
Some programming and news reports may still be seen on Channel
One but it appears that is simply a purchase of content.

Now Channel One has popped up on the "Early
Show" and CBS is in for a major battle with the public. Every
two weeks Channel One will have a segment of the "Early Show"
to showcase a recent story that aired on the in-school program.

Jim Metrock, president of Obligation, said,
"Steve Friedman, the executive producer of the Early Show,
has made a bad decision to bring the stink of Channel One to their
new morning show. This is simply an effort by Channel One to appear
to be a respected news gathering organization. They are not. They
are a marketing company that is interested in children watching
commercials. Hopefully, the public will respond to this reckless
programming decision in the one way that makes sense – turn off
Bryant Gumbel and the Early Show."

Metrock continued, " Did Mr. Friedman
know about the resolutions against Channel One? Did he know that
the largest Protestant denomination in the country urges schools
to remove Channel One? Did he know that they continue to promote
violent entertainment to children? One has to assume the man and
network knew about the controversy and that they simply thought
they could get away with teaming with Channel One. Well, they
can’t. They are busted. Let’s see where their ratings go with
Channel One tied around their necks. I urge parents to write CBS
and complain."

February 12, 2000 – Public Should
Be Mad At MADD For Teaming With Channel One

Mothers Against Drunk Driving have steered
their organization into the national controversy over Channel
One. They have agreed to enter into a partnership with Channel
One in order to get more children to hear their important message.
The fact that Channel One is commercially exploiting schoolchildren
doesn’t seem to affect the MADD central office.

Obligation has contacted MADD’s office and
told them of the controversy in case they didn’t know, but it
was of little concern to them. We received a note back from them
telling us that they work with MTV so content and controversy
doesn’t matter to them. But it will. No matter how important your
mission MADD has no right to help those that exploit children.

If you have a MADD chapter in your town,
please contact them and tell them to end their relationship with
Channel One. There are many other ways to accomplish their goals
without using this corporate predator.


February 4, 2000 – The Ugliest
Joke Yet On Children – Media Literacy From Channel One

If you can imagine the Ku Klux Klan giving
seminars on racial tolerance, then you’ll have no problem accepting
Channel One teaching media literacy to the schoolchildren who
are forced to watch their TV show and commercials under force
of contract.

The term "media literacy" is relatively new. Roughly
it attempts to teach children and adults how to "read"
media messages and how to use media as a tool. Just like a person
is print literate when they can read and write words and term
papers, media literacy seeks the same skills with various media.

There may be many respectable media literacy organizations in
our country. I know of one for sure that is beyond reproach. The
New Mexico Media Literacy Project has an outstanding reputation
in this field. They do not taint themselves by accepting media
money to support their organization. The American Academy of Pediatrics
has often used the NMMLP to train doctors in media literacy so
they can better serve their patients. That by itself is recommendation

On the other end of the spectrum are those media literacy organizations
that have no ethical hangups about prostituting themselves for
corporate cash. Channel One has found such a person in Renee Hobbs
(Babson College) who refused to tell the Wall Street Journal how
much money Channel One had paid her to prepare the "Media
Mastery" curriculum that Channel One is now rolling out in

Channel One exists for one main reason – to get commercials in
front of the impressionable eyes of schoolchildren. Channel One
was created by an advertising executive.

This effort to teach media literacy is not intended by Channel
One to help children. It is intended to take heat off of the Channel
One company. It is a smokescreen and it is about as low as Channel
One has ever gone.

The person behind this ruse is Paul Folkemer, Channel One VP of
Education. He will be touring the country proclaiming how he and
his marketing company, Channel One, are dedicated to teaching
children how to understand and evaluate the news and commercials.
It will be interesting to see if Channel One’s money can buy them
the respectability that cannot earn.


1, 2000 – Channel One Continues To Tell Alabama Citizens That
Schools OWN The "Channel One" TV Equipment After Six


January 26, 2000 – Valley Grove
Superintendent and Board Sell Out Kids

The Valley Grove School Board lead by their
superintendent gave Channel One a big vote of approval. Board
president Robert Lewis mocked the petition with 287 names opposing
Channel One. He said out of 6,000 residents that was not impressive.

Mr. Lewis was the man who brought Channel One into the school
system in the early nineties. Like most school systems board members
forgot about Channel One and allowed Channel One’s many abuses
to occur without their knowledge.

The vote was stacked against citizens of
Valley Grove. Lewis asked a class of students to invite Dr. Paul
Folkemer of Channel One to come and help prop up support for Channel
One. Folkemer flew in and was picked up at the airport by board
members. Then they had coffee and discussed how to keep Channel
One in the lives of Valley Grove schoolchildren.

Jim Metrock said, "I have never seen
a group of students misused by a private company to this degree.
Ten years ago a teacher would have been fired for allowing students
to be manipulated by a desperate vendor. This class came up with
the most biased questions that benefited Channel One. Where was
the principal when this was going on? The reason the principal
may have been reluctant to intercede is the teacher who masterminded
the pro-Channel One effort is married to a very pro-Channel One
board member. What is even more discouraging is this board member
is a Methodist minister."

Apparently the minister was not offended
by the violent and sexually-charged entertainment Channel One
has promoted to children. He and other board members were little
troubled by the materialism that Channel One preaches non-stop
to students.

Metrock said, "What I saw was a fabulous
community of parents and grandparents that have gotten a board
that appears to be controlled by Mr. Lewis who is more concerned
about saving face than serving the students. This community could
replace Channel One equipment for seven thousand dollars and avoid
the controversy that they will have until Channel One is kicked
out. I can tell you this, there is not an accountant in Pennsylvania
or the nation that would approve a contract that gives so little
and takes away so much."

January 19, 2000 – Over 280 Valley
Grove, PA Citizens Sign Petition To Oust Channel One

In the western Pennsylvania town of Valley
Grove, citizens have expressed their concern about the controversial
Channel One TV show. At a board meeting on Monday, January 17,
over 280 names and addresses of citizens were presented to the
school board urging the removal of Channel One.

The Valley Grove school board is apparently
a very pro-Channel One board. Dr. Paul Folkemer, VP of Education
for Channel One, came to the meeting from New York (a state that
outlaws his show from all public school classrooms). Board members
picked him up at the airport. He was escorted throughout the high
school. The school board president lavished praise on Folkemer
and Channel One. It was, as Channel One’s Jeff Ballabon inaccurately
described last May’s U.S. Senate hearing on Channel One, a "love

Obligation’s Jim Metrock also was at the
board meeting where Channel One was discussed.

"I met wonderful people in Valley Grove.
They are very concerned about Channel One’s presence in their
school. Although the school board appears to be dominated by a
very pro-Channel One board president, I have a good feeling about
the other nine board members. Surely, they will not want to keep
this controversial TV show in their schools," Metrock said.

"I do not understand why the board
is so charitable to Dr. Folkemer and his company," Metrock
said. "Channel One is ripping their community off by their
onerous contract terms. I asked Dr. Folkemer on the day of the
board meeting ‘how many years does the Valley Grove school district
have to watch Channel One before they can own the TV sets?’ Folkemer’s
response was ‘they never can own them.’ And the board appears
to love this man!?"

Soon the board will vote and the public
will know where each board member stands on the commercialization
of schoolchildren. Channel One is scared. That is why they sent
their top "firefighter" Dr. Folkemer to Valley Grove.
Will Madison Avenue keep its solid hold on Valley Grove’s children?
Stay tuned.

January 19, 2000 – Channel One
Sending Out Two Signals

Dr. Paul Folkemer, VP of Education for Channel
One, told the Valley Grove, PA school board this week that Channel
One is now sending out two signals. One signal is for children
under 13 and the other for 13 and older. The only difference he
mentioned concerned PG13 movies. It seems that Dr. Folkemer, the
person who approves all commercials, will only force ads for violent
and sexually-charged PG13 movies on children after their thirteenth

Jim Metrock, Obligation president said,
"Dr. Folkemer and the rest of the marketing gang on Madison
Avenue have a lot of nerve. They know the content of the movies
they dump on kids and they know that many parents don’t want their
children to be exposed to the movies that make Channel One so
much money. It is not Dr. Folkemer’s right to decide for parents
what movies are going to be promoted to their children. What parent
would ever want ANY movie advertised to their child during school?"

"Is the news different for the younger
students? Now that there are two signals, there is little reason
not to have two newscasts," said Metrock. "Are the other
commercials different? Will Channel One lighten up on the depressing
content (teen suicide, teen depression, gun violence, eating disorders)
for the younger students? I doubt Channel One will do anything
that will undermine their profits. The welfare of children is
not a high priority for Channel One."

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has guidelines
for what and how advertising is displayed to children under 13.
Channel One’s decision to have two signals may make it easier
for the FTC to investigate Channel One. Obligation has filed an
FTC complaint against Channel One in 1999 for the deceptive use
of small print in contests run on the in-school TV show. No action
has been taken yet.

"What is ironic is the fact that no
middle school should ever be showing Channel One because the standard
contract, and Channel One sales literature, states that the show
is specifically intended for ‘teenagers’ not for pre-teens,"
Metrock said. "Any school showing this program to pre-teens
is asking for trouble."