Letter To Maria Menounos

May 4, 2001


The Channel One Diet


If there is one of the current Channel One anchors that has a future in legitimate TV it is Maria Menounos. She is very comfortable in front of a camera. She recently did a two-part story on diabetes. She tells her audience that she really cares about this subject because her father has suffered from diabetes. She said her family never had junk food in their house.

She interviews a 13-year-old girl that is making a national effort to raise awareness about diabetes. Menounos never mentions in her report that Channel One has been criticized by many well-respected organizations and experts for their advertising of unhealthy, high-sugar junk food and soft drinks.

I wrote Ms. Menounos and told her what I think about her making her living pushing junk food on children and her having the nerve to do a report on diabetes. Channel One anchors are in their twenties. They are not teenagers. They want their audience to think they are teens and that is why they never tell their audience their ages. (Another deceptive practice by Channel One.) Will there ever be a Channel One anchor who will quit because they refuse to participate in this exploitation of kids? Don’t count on it. These anchors are using Channel One as a stepping stone to great fortune and fame. The materialism that Channel One promotes in their audience is pulsing in the veins of these “celebrity” anchors.

As more and more young people protest Channel One, you will see fewer people wanting to be a Channel One anchor. Until that happens you will have Maria Menounoses lecturing us on the increase in Type II diabetes in kids and then telling us to stay tune after a word from Pepsi and Hostess Twinkies.

Dear Maria,
I just finished watching your two-part series on diabetes. I am sure the irony of doing this story did not escape you.
You get paid every week by a company that has made their money urging children to drink more Pepsi, Mt. Dew, and Mug Root Beer and to eat more M&Ms, Snickers, Twinkies, cupcakes, Big Macs and assorted other junk food.
You ran a commercial recently that had one young person asking another why they were buying even more french fries. Well, it was because that increased their chance of winning a million dollars.
You ran commercials urging children to eat more Nestle Crunch bars so they could win NBA stuff.
As a daughter of somebody who has suffered from diabetes, you ought to be ashamed of yourself.
How could you interview that young girl who is doing everything she can to control and to end diabetes when you are one of the people doing the most to increase Type II diabetes in our country.
Is that an overstatement? Or are you simply justifying working for Channel One?
Part of your salary is paid by Pepsi, Hostess, Mars, and McDonald’s. Every time you cash your check, imagine a Pepsi executive and a Hostess executive standing beside you patting you on the back and saying, “Nice job, Maria. Our sales are really pumped up because of you and Channel One.”
You cannot divorce yourself from your junk food advertisers.
You should know better. On this issue, you should care more deeply than other C1 anchors. Just like Krystal Greene should be upset that C1 robs school time from more African-American students than other groups, you should be outraged at the Channel One junk food assault on children.
You have to decide what you do. Is the money that awesome that it overwhelms your personal principles? There have to be better jobs out there for you than this. Don’t sell yourself short. And certainly stop helping to sell this high-sugar junk to other people’s children.

Angered by your apparent indifference to children’s health,
Jim Metrock


Channel One has interviews with all of their anchors. In Menounos’ interview she is asked:

“Are there any stories you wish you didn’t have to cover?”

To which she answers:
“It breaks my heart to see sick children. I can only hope that by doing my job I may in some way help them.”

Maria, you can start helping kids be healthy by writing Paul Folkemer and Noreen Clarke and tell them to stop approving any junk food or soft drink commercials.

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