Ken McNatt

February 14, 2002
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Ken McNatt is a Pennsylvania high school student who is opposed to Channel
One. He started a student organization opposing Channel One in his school.
Last year, when Ken heard that a school in Woodward, OK was thinking about
getting Channel One, he tried to warn them. This is his follow up letter
to the editor of the Woodward newspaper.

Editor:

On May 18th of last year, I warned your community of what the 12-minute
in school news program Channel One has done to students while they have
been in Americaís classrooms, and now I am going to tell you what
they have shown on the program since Woodward’s schools have tuned in to
Channel One.

Bands continue to promote their music on the program. Jewel promoted her CD "This
Way" on a program this school year when she was guest host. Channel One
even took time to show clips of the last time she was on the program (1995).
The two-hit wonder Dakota Moon was recently on the program to pitch their new
CD (and perhaps revitalize their careers), Channel One also played snippets
of the songs on the CD during the show.

TV shows continue to be promoted on the program. Soleil Moon Frye, an actress
who plays on Sabrina the Teenage Witch, promoted the season premiere of the
show on the Channel One program while she was a "guest host". Sportscaster
Bob Costas was on the program recently, and he pushed the NBC, CNBC, and MSNBC
Olympic coverage to the students watching. He said that if the students watched
the coverage, then they wouldnít have to study over the weekend. Good
role model?? I think not, not when an influental American tells kids,
that they don’t have to study.  Channel One says they will only portray
positive role models on the program, and they even have this in writing at
their channeloneteacher.com site, where they say they will "Provide positive
role models for all members of our viewing audience."

Violent entertainment continues to be promoted on the Channel One program. "Rollerball" a
movie that is rated a hard PG-13 for violence, extreme sports action,
sensuality, language and some drug references, and it has been promoted on
the show at least twice. (Itís a "hard" PG-13, because there
was enough editing done to make it PG-13. It would have been rated "R".)
Right now, if you hurry, you can go to channelone.com, (which for the most
part is not about the news at all) to see these shows in their entirety in
their archive. One quick note though, Channel One archives their shows for
thirty days online, then they erase them for good. You can also ask your school
to tape the program for you (if possible).

Junk food continues to be promoted on the Channel One program as well. Channel
One has shown a Hostess commercial where a vampire is prepared to suck the
blood of his next victim, when he notices something outside the window in the
room. The object appears to be Hostess cupcake. He turns into his bat form,
and flies toward the object. By the time he realizes that the object is not
a Hostess cupcake, it is too late, and he flies right into a sign that says "Hotel" in
cursive writing. The bat gets electrocuted. At the end of the commercial, the
vampire is back in his human form, and says that famous line, "Whereís
the creme filling?". Keep in mind that this is occurring during school
time that is paid for by taxpayers.

The NBA and Channel One, with no approval, or input from the schools with a
contract with Channel One, signed an agreement which allows NBA and WNBA
players to guest host on the show. Just recently, Shane Battier of the Memphis
Grizzlies, and Speedy Claxton of the Philadelphia 76íers guest hosted
the show. Sports have taken a large amount of time on Channel One, since the
beginning of 2002. In January, they had an entire segment about the Rose Bowl,
when most already knew the result of the game, the same for the recent NBA
All-Star Game. They have also devoted huge amounts of time to the Olympic athletes
competing in this yearís Winter Olympics in Salt Lake.  A 1997
study by William Hoynes, a professor at Vassar College found that 20% of the
show contains "hard news." The rest of the show you may ask? Taking
time for guest hosts to pitch their products (which Channel One does not consider
part of their commercial time), sports, weather, and constant promotion of
themselves take up the rest of the show.

Channel One’s website is barely concerned with the news, but rather, pop culture,
quizzes about "crushes", a piece of artificial intelligence which
pops up ideas for band names for their viewers, and other things that have
nothing to do with the news or education. Channel One’s web site is supposed
to be educational, but for the most part, I beg to differ.

More and more districts are throwing out Channel One as they are awakening
to the true purpose of Channel One.  It is a simple diversion from educational
time to view advertising. It is this reason that Channel One needs to be kicked
out of Americaís classrooms.

Ken M. McNatt – Oil City, PA

(Ken M. McNatt is President and Founder of SACCO, the Students Against Commercialized
Classrooms Organization. Ken can be reached at iceman_km@yahoo.com)

end of letter

Obligation’s Jim Metrock said, "If only we had school board members
and superintendents as smart as this young man. Ken should be an inspiration
to us all."