Folkemer’s Follies

October 2, 2008
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On September 30, sixth grade students looked up as Channel One News began its daily broadcast.

Something was different today.

Instead of a Channel One reporter greeting the students, Kat Dennings and Michael Cera, two actors in Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist, introduced themselves.

They plug their movie (a violation of Channel One’s own news standards) and tell the kids they will be back later in the show to do a pop quiz related to the movie.

After the Southern Baptist Convention overwhelming passed a resolution urging all schools to remove Channel One News in 1999, Channel One made a public promise to Rev. Richard Land, president of the Southern Baptist Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission that no ads for PG13 movies would ever be shown again to middle school students.

Nick and Norah is a hard PG13 movie with a tremendous amount of teen drinking, sexual content and profanity.

The picture above was taken from the Channel One program aired in middle schools.

Channelone.com has been advertising this movie for weeks. Channel One is even sponsoring a contest to help get more kids interested in the movie.

The movie normalizes teen drinking. One teen in the movie gets out of line by drinking TOO MUCH, but even that is played for laughs. Hollywood makes teen drinking acceptable. Sure there are some consequences shown occasionally, but the overall message is popular, good-looking teens always drink alcohol without any downside.

Channel One News has always had a close relationship with Hollywood studios. There ad revenue is steady money for Dr. Folkemer and Channel One.

Teachers and parents who have followed the history of Channel One know they once advertised a "stoner" movie to kids. "Dude, Where’s My Car?" was heavily advertised on Channel One News in 2000. The man responsible for that ad running in classrooms is unfortunately back at Channel One. His name is Dr. Paul Folkemer. He’s their Education VP.

In the past Folkemer has been the person who makes the final decision on what is advertised. He has called himself "Channel One’s child advocate." It appears as if Folkemer has grown tired of advocating.

Q: Why would Folkemer and the rest of the executives at Channel One News allow this type of movie to be plugged to kids?

A: Money, honey. Cold hard cash is the god these execs pray to. So what if this movie and the TV show 90210 (currently being pushed on Channel One’s teen/preteen website) will encourage teens and younger kids to drink alcohol? Folkemer and his gang appear to be saying, "We advertise the movie, we make money from the movie, but it’s the parents’ job to keep their kids from seeing it."

We have written to Dr. Folkemer asking him to have a heart and to stop advertising entertainment that undermines the efforts to prevent teen drinking. He refuses to reply.

As we have mentioned before Folkemer is… get ready for this… the Chairman of the Board at MADD, Mothers Against Drunk Driving. He knows, or should know, that it is wrong to promote such irresponsible movies to children. He knows, or should know, that there is a terrible price to pay when teen drug and alcohol use is normalized and even glamorized.

Dr. Folkemer’s Follies so far this young school year include the sex-drenched, alcohol-soaked 90210 TV show and Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist. No telling what will be dumped on kids as the school year gets into gear.