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Education Reporter

Channel One 2004 — 
Exploiting Children and Perverting Education

By Pat Ellis

Pat Ellis
Pat Ellis
Just when we thought it couldnt get any worse — it did. If you havent heard of Channel One, it is a New York headquartered firm that broadcasts "news" along with commercial advertising to many of this nations middle and high schools. Schools that agree to Channel Ones Faustian bargain receive the use of a satellite dish, a TV in each classroom and two VCRs per school. The satellite dish will only receive the Channel One signal.

We understand that the purpose of advertising is to manipulate our wants and desires. What we dont understand is why so many educators dont have a problem with exploiting a captive audience of children in this way. An article in the American Academy of Pediatrics Journal stated that Channel One promotes poor lifestyle choices. Taxpayer-funded school time should not be the venue for hawking any products to students.

This year, the Bloomfield, Indiana Board of Education pulled the plug on Channel One. Superintendent Hasler stated, "They had a program on that said a high school education was worthless. That was kind of the straw that broke the camels back for me." He went on to say the school also had complaints about Channel One advertising rap groups. This is standard fare for Channel One. They have even promoted groups that "specialize" in "gangsta" rap and explicit lyrics.

On February 5 of this year, the top story was gay marriage. Channel One showed two men talking about how they have been committed to each other for 15 years. Then the children see an actual gay wedding. Next, the camera pans over a newspaper page showing male couples and their wedding announcements. The Cingular question of the day for students was "Do you approve of gays getting married?"

At Channelone.com children can enter a message board where gay issues are discussed. One thread on the board (which we copied to our site at www.obligation.org/c04a.html) has children talking about homosexual sex. It is much too graphic to include in this article. Children are encouraged to go to Channelone.com every day before the end of the Channel One broadcast.

On February 25 the top story again was gay marriage. Video clips from six gay marriages were shown to students — men marrying men and women marrying women. Channel One selected a scene of two men walking hand-in-hand in a parade. One man held a sign, "I have the wedding bell blues." Children heard Cheryl Jacques of the Human Rights Campaign state how shameful President Bush was in proposing a discriminatory amendment to the Constitution.

Channel One has a gay agenda. They are working to normalize the gay lifestyle to students as young as 6th graders. Most parents have no ida that schools are acting as partners with Channel One in this effort.

On February 27, Channel One ran an ad for the movie Starsky and Hutch. It was rated PG-13 for drug content, sexual situations, partial nudity, language and some violence. This movie features one of the most notorious drug users in popular culture — Snoop Dogg. In this movie he plays the role of a pimp. During the in-school commercial he joked about "grass." Channel One has a long history of advertising movies that many parents would not encourage their children to see.

What to do? Ask your children if Channel One is in their school. You might be surprised. Next, visit the Eagle Forum website, click on Quick Topics then select Channel One, and read the many informative articles on this subject. Eagle Forum also provides links to Obligation, Inc. and other organizations opposed to Channel One. Print information to give to other parents. As a group of concerned parents, let your school board know you do not send your children to school to be manipulated by Hollywood and Madison Avenue. Parents across the country are taking action to fight this exploitation — you can too!

Pat Ellis is education director of Obligation, Inc., a Birmingham, AL organization dedicated to reminding businesses, governments and individuals of their responsibility to children.

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