AS I SEE IT - 7/13/2000
by: Bob Magee
In the continuing efforts of many of us against the Parents Television Council,
it's occurred to me that wrestling fans need to know a lot more about the organization
that is actually sponsoring the PTC.
So if you're looking to see what someone thinks about the Hogan-Russo-Jarrett "shoot angle" at Bash at The Beach, better look elsewhere this week. Further, expect some rather frightening and adult topics to be discussed below.
I know there are some of you that think this column can often veer too far away from wrestling. But, unfortunately, there are serious issues that you and I may not see as relating to wrestling that are affecting it all too often. Even if wrestling fans don't feel like hearing about them (and, truth be known, I'd rather not have to be writing about them), they are important to the very existence of the programs you and I as wrestling fans enjoy viewing each week.
If you don't believe me now, wait until you read this column.
There is a famous scene in the Wizard of Oz, when Dorothy and her friends complete their mission, and come to the Wizard to get the various things they need. As they are pleading their case before the Wizard, they wonder what the little booth is over to their left. The Wizard then yells in a loud voice to "pay no attention to the man behind the curtain".
Folks, the "man behind the curtain" is exactly the one you need to be paying the most attention to, both in Hollywood movies and in real life.
The subject behind this column is the identity of the "men behind the curtain", the sponsoring organizations of the purportedly non-affiliated and "family-friendly" Parents Television Council.
Let's start with the Media Research Center, the parent organization of the Parents Television Council.
According to their own website, the Media Research Center was:
"...Founded by L. Brent Bozell III in 1987 with the mission of bringing political balance to the nations news media and responsibility to the entertainment media, the Media Research Center (MRC) has grown into the nations largest and most respected conservative media watchdog organization.
The MRC tapes over 150 hours a week of news and entertainment shows aired on the broadcast networks and cable news channels. With over 160,000 hours on more than 25,000 videotapes, the MRC is the only organization with a complete tape library of network news and entertainment shows back to the late 1980s. Every day teams of MRC analysts enter data from all these stories and shows into a customized computer database, identifying bias in the process. Analysts also comb daily through the nation's most influential newspapers and news magazines."
OK. Sounds pretty straightforward.
This is America, and people are entitled to their views, whether or not one agrees with them, right?
Not so fast.
You see, in a spin-doctoring of the English language worthy of Orwell's Animal Farm, the MRC has its own version of "news". It consists of a political line far more pronounced than the one it claims the "liberal" media (translated: anyone who doesn't agree with their political agenda) has. It has an "unbiased news staff" which includes such political columnists as Rush Limbaugh, Paul Harvey, Michael Reagan, G. Gordon Liddy, Mike Rosen (Denver), Neal Boortz (Atlanta) and Mark Davis (Dallas).
This political line is further expressed through another Media Research Council sponsored organization called the "Conservative News Service", found at CNSNews.com. This CNSNews.com advertises its news as the "Right news. Right now".
"Right" news? Funny. I thought we were talking about unbiased news.
Now what is this "Conservative News Service"? If one takes a look at their "unbiased news, checked for accuracy
'news'" you can clearly find an organization with a right-wing, anti-feminist, anti-United Nations, anti-gun control, anti-arms control, anti-reproductive rights, anti-labor union, anti-gay/lesbian rights, pro-death penalty, pro-"creationism", pro-Republican party oriented version of the "news" in each and every one of the articles posted on the website
Don't believe me? Check them out for yourselves at http://cnsnews.com.
They even go so far as to sell merchandise bragging of this stance; including such gems as bumper sticker "Proud Member of the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy" or "It takes a village idiot to believe the liberal media".
Now let's make something clear.
My column is an opinion column primarily on professional wrestling. I express my opinions freely.
The folks at the Media Research Center have the right to do so as well. This is still America.
But when I post news, it's news. Not opinion. A number of the websites that post this column do so separately from the news on column or opinion boards.
It would appear that the good folk at the MRC have a bit of a problem making that distinction in the larger world that wrestling websites can very easily make in their world.
Now, before you think you've typed in the wrong URL, and gone to Politics.com, stop and think here a minute. Here's my point: these are the people behind the ongoing attempts to keep you from being able to watch the wrestling you enjoy each week. They are certainly resulting in a toning down of content of the WWF product, especially on UPN Smackdown.
Maybe you'd rather be thinking about when Hunter Hearst Helmsley is or isn't turning face. So would I.
Unfortunately, some rather disturbing reality intrudes.
As for the funding of the Parents Television Council, the most well-known funding source to wrestling fans is, of course, the PTC Marketplace program, where companies give a portion of proceeds from sales of products to the PTC's efforts. The PTC has been losing participants in this program due to the efforts of groups like Wrestling Fans Against Censorship, PTC Sucks.com, the Anti-PTC page, and Rock Out Censorship.
If only it were as simple as the PTC getting money from misguided corporations who think they're supporting "family-oriented" television.
Let's look at two of the ways that the PTC receives far, far larger sources of political and financial support.
First, the Media Research Center proudly on its website that it is a "member organization" of Townhall.com, a project of the Heritage Foundation.
The Heritage Foundation is a noted conservative organization described by former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich as: "...without question, the most far-reaching conservative organization in the country in the war of ideas, and one which has had a tremendous impact not just in Washington, but literally across the planet."
Not to mention links to uncountable amounts of money.
Townhall.com also has a "Marketplace" program. Take a guess which companies are participants in it... and proudly tell you that:
"...By shopping in the Town Hall Marketplace, you not only get access to the very best products and services online, you also help Town Hall promote communications among leading conservative organizations, find new members, and publicize the accomplishments of the conservative movement to a wider public. Every time you make a purchase in our MarketPlace, a percentage of the sale goes right into the Town Hall account. It's that simple, and it doesn't cost you anything extra."
Many of these companies are the very companies that have withdrawn from the PTC Marketplace program; including such companies as Brainstorms, which sent out a very well-publicized mailing to many who protested their involvement with the PTC proclaiming their innocence.
Look for yourself at: http://126.96.36.199/effinity/frames.asp?MPC=TWHL
In other words, folks, they're making money for the Media Research Center and the PTC through the Townhall.com back door, and hoping you won't find out.
Not any more.
Then there are other links to L. Brent Bozell and the Media Research Council.
As I've stated in previous AS I SEE IT columns, one of L. Brent Bozell's previous employers was the Unification Church (better known as the religious cult called the "Moonies"), led by the Reverend Sun Myung Moon.
The Unification Church is a cult with a capital C, folks.
Sun Myung Moon's supporters claim on the Unification Church's own website at http://unification.org/rev_mrs_moon.html that Jesus Christ appeared to Moon on a mountain in Korea in 1935. A passage on the website claims that "....Jesus asked him to continue the work which he had begun on earth nearly 2,000 years before. Jesus asked him to complete the task of establishing God's kingdom on earth and bringing His peace to humankind...."
Moon has even created a Christ-like mythology for himself in this passage from the Unification Church's website:
"[While in Korea]...Charged with disturbing the social order, in November 1946, the young minister was imprisoned and tortured. The police thought him dead and threw his body into the prison yard. Some of his followers found him and carried him away to tend to his broken body."
I wonder what the good supporters of the Parents Television Council, many of whom are no doubt born-again or evangelical Christians, think of their leader, L. Brent Bozell, having a relationship with someone like this?
But the connections between L. Brent Bozell, the Parents Television Council, the Media Research Center, and the Unification Church get even scarier the farther you look; and the person they're connected to looks even sleazier.
According to The Consortium for Independent Journalism, The Reverend Moon was arrested by The South Korean government in 1955 for allegedly conducting sexual "purification" rites, according to several U.S. intelligence reports which are now public.
In the book "Tragedy of the Six Marys", Moon is reported to have turned this supposed religious ritual into a sort of rotating sex club. Moon's first wife divorced him after catching him in a sex ritual. This supposed "purification" resulted in a number of the women becoming pregnant and abandoned.
This doesn't sounds like family-oriented values to me, folks.
As for political connections, there are many ties between the Unification Church and the American political right, including the National Conservative Political Action Committee (NCPAC) headed in later years by L. Brent Bozell himself, including involvement with the US "Koreagate" political scandal, according to the Washington Post.
The Consortium for Independent Journalism stated that "...[Moon's] Asian connection is especially relevant, because of scandals surrounding his early activities in America. U.S. law-enforcement and intelligence agencies monitored the church in the 1960s and '70s, considering it a potential national security threat to the United States. Reports by the CIA, the FBI and Defense Intelligence Agency painted a picture of a secretive religion with close ties to South Korea's brutal intelligence service (the KCIA) as well as to prominent right-wing industrialists linked to the Japanese yakuza [Mafia]."
The Unification Church also owns the Washington Times and United Press International. The UPI purchase by the Unification Church became known publicly after legendary UPI White House reporter Helen Thomas resigned rather than work for a Unification Church owned organization.
Many conservative websites have joined in with a campaign of trashing Thomas, claiming she was "no more than a liberal". Thomas, known and respected by Republican and Democratic politicians, worked in Washington for 40 years.
As for the Times and its Unification Church connection, the Times doesn't exactly advertise its connection. The Times tries to conceal their benefactors by having American-sounding names on their masthead. They also try to do so the by omitting the name of the newspaper's publisher, Dong Moon Joo and of Sun Myung Moon himself.
Working on such a level shows that the Unification Church has considerable sums of money available to it. LOTS of money.
Don't think so?
According to The Consortium for Independent Journalism:
"...church officials have maintained that the money comes from U.S. fund-raising and from varied businesses, machine manufacturing to tuna fishing. But my interviews with a half dozen former senior church figures found solid agreement that the expense of just keeping The Washington Times afloat -- a figure that one ex-leader put at $100 million-plus a year --far exceeds what the Church generates in the United States.
That's just ONE of the Unification Church's "projects". Just ONE.
The connections I've outlined ought to scare the hell out of you.
They should scare the supporters of the Media Research Center. They should scare the supporters of the Parents Television Council.
Most of all, it should scare the American public, and even wrestling fans who were probably under the impression at best that the PTC was just some annoying bunch of right-wing nuts; and would rather think about if Steve Austin is coming back to the WWF at Fully Loaded.
So for those readers who've been contacting PTC Marketplace corporate participants, time to do it again. Since a number of companies have removed links on the PTC Marketplace (or had them removed); go to the Townhall.com Marketplace at the URL above. Start reminding those companies of the connections you've read between the Media Research Council, the PTC, and the Heritage Foundation/Townhall.com.
Then start reminding them about the connections between L. Brent Bozell and the Unification Church.
Let those companies know that you've found out about the connections, and you're holding them accountable for making money for a cause you do NOT support; and that you'll continue to boycott their products and services until they come clean....until they REALLY come clean.
Check out the groups that are working to keep our wrestling "PTC free" such as PTC Sucks at http://ptcsucks.com, Wrestling Fans Against Censorship at http://pwbts.com/censor.html, 3Sixteen.com's Stop The PTC page at http://stop-the-ptc.com.
But understand that working to get the PTC out of our business.... that of being able to be just wrestling fans, will require ALL of us working together.
Until next time
(If you have comments or questions, I can be reached by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org)