AS I SEE IT - 7/18/2000
by: Bob Magee
AS I SEE IT goes "down under" beginning this week, as Paul Braddock's
Australia-based Wrestling Down Under website, found at http://www.wrestlingdownunder.com
begins running the column. The column is also starting in the Netherlands at DP Koymans's
Today's Lockerroom News site, which can be found at http://tln.hypermart.net.
But there's news far more important than any website or wrestling... Congratulations to two members of the PWBTS family, Ed and Carrie Zohn on the birth of Katherine Sara Zohn at 3:09 PM on July 15th. Katherine was brought into this world weighing in at 7 lbs. 2oz. at 20 inches.
There's probably no truth to the rumor that Carrie needed a C-section because little Katherine figured she was safe just where she was, with Carrie. Carrie and Ed are two of the truly good folks in and around wrestling. May God be with them and with Katherine in their new journey.
Now to this week's column.... beginning with a hypocrisy alert, as I continue the theme of the Parents Television Council's attempts to censor wrestling... and L. Brent Bozell's comments about me while he was guest hosting the Michael Reagan radio show Tuesday night.
Then we will move on to even more connections between Sun Myung Moon's Unification Church and L. Brent Bozell, the founder of the Media Research Council and the Parents Television Church.
First....this past week, following a heavy volume of e-mails sent to participating companies in the PTC Marketplace program, and the resulting complaints to the PTC by these companies; the PTC tried to claim that PTC Marketplace companies have no relationship with them with a graphic stating the following:
"...This Marketplace is maintained by an independent company as a service to visitors to the PTC website. Merchants listed have no direct business or sponsorship relationship with the Parents Television Council."
If you take a look at the site, you'll also notice that the PTC has told you this just after they've told you how spending money at PTC Marketplace benefits the organization.
Just lines above the above attempt at a disclaimer, this line appears:
"Welcome to the Parents Television Council Marketplace! WHERE EVERY PURCHASE SUPPORTS OUR CAUSE (my emphasis). Every time you make a purchase in our Marketplace, a percentage of the sale goes directly to the Parents Television Council".
The fact of the matter is this: if they're giving money to the PTC, they're effectively endorsing it. Period.
Merchants who are participants in this program are getting heat. Many companies are trying to respond to those e-mailing them by stating everything from claiming that "we don't have a choice as to who we affiliate with" to something called The Sweet Lobster Company trying to silence those e-mailing them by claiming that any kind of e-mail campaign constitutes spamming with this charming passage: "Government agencies are now involved and continued harassment will make your case that much worse..." "
Many OTHER merchants, though, are pulling out of the Marketplace program on a daily basis. This means less dollars for the PTC to lobby advertisers to UPN Smackdown in order to deny you the right to make your OWN viewing choices.
As of press time, the following companies have pulled out of the PTC Marketplace program (or were removed after it was publicly revealed that they were selling WWF merchandise):
Arizona Souvenirs.com, Brainstorms.com, Buy.com, CBS-Sportsline.com (parent site of Wrestleline.com), Cooking.com, Creditland.com, Cyberian Outpost, Discover Nature, eTranslate.com, Fashion Mall, Fragrance.Net, Frenchtoast.com, Giftcertificates.com, Great Flowers, Healthshop.com, Hickory Farms, Host America, ICS Collectables, JC Penney, K-Tel, Lady Classic, More.com, Moret Online, New York First, Office Max, Omaha Steaks, Outletmall.com, Paul Frederick.com, Planet Outdoors.com, Smoke Shop, Sparks.com, TheGift.com, Toy-Gift.com, Toys'RUs.com, Wholefoods.com, Widerview Village, Wicks End, WizCity (thanks to John Woods of Rock Out Censorship for this list).
If Hypocrisy Alert number 1 wasn't bad enough for you, how about another example of how the Parents Television Council is somewhat less than "family-friendly" (thanks to PTC Sucks.com) with PTC Hypocrisy Alert number 2?
In a list of sponsors that the PTC asks their members to boycott because they support the WWF...you find anti-smoking website/ organization TheTruth.com as well as MADD, Mothers Against Drunk Driving.
The PTC wants you to boycott organizations that combat DRUNK DRIVING AND SMOKING because they support a wrestling company?
So much for being family-friendly...
One has to wonder what kind of Alice in Wonderland "up is down, and black is white" mentality the PTC is using. It's just one more reminder of what we're fighting, folks.
As I said earlier, many wrestling fans are focusing on going after PTC Marketplace sponsors.
But don't forget that the PTC uses other means by which they raise funds. As I mentioned in last week's column, The Media Research Center (the PTC's parent organization) is a member of Townhall.com. This Townhall.com is website of the Heritage Foundation. It also has its own Marketplace program, which indirectly benefits the PTC.
The PTC also actively solicits members to donate stock or to include the organization in the member's will; as well as receives money through "PTC" Visa and Mastercard credit cards.
But the most frightening connection of all has been explored in previous AS I SEE IT columns, as well as Fritz Capp's "Straight Shooting" column - the role of the Unification Church in providing political OR financial support to the Parents Television Council. I've gotten more information on this matter.
Let's first address Mr. Bozell's comments about me.
He alleged that I implicated him in the "Koreagate" political scandal. Let's take a look at what I actually said in last week's column:
"...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 (my emphasis), including involvement with the US "Koreagate" political scandal, according to the Washington Post...."
As you can see, Mr. Bozell apparently has a problem reading what I actually said.
Despite his denials, there is a clear connection between Sun Myung Moon's Unification Church, its related organizations, and L. Brent Bozell, the founder of the Media Research Council and the Parents Television Church. Bozell is a member of the American Freedom Coalition, an organization that has received over five million dollars of Unification Church money.
The following information is from an interview on September 4, 1997's edition of the syndicated Jeff Baker Program, with substituting host Kelleigh Nelson interviewing Chey Simonton. Simonton has done research into the connections between the Christian Right and other conservative organziations to the Unification Church.
A complete transcript of this radio interview can be found at http://www.watch.pair.com/moon.html.
During this interview, Simonton speaks at length about these connections.
Here are excerpts:
(Kelleigh Nelson speaking): "Then why is it that all of the Christian Right, who claim to be Christian, have gotten sucked in by Sun Myung Moon? Is it strictly because of the money or is it because of his rhetoric or is it both?
(Chey Simonton speaking): I would say he [Moon] adapts his rhetoric. He's very good at marketing and you adapt your rhetoric to whatever target group you are targeting. He does make very large amounts of money available and people whose political goals have superceded their Christian beliefs are very tempted by that money.
I think they're willing to compromise. They put their Bible in their pocket when they stick their hand out to Rev. Moon. Of course, the love of money is the root of all evil. So, it is a very serious thing. I think the most indicative thing is the fact that if they were comfortable with being associated with Moon, they would be publicly, they would be having him as a guest on their radio shows and promoting him as they do all the other people in the conservative movement."
Kelleigh Nelson also makes reference to the American Freedom Coalition as a Moon front-organization within the Christian Right circles.
Later in the interview, Simonson makes specific reference to Bozell:
"....Now, what people need to remember is that the American Freedom Coalition was funded with over 5 million dollars of Sun Myung Moon money. Most of the members that are listed here also belong to something that is always referred to as a 'conservative educational group promoting Judeo-Christian values' called the Council for National Policy.
Included on this Moon-funded group are Dr. Ben Armstrong of the National Religious Broadcasters Association; Rev. James Bevel who now, or was a few years ago, associated with the [Lyndon] LaRouche organization; Brent Bozell III; Dr. Joseph Churuba; Don DeFore, the actor from Hazel.... Colonel Doner who originated Christian Voice, a Moon-controlled precursor to.... it was after the Moral Majority but before the Christian Coalition, there was an organization called Christian Voice that was under the domination of Unification Church members and they had Christians going out being the public relations speakers but they were controlled and financed by Unification Church organizations....."
[Bozell is openly listed in the organization's online directory located at http://www.ifas.org/cnp/index.html as a member from Alexandria, VA, and as the head of the Media Research Center]
(Chey Simonton speaking again) "....Colonel Doner, in an article I have here somewhere, laughingly explained to the report that he coined the term 'traditional values' that the Christian Right loves and that "traditional values" means absolutely nothing. It means whatever anybody thinks it means. And that has been the battle cry of the Christian Right, that we must have 'traditional values'. He laughed about that. "
The American Freedom Coalition is further listed as a Moon-front group at: http://www.perkel.com/politics/moonies/front.htm. The same website lists the Washington Times as an entity of the Unification Church through its News World Communications holding company.
In it's Media Reality Check on May 17, 2000, the Media Research Council ITSELF has even listed the Washington Times as owned by "...News World Communications, the owners of the Washington Times, affiliated with the Unification Church".
Readers should continue to get the word out about what the Parents Television Council is doing to censor THEIR television.
1) Continue to contact the advertisers of the Parents Television Council AND Townhall.com (the Heritage Foundation's website) Marketplace programs. As I mentioned in last week's column, The Media Research Center (the PTC's parent organization) is a member of Townhall.com.
Many advertisers who have withdrawn from the PTC Marketplace program are still funding them indirectly through their participation in Townhall.com's equivalent. Some of these companies include Toys 'R Us, 1-800-Flowers, Cooking.com, Arizona Souvenirs.com, Brainstorms.com, and Buy.com.
Don't buy the PTC's spin-doctoring and claims of lack of participant responsibility. If what wrestling fans are doing weren't having an effect on their efforts and on their bottom line, the PTC wouldn't have bothered to address what we're doing on their website.
Participants in the PTC Marketplace program can be found at: http://effinity1.onesoft.com/effinity/frames.asp?mpc=PTC
Participants in the Townhall.com Marketplace program can be found at:
Individual corporate participants and their e-mail addresses can be found through each URL.
2) Get involved with one or more of the many groups working against the efforts of the PTC:
PTC Sucks http://ptcsucks.com
Wrestling Fans Against Censorship http://pwbts.com/censor.html
3Sixteen Anti-PTC Page http://stop-the-ptc.com
Rock Out Censorship http://theroc.org/
3) Try some "preventive maintenance" ala the folks at Strictly ECW. Send thank you e-mails to current sponsors of WWF programming and to.
those companies that have withdrawn from the PTC Marketplace.
4) Bring signs showing your opposition to the PTC to any WWF televised event, such as RAW, Smackdown, and the upcoming Fully Loaded PPV this weekend. Fans brought anti-PTC signs to the ECW Heat Wave PPV this past Sunday.
5) Contact Visa and Mastercard, and express your concern that they are providing the Parents Television Council (through an issuing bank) an opportunity to put their names on Visas and Master Cards.
To conclude, the PTC has attempted to put a positive spin on their attempts to censor content in sports entertainment through claiming the moral high ground. They've attempted to attack our credibility and the use of moral absolutes.
Yes, there are moral absolutes, Mr. Bozell.
But not the ones you and the Parents Television Council presents. There are other moral absolutes, ones worth defending at any cost, such as:
The freedom of speech and creative expression....a paramount value in the United States and elsewhere...
The freedom of parents to raise their children without self-appointed moral arbiters deciding to make the moral choices that parents are entitled to make for themselves...
The freedom to express our thoughts and opinions openly and proudly... whether about something as minor as the forms of sports entertainment that we enjoy...or as important as making public the involvement of cult-like organizations and those involved or influenced by them having undue influence over that very same entertainment under the guise of "protecting traditional values".
These are the moral absolutes that WE believe in, Mr. Bozell.
Even if we're... as some still like to put it, "just wrestling fans".
Until next time
(If you have comments or questions, I can be reached by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org)