AS I SEE IT 8/02/200:
The PTC Hits The Mainstream...
What You Can Do About It
The PTC is at it again...with another junk science "study"...and
a host of mainstream media exposure last week.
On August 1st, the PTC sent out one of its infamous "press releases" regarding this study, entitled The Sour Family Hour: 8 to 9 Goes from Bad to Worse. The study appears online here.
What's scary is that many mainstream media outlets treated the PTC's comments with a degree of credibility.
ABC, NBC, CNN, MSNBC, and even C-Span showed excerpts from his "press conference" and featured L. Brent Bozell's dubious statistics.
It was at least heartening to see some wrestling media, such as Dave Meltzer's Wrestling Observer finally take on Bozell's credibility.
Here is the PTC's "press release":
"...Hollywood, Calif. -- Today the Los Angeles-based Parents Television Council (PTC), a non-partisan, non-profit, grassroots organization, released its latest analysis of the so-called 'Family Hour,' The Sour Family Hour: 8 to 9 Goes from Bad to Worse, at a Washington, D.C. press conference.
United States Senators and PTC advisory board members Sam Brownback (R-KS) and Joe Lieberman (D-CT) joined PTC President and Founder L. Brent Bozell III in announcing the results of this Special Report, which found that objectionable material had risen 24 percent since the organizations last Family Hour study.
PTC analysts reviewed nearly 200 hours of Family Hour programming during the 2000-01 season, noting incidents of sexual and violent material and foul language. Highlights from the study show:
Since the PTCs last Family Hour study, which dealt with programming from near the end of the 1998-99 season, sexual material has fallen 17 percent, to a per-hour average of 3.1 instances, but much of todays Family Hour sexual content deals with topics, such as oral sex and pornography, which just a few years ago were rarely touched on even in 10 p.m. shows, let alone 8 p.m. fare.
Huge increases in coarse language (up 78 percent, to 2.6 per hour) and violence (up 70 percent, to 2.8) resulted in a 24 percent jump in the overall rate of offensive content.
Among the networks, UPN was the worst offender, with a combined per-hour average of 18.1 instances, with second-place NBC all the way back at 9.1. Then came Fox, 7.8; WB, 7.5; ABC, 6.7; and CBS, at only 3.2.
This is the second consecutive PTC Family Hour study in which CBS had by far the lowest per-hour average of offensive material.
'These findings demonstrate beyond any shadow of a doubt that broadcast televisions family hour is more violent and vulgar than at any time in history. Violence and coarse language are each up at least 70 percent in just two years. And sexual material, while less frequent, is far more explicit than in previous years. Oral sex, pornography, and the like are now viewed as acceptable for the family hour, an hour during which an average of 10 million children are tuned in each night,' said L. Brent Bozell III, Founder and President of the Parents Television Council.
'By poisoning the Family Hour, the networks and their affiliates, with the generous support of sponsors, are robbing children of their innocence. Moreover, they do so without any sense of shame. This must stop. From this point forward, the PTC will do whatever it takes to publicly shame Hollywood and those corporations who fund its violent and vulgar programs, until such a time as they voluntarily take steps to clean up the Family Hour,' concluded Bozell."
Now let's ask some questions of the PTC...
* What is your definition of "sexual material"?
* What is your definition of "coarse language"?
* What is your definition of "explicit"?
* What statistics are you citing to define a "at least [a] 70 percent increase" in violence and coarse language?
Specifically attacked during Bozell's press conference to promote this new effort were "Buffy the Vampire Slayer," "Boston Public" and "Smackdown", which Bozell stated were "being deliberately and directly aimed at children".
Remember the analysis that Mick Foley did in his recent book of "social scientists", which showed examples of creatively defined research terms regarding WWF programming designed to make an ideological point?
He's not the only person who sees this occurring.
Dr. Timothy Jay, a professor of psychology at the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts and author of "Why We Curse" and other books on language, echoed the thoughts of Foley, saying the PTC is exaggerating their statistics, in comments he made on CNN.com:
" 'These people have an agenda,' he said. 'I think the kind of exaggerations are saying something's up 78 percent when that means just one word and to label something obscenities which aren't obscenities -- that's a legal term which those people shouldn't use so cavalierly.'
'I can go out on a playground and hear more per hour than what's on television,' Jay said. 'If people want to complain about something that's a problem -- underage drinking, drinking and driving and this kind of insidious exposure to this through sports (are) more important than the fact that my kid hears "hell" or "ass" on TV.'"
In the PTC press release, the following statement was featured:
"From this point forward, the PTC will do whatever it takes to publicly shame Hollywood and those corporations who fund its violent and vulgar programs, until such a time as they voluntarily take steps to clean up the Family Hour."
Does this include the continued making of false claims about seven major companies that the PTC has stated as having "withdrawn" sponsorship from WWF programming?
The campaign of lies about the status of WWF advertisers has continued; and now includes a new company... Ford Motor Company, which has resumed national advertising on WWFE programming.
Here's an actual scoreboard for episodes of RAW or Smackdown episodes that have featured advertisements by so-called PTC "Good Guys", from January 1, 2001 to the present:
RAW 27/Smackdown 18/Heat 18 -- ConAgra is also the major sponsor of SummerSlam 2001.
1 800 CALL ATT
RAW 21/Smackdown 3/Heat 5
RAW 26/Smackdown 4/Heat 16 -- M&M/Mars was the major sponsor of Wrestlemania 2001 and King of the Ring 2001.
RAW 20/Smackdown 1/Heat 1
US Army/other military agencies
RAW 4/Smackdown 9
1-800-COLLECT (MCI World.com)
RAW 22/Smackdown 3/Heat 2
Ford Motor Company
RAW 1/Smackdown 1
Readers need to send a note to the WWF sponsors above falsely listed as having withdrawn advertising from WWFE programming. Thank them for their sponsorship; and remind them again that their names are again being falsely used by the PTC as part of their propaganda campaign.
Suggest that the company (or their legal representative) sends a cease and desist letter to the PTC immediately, demanding their company's name be removed from any and all sections of the PTC website, and that they demand that a retraction be sent out in the next PTC E-Alert.
Here is the corporate contact information:
M&M/Mars (Snickers, Starburst, Twix, and Uncle Ben's Rice)
800 High Street
Hackettstown, NJ 07840
Phone at (908) 852-1000, fax at (908) 850-2624, or e-mail at Contact.Us@Mars.com
Contact through the feedback page.
Office of the Chief of Public Affairs
1500 Army Pentagon
Washington, DC 20310-1500
ConAgra (Chef Boyardee, Slim Jim)
Corporate Communications/Media - Karen Savinski (402) 595-5392
You can also contact ConAgra online via e-mail: at firstname.lastname@example.org, or via their feedback page at this link
You can also contact directly the firm that serves as General Counsel for ConAgra. Here is all the pertinent contact information:
David Hefflinger, General Counsel
Leo A. Knowles and Roger W. Wells, Assistant General Counsels
McGrath, North, Mullin and Kratz, P.C.
One Central Park Plaza/Suite 1400
222 South 15th Street
Omaha, NE 68102
General telephone number (402) 341-3070 / fax (402) 341-0216
E-mail addresses for the Counsel listed above are:
* David Hefflinger email@example.com
* Leo A. Knowles firstname.lastname@example.org
* Roger W. Wells email@example.com
Mr. Stefan Bomhard, Senior Vice President of Marketing
17777 Old Cutler Road
Miami, FL 33157
Mitchell G. Leibovitz, Chairman, President and CEO
3111 W. Allegheny Avenue
Philadelphia, PA 19132
Call their headquarters at (215) 430-9000, or go to their customer relations form at this URL.
Ford Motor Company
Contact Ford Motor Company, and let them know that you appreciate them advertising on WWFE programming through the following means:
American readers can call (800) 392-3673/(800) 232-5952 (TDD) from 8:00 am-11:00 pm ET (Monday-Friday) or 8:00 am-6:00 pm ET (Saturdays).
American readers can write them at:
Ford Motor Company
Customer Relationship Center
P.O. Box 6248
Dearborn, MI 48126
Canadian readers can call (800) 565-3673 from 8:00 am-8:00 pm ET (Monday-Friday) or 9:00 am-6:00 pm ET (Saturdays)
Canadian readers can write them at:
Ford Motor Company of Canada, Limited
Customer Relationship Centre
P.O. Box 2000
Oakville, Ontario, L6J 5E4
UK readers can call Ford Motor Company at: 08457 111 888
UYK readers can write them at:
Ford Information Service
P.O. Box 25149
Glasgow G2 4XF
It's also worth taking time to contact some of these media outlets and reminding them about the lack of credibility of an organization that deliberately falsifies information so as to promote the illusion of success in achieving its ideological agenda.
Here are a number of mainstream media outlets for readers to contact:
251 West 57th St.
New York, NY 10019
200 E. Van Buren Street
Phoenix, AZ 85004
72 Marietta Street, NW
Atlanta, GA 30303
The Boston Globe
P.O. Box 2378
Boston, MA 02107
401 N. Wabash Avenue
Chicago, IL 60611
Los Angeles Times
Times Mirror Square
Los Angeles, CA 90053
1 Herald Plaza
Miami, FL 33101
The Herald's Jim Varsallone has been very supportive of the efforts of the anti-PTC movement.
The New York Times
229 West 43rd Street
New York, New York 10036
The Philadelphia Inquirer/Philadelphia Daily News
400 N. Broad Street
Philadelphia, PA 19101
E-mail: Inquirer.Opinion@phillynews.com and DailyNews.Opinion@phillynews.com
1000 Wilson Boulevard
Arlington, VA 22229
The Washington Post
1150 15th Street NW
Washington, DC 20071
77 West 66th Street
New York, New York 10023
524 West 57th Street
New York, New York 10019
Cable News Network
P.O. Box 105366
One CNN Center
Atlanta, Georgia 30348
Fox News/Fox News Channel
1211 Avenue of the Americas
New York, New York 10036
MSNBC and CNBC
2200 Fletcher Avenue
Ft. Lee, NJ 07024
30 Rockefeller Plaza
New York, New York 10112
It's time to go to work, folks.
Until next time...
(If you have comments or questions, I can be reached by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org)