AS I SEE IT 8/08/2001
by: Bob Magee

In the further adventures of the Parents Television Council...

Senators Sam Brownback (R-KS) and Joseph Lieberman (D-CT), who are (not so coincidentally) also Advisory Board Members of the PTC, signed a "Family Hour Pledge", actually a petition to the presidents of ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC, UPN and the WB, calling for a "voluntary return" to the Family Hour.

It reads:

"Over the past few years, we have grown increasingly concerned about the coarsening of popular culture and network programming, and the potential harm it poses to our country’s children. We have met with you both publicly and privately to express our concerns; many of us have also convened or participated in hearings on this matter. We appeal to you again to consider taking a small step towards restoring parental confidence in prime-time network programming by simply reinstating what was a long-honored custom: the family hour.

Setting aside an hour for programming suitable for the entire family demonstrated corporate concern for family life and acknowledged the unique public interest responsibilities incumbent upon broadcasters. Allowing one hour – historically between eight and nine p.m. – for family-friendly programming enables families to spend quality time together enjoying entertainment that will neither embarrass parents nor confuse or disturb children.

Safeguarding the family hour cannot be compelled; rather, we appeal to your corporate conscience to reconsider the decision to allow this important public trust to disintegrate. Bringing back the family hour would show parents that their concerns are understood, and that the welfare of families will, if for just an hour, be promoted and protected. We therefore ask you to reinstate this voluntary covenant with American families."

The fact of the matter is that the "Family Hour Pledge" is a blatant attempt to censor programming content through the guise of "voluntary standards". We've seen how the PTC attempts to "encourage" advertisers to withdraw from television shows that doesn't meet their self-determined moral guidelines.

Those who have been keeping up with the PTC's actions over the last two years have also seen how the PTC will blatantly lie about their "membership numbers", in an attempt to inflate their potential influence. These "membership numbers" didn't actually exist, since, by their own admission, the PTC was a project of the Media Research Center until recent incorporation as a separate organization.

We've seen how the PTC will flat out lie about the actions of advertisers who they claim have withdrawn from certain programs, including WWF Smackdown. The count is now up to nine so-called "Good Guys" who are actually running advertisements on WWFE programming.

More on that in a minute.

An action such as this proposed "family hour" re-regulation would require the toning down of Smackdown, or a rescheduling of the show; along with such popular shows as Boston Public, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, The Simpsons, That 70s Show, Seven Days, Friends, Diagnosis Murder, Gilmore Girls, and Ed.

If THAT doesn't encourage some of you to become more involved, I don't know what will.

On Sunday, one more alleged PTC "Good Guy" joined eight others who have run advertising on WWF programming: William Wrigley, Jr. Company. Wrigley did so on this past week's Sunday Night Heat, with ads for Juicy Fruit and Winterfresh gums on the show.

Wrigley produces Wrigley Spearmint, Doublemint, Juicy Fruit, Orbit, Big Red, Freedent, and WinterFresh chewing gums.

Those who would like to do so can contact Wrigley online here and thank them for resuming their sponsorship of WWFE programming, or write them via snail mail at William Wrigley, Jr. Company, Wrigley Building, 410 North Michigan Avenue, Chicago, Illinois, 60611.

UK readers can write them at Consumer Affairs Department, The Wrigley Company Ltd, Estover, Plymouth, Devon PL6 7PR.

Wrigley makes the NINTH company that has resumed advertising, or that continued to advertise all along, on WWFE programming... still listed on the PTC website as a "Good Guy" that does not advertise on WWFE programming.

Readers may wish 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 a retraction be sent out in the next PTC E-Alert.

Here is the contact information for the other eight companies:

M&M/Mars (Snickers, Starburst, Twix, and Uncle Ben's Rice)
Mars Corporation
800 High Street
Hackettstown, NJ 07840
Phone at (908) 852-1000, fax at (908) 850-2624 , or e-mail at

Contact through the feedback page.

US Army
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 their feedback page at this link.

Burger King
Mr. Stefan Bomhard, Senior Vice President of Marketing
Burger King
17777 Old Cutler Road
Miami, FL 33157
(305) 378-3535

1-800-COLLECT (owned by MCI
Call Customer Service at (800) 444-3333 or contact 1-800-COLLECT through the feedback page.

Burger King
Mr. Stefan Bomhard, Senior Vice President of Marketing
Burger King
17777 Old Cutler Road
Miami, FL 33157
(305) 378-3535

Ford Motor Company
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) or 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) or 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, or write them at: Ford Information Service, P.O. Box 25149, Glasgow G2 4XF

Since these companies falsely listed as "no longer advertising on WWF programming" haven't taken definite legal steps to mandate the removal of their corporate names from the so-called "Good Guys" list on the PTC website; it's time for us to demand that they do it ourselves.

The PTC can be reached via e-mail at or at

It can be reached via snail mail at:

Parents Television Council
325 South Patrick Street
Alexandria, VA 22314

They can be reached via telephone at (800) 882-6868 or via L. Brent Bozell's assistant Deborah Thomas at (703) 684-1699.

In each of these cases, please be sure to write, e-mail, or call only once in a polite and literate manner, using no profanity.

Make clear that the stated information regarding ConAgra, M&M/Mars, 1-800-CALL-ATT, 1-800-COLLECT, Pep Boys, Burger King, Ford Motor Company, Wrigley Company, and the US Armed Forces is in error; and should be removed from their website immediately to avoid possible additional legal sanctions from the companies in question, or citation in the WWFE-PTC lawsuit.

You may also wish to contact the companies themselves (through the above means of contact) and remind them that the PTC is using their corporate trademark, corporate logos, and other intellectual properties to publicize the PTC cause without permission from their company to do so.

Further, it's time to contact the webhost for the PTC, Special Systems.Net, and make them aware of the nature of the potentially defamatory comments on the PTC's website.

Ask Special Systems.Net whether or not these actions of the PTC constitute a TOS (Term of Service) violation. Point out the WWFE lawsuit against the PTC and Media Research Center to them...and that their company might possibly bear a legal responsibility if they knowingly carry libelous, slanderous or defamatory material on their servers.

You can contact:

Mark Schultz
Special Systems, Inc.
5033 Huntwood Drive
Fairfax, VA 22030
Call at (703) 383-3900, by fax at (703) 383-9898, or e-mail at

In writing to Special Systems, Inc. as well, please be sure to write, e-mail, or call only once in a polite and literate manner, using no profanity.

Until next time...


(If you have comments or questions, I can be reached by e-mail at