AS I SEE IT - 9/07/2000
by: Bob Magee
Welcome back to the returning Wrestling-Central.Net, which is again carrying AS I SEE IT beginning this week; and three new sites: Fully Loaded.Org at
http://fullyloaded.org, Wrestle Nation.co.uk, and CJ Marsicano's website at
Our friends in Alexandria, Virginia are at it yet again.
This time the latest attack first seems to involve the fact that the WWF wrestling product doesn't resemble a Disney cartoon. In the August 29, 2000 PTC Action Alert, Smackdown is referred to as having "tamed down the sexual innuendo and (to a lesser extent) the language...but having 'unabated' violence".
The E-Alert goes on to give a blow by blow description of each and every instance involving simulated violence on the show; including chair shots, foreign objects, and standard bumps.
They even complain that in the angle with Jim Ross "...even though he was taken to Tulane Medical Center in New Orleans for treatment, the show continued and JR was at ringside for last night's pay-per-view event, Summer Slam. This was not a staged or scripted event. It actually occurred."
Now if I remember, the stated purpose of the PTC's campaign was to remove the sex and language from the Smackdown program, wasn't it? Didn't L. Brent Bozell and Bill Allen make statements in his public letter to Steve Allen's son about "not hating wrestling"?
So much for that statement. Like so many others by the Parents Television Council, it's just one more example of the PTC saying one thing and doing entirely another. Back in Steve Allen's "good old days", there were chair shots...and violence... and bumps. Just like today.
Anyone remember the newsstand wrestling "Apter mags" from as far back as 25 years ago, which featured liberal doses of bloody faces on their covers to get you to buy the magazines? Guess Bozell's ideological ancestors hadn't discovered wrestling back then.
While the high spots are more frequent and the violence perhaps more obvious, the basic premise hasn't changed in wrestling. But according to the "Upright Moral Citizens Brigade" of Virginia, the children of America have only begun the path TO perdition within the last three years.
It's beginning to seem as though the PTC will not be happy until the main event of Smackdown consists of Fuzzy Bunny versus Sammy Squirrel in a "Cuddle your opponent to unconsciousness" match (they mustn't have "DEATH matches, you know).
Given this obvious intent to target the WWF no matter what it puts forth for a product, I'd like to suggest one more way that readers can fight the PTC on a regular basis. As you probably know, the PTC gives a sponsor for its members to target with e-mails this week.
Since some have said that the anti-PTC movement has lacked direction since the symbolic and real victory of the closing of the PTC Marketplace... let's make THIS something we do as the PTC issues each E-Alert: engage in some "preventive maintenance" by calling, writing, or e-mailing EACH and EVERY sponsor the PTC targets, EACH and EVERY time they do it.
This week's designated PTC sponsor is:
Allen Questrom, CEO
6501 Legacy Drive
Plano, TX 75024-3698
By the way, the PTC should do their research. James E. Oesterreicher, the individual they have listed as CEO, stepped down back in late July. Allen Questrom is the new CEO.
How about if readers all send Mr. Questrom a note, welcoming him to his new job? Indicate that you appreciate his company's support of entertainment programming you enjoy. If you've purchased a product from JC Penney, send him a copy of the bill. If you have a JC Penney credit card, send him a copy of it.
Let him know that the Parents Television Council does NOT represent the majority of his customers. Remind him that you do.
This week, a shocking indication of what and who the PTC is prepared to politically be in bed with was shown with an example of what the PTC apparently counts as "family values": anti-semitism on its own Advisory Board.
In an article on John Woods's Rock Out Censorship website entitled "By George! Raw Anti-Semitism", there are disturbing references to anti-semitic statements made by C. DeLores Tucker, a member of the Parents Television Council Advisory Board, along with Democratic Vice-Presidential nominee Joseph Lieberman.
Let's take a look at these statements.
The article in question, from writer Nat Hentoff from the October 24, 1995 Village Voice, poses serious questions as to what sort of company L. Brent Bozell...as well as Senator (and Democratic Vice-Presidential nominee) Joseph Lieberman are keeping.
"...Deep in the glittering first issue of John Kennedy Jr.'s George there was a dose of poisonous bigotry. On National Public Radio, Kennedy told us George understands 'that culture drives politics and defines it' For centuries, anti-Semitism has proved his point.
In a long, revealing piece in George on the war against gangsta rap, Paul Alexander profiled a number of combatants--including 'a liberal black activist,' C. DeLores Tucker, who was the general in the powerfully sustained campaign against Time Warner.
DeLores Tucker marched with Martin Luther King, has held public office, and founded the National Political Congress of Black Women. She is widely respected because, among other reasons, she has never abandoned the perennially difficult fight for civil rights.
One of her friends, Dr. Frances Cress Welsing--who practices child and general psychiatry in Washington--has helped shape Delores Tucker's thinking about racism.
Gangsta rap, Welsing told Paul Alexander, is part of a conspiracy to set up black people 'as the trash that should be eliminated.' So, too, 'prior to killing six million people, the Nazis waged a systematic campaign in the media to make the Semites of the Jewish religion look less than human, to make them deplorable to the German people as a whole. The same dynamic is happening now. The issue is setting up black people as the trash that should be exterminated.'
Delores Tucker agrees. Paul Alexander wrote that 'she sees an ominous force in the culture, put there by nonblacks, that has as its ultimate goal the destruction of the black race in America. . . . 'There is a racial cleansing that's being perpetrated in this country,' she said. 'Whatever was going on in Germany is going on here now.'"
'When Hitler moved on the Jews,' Tucker continued, 'even some of the Jews said, 'They're not fit to live with us,' and nobody cared.
Today that's what they're doing with this [gangsta rap].'
Alexander asked, who is 'they'?
Tucker evaded the question, directing Alexander to Dr. Welsing. He reported Welsing's grand theory that with whites angry and shrinking in numbers, there are minority groups who--to keep the frustration and rage of whites away from them--focus on other minorities.
'To the extent,' said Dr. Welsing, 'that they are involved in the production of these [gangsta rap] records, the Jews, are consciously or subconsciously acting out what happened happened to them [in Germany and building up protection for themselves.'
Delores Tucker did not disagree, but would not be as specific as Welsing. She did concur that- like the Jews in Germany who tried to protect themselves by turning on other vulnerable groups- 'today that's what they're doing with this.'"
This kind of sentiment ought to make Senator Joseph Lieberman stand up and take notice. Senator Joseph Lieberman is a practicing Orthodox Jew. Further, it's become public knowledge that his wife, Hadassah, lost parents in the Holocaust.
Senator Joseph Lieberman is also on the Advisory Board of the PTC, alongside C. DeLores Tucker....the same C. DeLores Tucker who concurs with such anti-semitic sentiments like "like the Jews in Germany who tried to protect themselves by turning on other vulnerable groups-"today that's what they're doing with this."
I'd like to hear how Joseph Lieberman can remain with such an organization if they fail to do so. Further, I'd like to hear an explanation as to why L. Brent Bozell can allow such a person to remain in any role with his organization.
That is, unless in L. Brent Bozell's eyes... anti-semitism is what he and the Parents Television Council refer to as a "family value."
Readers should write to L. Brent Bozell at firstname.lastname@example.org and ask him his opinion on this matter.
Readers can write to Senator Lieberman's office via the feedback page at
http://lieberman.senate.gov/newsite/contact.cfm. Ask him how he can accept membership on an Advisory Board alongside a individual like C. DeLores Tucker who made these anti-semitic comments.
If anti-semitism wasn't bad enough for you, then how about questionable financial practices?
More than one watchdog organization for charitable groups has questions about how well does the PTC uses the money of donors.
The following information appears in the Chronicle of Philanthropy online issue dated Thursday, June 15, 2000, available online at http://philanthropy.com/free/articles/v12/i17/17005202.htm:
"Media Research Center and its project Parents Television Council, 113 South West Street, Suite 200, Alexandria, Va. 22315; http://www.mediaresearch.org.
Does not meet the following standards:
(1) That the organization's governing board have an individual-attendance policy.
(2) That the board have in-person, face-to-face meetings, at least twice a year, evenly spaced, with a majority of voting members in attendance at each meeting.
(3) That the board have no more than one paid staff member, usually the chief staff officer, who shall not chair the board or serve as treasurer.
(4) That the board have policy guidelines to avoid material conflicts of interest involving board or staff members.
(5) That the board have a policy promoting pluralism and diversity within the organization's board, staff, and constituencies.
(6) That the organization spend at least 60 percent of annual expenses for program activities.
(7) That the organization ensure that fund-raising expenses, in relation to fund-raising results, are reasonable over time.
(8) That the organization supply on request complete financial statements that include a statement of functional allocation of expenses, in addition to such statements required by generally accepted accounting principles."
With all those negatives, let's end this column with a positive. The anti-censorship group National Coalition Against Censorship has actively joined the campaign against the Parents Television Council, largely through the efforts of activist Jon Soltys.
The National Coalition Against Censorship is sending a mailing to its 20,000 members which will include information about the pro-censorship efforts of the Parents Television Council.
The letter to Mr. Soltys was as follows:
"Dear Jon Soltys,
Thank you for making us aware of the activities of the Parents Television Council. We are currently including information on the PTC in a mailing that will reach over 20,000 people. I apologize for our delay in answering each individual e-mail message we received over this issue -- there were a lot of them! We appreciate your efforts & suggest that you check out our activist page for tips on what else you can do to help protect our First Amendment rights. It can be found at http://www.ncac.org/action/suggestions.html
National Coalition Against Censorship
275 7th Avenue
New York NY 10001
Until next time...
(If you have comments or questions, I can be reached by e-mail at email@example.com)