Big Changes Coming to Channel One

June 11, 1999

For months, Channel One tried to stop the U.S. Senate from looking into its unseemly presence in America’s schools, but it happened and Channel One was embarrassed. Now there is great speculation that an executive shake-up or a new PR campaign may happen soon. I will soon make my prediction on what will happen. (As if I know anything.)

In Alabama, three gentlemen have now attached their reputations to Channel One. A conservative lobbyist named Pat McWhorter reportedly called on conservative legislators to write Senator Richard Shelby and urge him to back off Channel One.

Evidently, his efforts were unsuccessful because Sen. Shelby was a determined questioner of Channel One’s mouthpiece, Paul Folkemer. I have called Mr. McWhorter and have asked him to call me, I would like him to see the other side of the story, but I have received no response.

Also emerging in Alabama is a mysterious man with a Star Wars-type name – Dax Swatek. (Brother of Darth Maul.) Little is known about this gentleman other than a letter he wrote to newspapers promoting Channel One as a wonderful service for children. He wrote as an official of the really mysterious Coalition to Protect our Children. This will be fun when we find out how many groups and people are involved with this “coalition”. I suspect Dax is the founder, president, treasurer (“follow the money”), and most enthusiastic member.

Then there is the lobbyist that has been carrying Channel One’s foul water since September of last year – Martin Christie. He seems to be everywhere trying to protect this marketing company’s financial interest in Alabama schoolchildren.

These gentlemen have been ineffective, not because they aren’t serving their master as best they can, but because they are trying to sell a stupid idea to very smart people. They are looking across the table at public servants and business leaders and are trying to tell them that Alabama schoolchildren are greatly benefiting from Channel One’s advertising gimmick. They are trying to convince intelligent people that it is a proper use of the state’s authority to tell children what specific jeans to buy, what brand junk food to consume, and what sleazy movies to watch. They forget that one of out four Alabama high school students cannot pass the graduation exit exam at an eighth-grade level. They forget that we are in the process of moving to an exit exam at an eleventh-grade level. These gentlemen are selling alum to folks dying of thirst.

I assume Pat McWhorter, Dax Swatek and Martin Christie are receiving money from Channel One. Keep in mind that Channel One is outlawed in their own home state of New York and they have hired these people to convince “poor backward Alabamians” of the necessity to have their product in their schools. Sorry, Channel One, we’re smarter than that. Ask Dr. Folkemer after the Shelby County Board of Education read him the riot act in September 1998. (They later ended Channel One’s long contract with the school system.) Alabama citizens will reject Channel One and they will reject these lobbyists.

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