New Discovery Concerning A Violent Movie Pushed By Channel One

November 3, 2000

From Jim Metrock: "Killer at Thurston High" was the name of tonight’s Frontline news show on PBS. It was an incredible journey back into the life of the Oregon school shooter, Kip Kinkle. It showed that many different factors came into play to shape this young man. His relationship with his father was difficult, he had a learning disability, he listened to extremely violent music (Nine Inch Nails, Marilyn Manson), he was obsessed with guns and bombs, etc.

His writings often contained very depressing lyrics from the shock rock band Marilyn Manson. (Channel One executives never did understand why playing Manson music on their in-school TV show was bad. This was just another way that violent entertainment was marketed by Channel One to children as young as eleven.)

This documentary took quite some time to talk about one movie. This was a remake of Romeo and Juliet in 1996. It was an updated version that featured gang members as the families. This was not like West Side Story. This new movie glorified violence. Gun shootings were numerous in this movie. For some reason, Kip Kinkle’s English teacher showed this violent movie to her class. The teacher was interviewed and she related the disturbing nature of the film. Clips of the movie were shown and they were gruesome.

This movie was heavily promoted by Channel One to its student audience. The commercial showed gang members shooting their guns. Can you imagine images of guns being fired with the intent to kill people in a public school classroom? Channel One didn’t care. They made big money by promoting this movie.
I had forgotten about this movie being advertised by Channel One until tonight. It makes me sad to think these predators on Madision Avenue can get away with dumping so much violence on our children.

I have no idea if Thurston High had or has Channel One. That isn’t the point. No school should be promoting movies to a captive audience of schoolchildren. It is wrong to have a classroom erupt with gun fire coming from a Channel One TV set as it advertises movie after movie to students. Any teacher who relies on showing this movie to students to get kids interested in Shakespeare, needs to find a different job.

I know Channel One executives routinely come to this web site to read about their company. So if you are reading this, Paul Folkemer, Noreen Clarke, Jim Ritts, Jeff Ballabon and Tom Rogers, then I ask you again to make public the list of all movies and TV shows you have advertised to children since Primedia bought the company in 1994. Also make public the list of all music performers that Channel One has played on the show.

The public needs to know what Channel One has pitched to our children. Obligation has only seen about 20% of Channel One shows since 1996 when we started monitoring the show. No telling how much violent entertainment has been advertised to our children.