The Thugs Strike Again

March 3, 2004

Snoop Dogg On Channel One

From Jim Metrock:

I am close to being speechless. Unfortunately for our “friends” at Channel One News, I still have the ability to type words.

I should be finishing my reporting from the NASSP convention. I will get around to that later. When I arrived back in Birmingham, I had a videocassette in my mail. It was a copy of Channel One News shows for February 17-21 and 23-27.

Channel One News for February 25, 2004 says it all. It is “Exhibit A” in the case against Channel One News. This show begins with another gay marriage story. Obligation will get to that soon. (Gosh, this stuff is piling up.) You won’t believe what Channel One showed to students in that story.

What I want to talk about now is a commercial on this particular date that made my jaw drop. I was stunned.

Channel One News ran a commercial for the new movie Starsky and Hutch. This Warner Brothers movie is rated “PG13” for “Drug content, sexual situations, partial nudity, language and some violence.”

So what’s the big deal? you might ask. Channel One advertises ultra-violent and raunchy movies to children as frequently as a person sees a Toyota on the highway.

It was the content of the commercial itself that was shocking.

Now don’t get me wrong. You would have to have an IQ in double figures to even think about advertising this movie to young people. (One thing I learned from the NASSP convention, which I haven’t had time to fully report, is Channel One is not telling the truth about their marketing of PG13 movies to preteens. Several principals said their middle school students get the feed that has PG13 movie commercials. Are you surprised?)

A lot of people at the New York City office of Channel One News have to approve a commercial before it is aired on the in-school show. There are a number of reasons why Channel One News could have made the decision to run this commercial. (We don’t know yet how many times it ran.) It could be because Channel One executives just don’t care. It could be because they are just reckless. It could be because they get some type of gratification knowing children are being confronted by adult material. In other words, because they are SICK.

I have met a few Channel One News employees over the years. They may be rude, arrogant and insensitive to young people, but they know what they are doing and they aren’t mentally disturbed. They are greedy, but not “sick.” They are cool and calm about what they do. They have to be. They are trying to make money.

They don’t make mistakes. They can’t afford to make mistakes. Their survival depends on making what they feel are good decisions. For PR reasons, they will sometimes say this or that was a “mistake” or they will say the person who did THAT was fired. Saying they made a “mistake” is simply one of their tools they use to get back in the good graces of school administrators. What THEY mean by “mistake” and what you and I mean by the word are two totally different things.

Channel One News knew this movie, like so many before, was offensive and that they MIGHT get in trouble for airing it, but the upside had greater potential than the downside. MONEY, HONEY. That’s the bottom line at Channel One News.

When they saw this commercial and saw the vulgar content and the drug content and Snoop Dogg making a drug joke on the commercial, the Channel One people didn’t see students – they saw money. Why in the world would they turn down Warn
er Brothers’ cash when there was so little to lose?

If a principal or parent complained – big deal. “Oh yeah, that was a mistake. We won’t do that again.” What they mean is they won’t advertise Starsky and Hutch again. Yuk, yuk. This has been Channel One’s modus operandi for years. Take the money, run an outrageous ad and people start calling, then say it was a “mistake” and vow that it will never happen again. It gets old, but it works. Oh, it works so well for Channel One News.

This movie contains one of the most notorious drug users in popular culture – Snoop Dogg. His drug of choice is marijuana. “Snoop Dogg” is synonymous with “pot”. Snoop Dogg plays a major character in the movie. It appears that he is playing the role of a pimp who is an informer for the two title characters.

On the commercial that was shown in classrooms, there is a scene where Snoop Dogg is on a golf course with another person. Snoop Dogg picks up some blades of grass off the course and tells the other person that it is a particular type of grass. The other person says, “You know a lot about golf?” To which, Snoop Dogg says, “I know even more about grass.”

What are students to think? What an awful drug message brought to them by their own school.

Thousands of teachers should have passed out at that point. They didn’t because most aren’t watching Channel One News – they never do. Other teachers who saw it might not have caught the drug joke or fully understood what Channel One was doing.

I figure that at least ten people at Channel One News had to have seen this ad before it was approved. An ad like this probably went to CEO Jim Ritts. Maybe it went to the “Moral Filter for Channel One” Jeff Ballabon. It certainly got a thumbs up from Kent Haehl the head of sales for Channel One.

And then there is the mythical “Advisory Committee” of educators who approve ALL ads on Channel One News. The only problem with this “Advisory Committee” is (it’s admittedly a minor point) it doesn’t exist. Or at least it doesn’t “exist” in the sense that most human beings understand the meaning of “exist.”

Any outraged parent or educator or other citizen who wants to confirm the reality of this “Advisory Committee” need only use this link to ask Channel One CEO Jim Ritts for the names of the members. No matter who you are, no matter how well you write, no matter how you ask, you will get the same answer. “We would like to give these names to you – we really would – but these wonderful people would be subjected to criticism by those who don’t like their decisions. These wonderful people then wouldn’t feel comfortable being on the committee. So you see, we couldn’t get anyone to be on this committee, if they were subject to public scrutiny. Thank you for your interest. Please don’t write us again.”

What Ritts doesn’t understand is this same “Committee” has approved one appalling commercial after another for years. This is the same group of people who supposedly approved “Dude, Where’s My Car” a pro-drug movie. This group approved ads for Eight Crazy Nights that was on the same level as South Park.

The public has a right to know what is going on inside Channel One News. This company makes 95% of their money off of public schools.  Any “Advisory Committee” that routinely approves ads for movies filled with sexual content, drug content, profanity, and violence, needs to answer to be answerable, in some degree, to the public.

The Starsky and Hutch commercial shows “The Man” who is Snoop Dogg. The students know him for his explicit lyrics about killing cops and drugs. A woman is either a whore (ho) or a bitch to Snoop Dogg. Incredible that Channel One gives this man so much “Face Time” on the classroom TV screens.

Pot is his drug of choice. Few teachers and fewer principals know the joke Channel One News is playing on them. The kids get it.


This is THE scene that Jim Ritts thought he could get away with. This is THE scene that will be the reason hundreds of schools will say, “That’s enough. Come and get your TV sets.”

Here Snoop Dogg says, “I know even more about grass.”

How discouraging for students to see their own school encouraging drug use. Who would think this is funny to put on a classroom TV show? Thugs.

As far as students can tell, a naked woman is on top of this guy. He is the “Bad Guy” in Starsky and Hutch. This ad had so many offensive parts it makes one wonder why it got “two big thumbs up” from Channel One.


Although Snoop Dogg is not one of the two main characters, Warner Brothers knows to put him in the middle of the “title shot” because having a drugged-out star would add to the “forbidden” appeal of the movie, especially to pre-teens.


All four pictures are from the commercial shown on Channel One News.

Still can’t believe Channel One News would run this ad in schools?

See for yourself. This video was taken from Channel One’s Feb. 25,
2004 show.

Dogg on Channel One News

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