Government Rewards Channel One for Anti-Drug Content

Government Rewards Channel One for Anti-Drug

The already controversial Channel One, which telecasts news and
commercials in thousands of American schools, now faces scrutiny
for accepting ad credits for news and editorial programs approved
by the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy

At the core of this controversy is the fact that the ONDCP, a law
enforcement branch of the U.S. Government, has a publicly stated
policy that it will not give ad credits for news or editorial
programs, which would in essence be buying the content of the news.
But, Daniel Forbes, in an article written for Salon magazine
and posted on the Media Awareness Project, reveals
that Channel One submitted programs of news and editorial content
to the ONDCP and was rewarded with ad credits amounting to millions
of taxpayer’s dollars.

While sending anti drug messages to students is rarely considered a
bad idea, the issue at hand is not the message being sent, but the
motivation and powers behind that message. The ONDCP is free to
give ad credits for programs with anti-drug messages, but these
programs should not be those whose job it is to report fairly and
accurately, in spite of financial or governmental pressure.

While on the surface the ONDCP’s ad credit program is designed to
educate students, its implications speak of a more dubious motive.
Indeed, Cornelia Pechmann, ‘a marketing expert who was hired by the
ONDCP to evaluate whether stories or segments were sufficiently ‘on
message’ to receive ad credits,’ also admits to having screened
shows by ‘NBC, Fox, CBS, The Family Channel, WB, Arts &
Entertainment, Lifetime, and the E! Network.’

Clearly, the federal government is tainting the content of the arts
under the guise of an anti drug campaign.
–Al Paulson
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