Phillip Schanker to appear on
"The Edge with Paula Zahn" on Fox News
To all Readers,
Excuse me for using this public forum to post a copy of a personal
communication to a FoxNews producer, but because their reporting on my
organization has been so purposely one-sided and in violation of their
own motto: "We Report, You Decide," I must rely on the court of public
opinion to force them to give us a fair hearing. A 12/10/99 broadcast of
"The Edge with Paula Zahn" featured 4 "experts" portraying my organization
as a suicide cult while pictures of bloated bodies from the Jonestown
suicide tragedy were flashed across the screen. Although Fox had called
me for a general statement on our projects in South America, they did
not inform us of their planned topic, nor give me or anyone a chance to
respond. None of their "experts" were religious scholars or sociologists
(there are many I could have recommended to comment on us), most were
longtime opponents who earn money from their opposition, or religious
zealots. They promoted libelous and scary stereotypes of isolated
communities of mindless people running guns and willing to die at the
command of their leader (ALL PATENTLY FALSE), and gave us NO CHANCE TO
RESPOND. For my detailed rebuttle see my posting on 12/11/99 with the
topic "Rev. Moon".
The following refers to an upcoming show, which we are challenging them to
produce. I hope, with your help, that it will at least be a fair hearing
of the issues. Contrary to all that has been sensationalized in the media,
we are not afraid of the court of public opinion.
To: David Martin, Producer, FoxNews
Fm: Phillip Schanker, VP, FFWPU
I will be in New York on Thursday, January 20, and will be in studio to
participate in "The Edge," program to which you invited me. I do have
the following strong requests, however:
- I expect to be fully informed about who is appearing on the program,
as well as the topics to be discussed (Last time, while you blindsided my
church and purposely prevented me from any chance to respond to the
issues you were planning to raise, I am sure that Steve Hassan and the
other 3 you paraded one after the other were well briefed on the
program's subject matter.
- I would like to meet Paula Zahn, even for a few moments, well before
the program begins. I have no combattive or coercive purpose, but merely
want her (and yourself) to connect with me as a person, and not a
dehumanized caricature of some mindless cult member.
- The only "experts" you have had on your show about the Unification
Movement are in fact paid deprogrammers ($), anti-"cult" lawyers ($), or
religious zealots. There are many scholars and mainline clergy who have a
very different view than the one-sided one you keep pushing. I can
provide you a list of suggestions. These people are not paid for their
opinions, nor are they allied with my movement. But they are something
that you guys are not: credentialed and credible authorities on religion.
Why don't you include one, just one, religious scholar, or mainline
minister, or public official, who would provide a different viewpoint?
- If you refuse to balance the show with a supportive outside
viewpoint, and insist on isolating me and my organization, then let me
bring a second Unificationist representative. Why must it be 3 or 4
against 1? All I am asking for is fairness. As your motto states, you
report, and let the people decide.
- David, are you avoiding my request for a copy of the 12/10/99 show ?
Are you afraid of a lawsuit? You guys should be, because it was so
obviously stacked, unprofessional and libelous (when we spoke on the
phone, after weakly purporting that 4 detractors and NO response or
defense even invited was a "fair treatment," you then tried to attack me
about guns and the personal struggles of one of our founder's children,
as if our being flawed or even bad (which we are not) would justify your
one-sided and libelous show. Foxnews must do right by us... that is your
journalistic responsibility, a fair hearing. Until that is accomplished,
David, I will not rest. Please tell me who to contact and how much to
pay to get a copy of the 12/10/99 broadcast before I go on Jan. 20.
I look forward to your response, and to meeting you next week. (I will
be in New York this Saturday as well, and would be happy to pick up and
pay for a tape of the 12/10/99 broadcast of "The Edge").
Vice President for Education and Public Affairs,
Family Federation for World Peace and Unification
P.S.- Rev. Moon called from South America yesterday and, surprising to
all of us, asked how the FoxNews program went on Jan. 6 (I had told him
the original planned airdate). He wished me well, saying that if I do not
stand up strongly enough, he will have to come and do it himself! [:-)
(which, I know, is exactly what you are hoping for!)