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Campaign Update: More Media Coverage,
More Outrages
November 30, 2005

Some of you have contacted me concerning donations to our PBS campaign. It is certainly true that this campaign has been costly both in terms of money and time. If you'd like to donate to support our efforts, click here. Thanks to those of you who have already donated.

To learn more about our campaign, click here. To learn more about the way Breaking the Silence portrays a known child abuser as a heroic mom, click here.

Fox News Covers Campaign Again

Fox News columnist Wendy McElroy wrote another column on our PBS campaign and the Loeliger revelations--see PBS Film Controversy Continues (Fox News, 11/22/05).  McElroy noted:

"There is an undeniable 'he said/she said' aspect to the potential scandal that threatens the credibility of PBS. But the 'he said/she said' scenario breaks down in the presence of documents that include far more than the Juvenile Court papers. It includes the rulings of two judges on separate occasions, 1991 and 2003; the report of a child abuse investigator for Tehama County; the arrest of Alilire in 1989 for felony domestic violence against Loeliger; and, the custody evaluation conducted by a clinical psychologist for the Superior Court of Monterey County."

Public Broadcasting Publication Covers PBS Campaign

From our campaign website:

"Current, the biweekly newspaper covering American public broadcasting, recently discussed the campaign against PBS's Breaking the Silence, and  described the attacks on the film as 'withering.'

"The piece, written by Current Senior Editor Karen Everhart, cites media coverage of the protest by Fox News, the Boston Globe, and others, and discusses defamed father Scott Loeliger's pursuit of legal action against PBS.

"Protesters claim Breaking the Silence is a 'direct assault on fatherhood,' and that it 'portrays fathers as batterers and child molesters who steal children from their mothers.' They seek a chance to respond to the film on the air. PBS affiliates in Houston, Texas, Columbus, Ohio and Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania have recently aired fathers' perspectives on the issues discussed in Breaking the Silence.

"Everhart noted:

"'Glenn Sacks, a columnist and advocate for men's rights, leads the right-wing e-mail campaign, and has published court documents that paint a different picture of a mother portrayed heroically in Breaking the Silence.'

"Sacks bristled at that remark, saying:

"'Labeling the fatherhood movement 'right-wing' is one of the methods our opponents use to try to marginalize us and paint us as extreme. What's extreme is the way the producers of Breaking the Silence cherry-picked a few highly unusual cases and pretended that they represent a widespread problem.'

"'This campaign is neither right-wing nor left-wing--it's about fairness for fathers and their children. Children have a right to have their fathers in their lives. That's something everybody should be able to agree on, including Everhart, Current, and PBS.'

"Current bills itself as 'public broadcasting's meeting place,' and says that it is 'read by people involved in public TV and public radio--station employees, independent producers, local volunteers and board members, viewers and listeners, state and national policymakers and others.'"

[Late note: After being contacted by some of my readers, Everhart, to her credit, sent me a note apologizing for the error and removed "right-wing" from the description of our Breaking the Silence campaign. Everhart said "I agree that fathers' rights issues transcend the polarized politics of left and right."]

Courageous Kids Network Rallies Around Child Abuser, Kills Its Own Credibility

The Courageous Kids Network is the source of much of the material in Breaking the Silence. The network purports to be composed of children who were placed in the custody of abusive fathers by the family law system.  However, the site contains far more anti-father politics than it does the purported experiences of children. Much of the material on the site is questionable, and certainly was not written by children.

Fatima Loeliger, the alienated daughter of Scott Loeliger, is part of the network, and a statement written for Fatima was placed on the site in her name in April of last year. The Courageous Kids Network has greatly harmed its credibility by its unfortunate decision to rally around Sadia Loeliger, an abusive mother.

Sadia has placed a large quantity of documents on the site here,  but the documents don't do anything to show that she isn't an abuser. As Boston Globe columnist Cathy Young noted, "some pretty damning information emerges from the documentation posted." To learn more, click here.

Just as I was surprised that feminist blogger Trish Wilson chose to alibi Sadia Loeliger, I am also surprised that the angry women who run the Courageous Kids Network have chosen to do so. If they support an abusive mother like Sadia Loeliger, what does this say about the credibility of the other alleged abuses they describe?

One more note--while both the Courageous Kids Network and Trish Wilson have been explicit in their criticism of my information on the Loeliger case, neither of them has linked to my materials even once. On the other hand, my enewsletters and web pages have dozens of links to their materials--what does that say about their credibility?

More Problems with Sadia's Counterattack

We have previously discussed the successful alienation campaign waged by Sadia Loeliger against Scott Loeliger--see The Alienation of Fatima Loeliger. We have also critiqued Sadia's defense of herself--see Sadia Loeliger Strikes Back--and Strikes Out.

We have now added some new items to our critique which deal specifically with some of the allegations Sadia makes in the second statement she wrote for Fatima and placed in her name. Our critique can be found here. To read Sadia's statement for Fatima, click here.

Airliners Ban Men from Sitting Next to Children on Flights

From the New Zealand Herald (11/29/05):

"Air New Zealand and Qantas have banned men from sitting next to unaccompanied children on flights, sparking accusations of discrimination.

"The airlines have come under fire for the policy that critics say is political correctness gone mad after a man revealed he was ordered to change seats during a Qantas flight because he was sitting next to a young boy traveling alone.

"Auckland man Mark Worsley says an air steward approached him after take-off on the Christchurch to Auckland flight and told him to change seats with a women sitting two rows in front. The steward said it was the airline's policy that only women were allowed to sit next to unaccompanied children.

"'At the time I was so gobsmacked that I moved. I was so embarrassed and just stewed on it for the entire flight.'

"The 37-year-old shipping manager, who has 2-year-old twins, followed the incident up with the airline and was told Qantas wanted to err on the side of caution."

Read the full story here. There was a similar incident on a British Airways Flight in 2001, and the man targeted demanded and won an apology from the airline. The issue is discussed on pages 172 and 173 of Jack Kammer's If Men Have All the Power How Come Women Make the Rules. Kammer correctly noted that the protesting business executive "won a victory for us all."

Swiss Santas are Banned from Sitting Children on their Laps

According to the Telegraph, apparently Santa Clauses in Switzerland are having similar problems, and they're not very happy about it. Read about it here.

A Compliment for an Opponent

Some of you may recall that last year I criticized a father-bashing ad campaign conducted by the National Fatherhood Initiative. The NFI does good work on promoting the importance of fathers and fatherhood, but errs in ignoring the role that family courts and mothers play in creating fatherlessness, instead placing all blame for fatherlessness on men. In the column I wrote:

"'Easter Bunny. Tooth Fairy. Daddy. Eventually kids stop believing in things they don't see.'

"'Each Night Millions of Kids Go To Sleep Starving. For Attention from Their Dads.'

"'Dear Daddy, My Mommy Can't Be My Daddy Too.'

"Bus stop ads with pictures of small African American children delivering these biting messages to their absent fathers can be seen all over Los Angeles County. They are part of a nationwide campaign to reduce fatherlessness in the African-American community. The campaign is sponsored by the National Fatherhood Initiative, an influential Maryland-based nonprofit organization which has had ties with both the Clinton and Bush administrations.

"While the NFI's goal is laudable, fathers bear only part of the responsibility for black fatherlessness. Among the major factors the NFI campaign completely ignores is the fact that mothers often drive fathers out of their children's lives."

To read the full co-authored column, see National Fatherhood Initiative's Ad Campaign Insults African-American Fathers (Pasadena Star-News & Affiliated Papers, 6/14/03). Also, hear NFI president Roland Warren defend the campaign on His Side with Glenn Sacks by clicking here.

I stand by those criticisms. However, I do believe in giving credit where credit is due, and the NFI deserves credit for some of their new radio and TV PSAs.

For example, in the new radio PSA More Than Words, a young African-American woman details her admiration for her father and says she wants to marry a man of the same caliber.

Another radio PSA, Daddy Issues, features a group of teenagers complaining about their dads--their dads enforce discipline, have standards, and watch what their kids are doing. The ad promotes one of the most underappreciated qualities of the traditional dad. In a recent column I explained:

"It is certainly true that the old, tough dad had his drawbacks, just as all parents--including mothers--do. The best parent is one who mixes affection and discipline, who loves and is lovable but at the same time is respected and, when necessary, feared. But not all parents can do all these things, and while we might have wished that the old dad were more sensitive, he was very important, and his virtues much underappreciated.

"As a former high school teacher I can assure you that what we need is more, not less, of the old dad--particularly in the inner cities. The dad who's not afraid to be the bad guy. The dad who's not afraid to take strong measures to help and protect his children. The dad who tells his son "if you shoplift you'd better hope the police get you before I do." A father like my friend's dad, a South Central Los Angeles cop who kept a tight curfew and a belt on the wall and who, before he died at an early age, claimed as his greatest achievement the fact that all four of his daughters got through college without having a baby" (from Raising Boys Without Men: Lesbian Parents Good, Dads Bad, World Net Daily, 9/10/05).

The NFI's new "Moments" TV PSAs aren't as impressive, but are still good. These include "Dance," "Errand," and "Lightsaber." "Errand"--in which a father helps his teenage daughter with an uncomfortable shopping purchase--is the best of the three. "Dance" reminds me of my daughter and I, though the father in the ad is far more graceful and limber than I...

One more compliment--a NFI radio ad from last year featured country singer Tim McGraw and his song "Grown Men Don't Cry." The end of the song is as follows:

"I'm sittin' here with my kids and my wife
And everything that I hold dear in my life
We say grace and thank the lord
Got so much to be thankful for
Then it's up the stairs and off to bed and my little girl says
I haven't had my story yet.
And everything weighin' on my mind disappears just like that
When she lifts her head off her pillow and says,
'I love you dad'."

An Ally Goes Down

From the Los Angeles Times, 11/29/05:

"A tearful, trembling Rep. Randy 'Duke' Cunningham (R-Rancho Santa Fe) resigned Monday after pleading guilty to receiving $2.4 million in bribes from military contractors and evading more than $1 million in taxes.

"The money involved makes Cunningham's the largest bribery case since several members of Congress were convicted of the crime in the early 1980s."

Read the full story here. Cunningham, an eight-term congressman and decorated Vietnam Navy fighter pilot, had been a strong supporter of men's health issues. He introduced the Men's Health Act into Congress in 2001. To learn more about the legislation, see my co-authored column When Men's Health Doesn't Count (Norfolk Virginian-Pilot, 10/9/02).

The Air War

Now that we're in the holiday season, getting media will be increasingly difficult. However, since the airing of Breaking the Silence last month we have generated a good deal of publicity for our side. By contrast, the opposition--despite being vastly better funded and much more connected--has made few inroads in the media since the original broadcast.

Concerning opinion columns, ours include:

Wendy McElroy's PBS Film Controversy Continues (FOX News, 11/23/05)

Cathy Young's PBS Hops on Pop (Reason, 11/22/05)

Cathy Young's PBS's negative picture of fathers (Boston Globe, 11/21/05)

Wendy McElroy's PBS Film Ignites Fathers' Rights Debate (Fox News, 11/7/05)

Jeff Leving & Glenn Sacks' Film Goes Too Far as Advocate for Cutting Fathers Off From Kids
(Los Angeles Daily Journal, San Francisco Daily Journal, 11/1/05)

Jeff Leving & Glenn Sacks' Film gives distorted view of family law
(Albany Times-Union, 10/20/05)

Jeff Leving & Glenn Sacks' PBS's Breaking the Silence: Family Law in the Funhouse Mirror
(Norfolk Virginian Pilot, 10/24/05)

To my knowledge, the only column published on the opposition's side was Critics of Child Abuse Film Miss the Point in Rush to Defend Fathers (Los Angeles Daily Journal, San Francisco Daily Journal, 11/1/05).

We have also received significant media attention on radio shows and other media. These include: nationally-syndicated radio talk shows such as the Dennis Prager Show and the Michael Reagan Show; networks such as American Family Radio and Focus on the Family Radio; and local shows like NPR's CrossTalk and the Scott Sloan Show in Cincinnati.

We have also appeared on PBS affiliates in Houston, Texas, Columbus, Ohio and Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.


Have You Been the Victim of a Child Support Error?

If you feel you have been billed for child support payments that you believe you do not owe, or if you believe you have experienced a questionable practice by a child support agency, Jane Spies and the National Family Justice Association are conducting a study on this issue and want to hear from you. Click here for more information.

Best Wishes,
Glenn Sacks

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