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Campaign Update: Protesters Unleash Hell
on PBS for Anti-Father Film
October 24, 2005

Over 2,000 Protesters Call, Write PBS over Anti-Father Film Breaking the Silence

Within the first 48 hours of our new campaign, over 2,000 people called or wrote PBS to protest their anti-father film Breaking the Silence: Children's Stories. The film, which aired on some PBS affiliates on October 20 and will air on many others in the coming weeks, is a direct assault on fatherhood. The film portrays fathers as batterers and child molesters who steal children from their mothers.

I launched the campaign in order to provide popular support for efforts by Fathers and Families, Help Stop PAS Inc., the American Coalition for Fathers & Children, and the Coalition of Fathers and Families NY, Inc. (FaFNY) to get PBS to allow both sides of this issue to be heard.

What I Want You to Do

As you will see in this enewsletter and on the campaign page, we have gained PBS's attention as well as that of the National Organization for Women and other feminist groups. Progress is being made towards resolving the problem. However, the final outcome of this is still very much in doubt, and feminist groups are rallying their supporters to contact PBS to counter us.

I urge you to join us and take action--to do so, click here.

Our objective is simple and reasonable--we want PBS to provide fatherhood and shared parenting advocates a meaningful opportunity to present our side. What PBS's Houston affiliate is doing is an example of what we want.

Again, I urge you to join us by clicking here.

Houston PBS Affiliate Agrees to Air Opposing Views on Breaking the Silence

To its credit, Houston PBS has agreed to air opposing views of Breaking the Silence: Children's Stories and Parental Alienation Syndrome on its round-table discussion show The Connection on Friday, October 28 at 8 PM CST and on Sunday, October 30 at 5 PM CST.

Dr. Reena Sommer, an expert on Parental Alienation Syndrome, will be appearing, along with guests of various views. To write to Ken Lawrence, the Director of Programming for PBS of Houston, to commend him for his evenhandedness, click here.

Sommer is an articulate voice on PAS. She and Judy Jones of Help Stop PAS Inc appeared on His Side with Glenn Sacks last year to discuss the tragic Lohstroh PAS case--see The Lohstroh Case: Alienating Mother Pushes 10 Year-Old Boy to Kill Father (10/31/04).

PBS Internal Memo Tells Affiliates to Stonewall Protesters

A source at PBS sent us this confidential internal memo on Friday. The memo is an instruction sheet that PBS's national office has dispensed to their affiliates to instruct them as to how to deal with the thousands of people who have called or written them to protest Breaking the Silence. As you'll notice, the common theme of this memo is to stonewall protesters.

Breaking the Silence: Credibility Problems

American Psychological Association Says Breaking the Silence Misrepresents Its Position on PAS

A spokeswoman for the American Psychological Association says that PBS's new documentary Breaking the Silence: Children's Stories distorts the APA's position on Parental Alienation Syndrome.  The film criticizes PAS, which arises when one parent tries to turn his or her children against the other parent during a divorce or separation.

In the documentary Joan Meier, a professor of clinical law at George Washington University and one of the film's chief spokespersons, states that PAS  "has been thoroughly debunked by the American Psychological Association." Connecticut Public Television, one of the film's producers, put out a press release promoting the film which stated that PAS had been "discredited by the American Psychological Association."

However, according to Rhea K. Farberman, Executive Director of Public and Member Communications of the American Psychological Association, these claims are "incorrect" and "inaccurate."  Farberman says that the APA "does not have an official position on parental alienation syndrome--pro or con." She adds:

"The Connecticut Public Television press release is incorrect.   I have notified both Connecticut Public Television and their PR firm of the inaccuracy in their press release." 

To learn more, click here.

Leader of Domestic Violence Shelter Which Helped Fund Breaking the Silence Criticizes Film

Calling Breaking the Silence imbalanced and focused on extreme cases, Pam Kallsen, executive director of the Marjaree Mason Center, a domestic violence shelter in Fresno, California, contacted her local PBS affiliate and told them she was distressed that her shelter's name and logo were associated with the program.

Kallsen had been a staunch supporter of the film project, even helping to secure funding for it, but says she changed her mind after seeing the film.

To learn more, click here.

The National Organization for Women Attacks Our PBS Campaign, Urges Followers to Contact PBS

The National Organization for Women's national office and several other feminist groups have sounded the alarm over our campaign. According to the MND Newswire story PBS Bombarded by Protests over Father-Bashing Show:

"The National Organization for Women sent out an Action Alert urging its members to fight 'bogus 'fathers' rights' activists' and support the film. Irene Weiser of Stop Family Violence urged supporters to counter the protests by calling PBS and urging them to run the program. Toni Troop of Jane Doe Inc./The Massachusetts Coalition Against Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence warned against the protesters, saying that film angers the 'mad dads whose tactics and efforts to further the abuse through the court systems are exposed.'"

MND Newswire Story Gives Overview of Campaign

For an overview of campaign events, see MND Newswire's piece PBS Bombarded by Protests over Father-Bashing Show (MND Newswire, 10/20/05).

Two New Leving/Sacks Columns Criticize Breaking the Silence 

Family law attorney Jeff Leving and I have co-authored two opinion columns on Breaking the Silence.

PBS' Breaking the Silence: Family Law in the Funhouse Mirror

Jeff Leving and I debated Breaking the Silence supporter Betty Wade Coyle in today's Norfolk Virginian Pilot. Breaking the Silence airs tonight in Norfolk. The debate was called "Two Views on Parental Child Abuse Rulings" and featured Coyle's column, "Our Courts Just Don't Get It" and ours, "Family Laws in the Fun House Mirror." Neither is available at the Virginian Pilot's website, though ours can be seen on my website here.

To write a Letter to the Editor to the Virginian Pilot, a 225,000 circulation newspaper in Norfolk, Virginia, click here.

Our column PBS' Breaking the Silence: Family Law in the Funhouse Mirror (10/20/05) also appeared in the Albany Times Union.

Albany is a battleground for this issue. The previous Sunday the Times Union had printed Bob Port's long, sympathetic word piece Custody fight: Documentary sheds light on system that lets children suffer at the hands of abusive fathers (10/16/05). Much of Breaking the Silence was filmed in Albany, including many clips from the Battered Mother's Custody Conference in January.

One of the themes of Breaking the Silence is mothers losing custody of their children for making accusations of child sexual abuse. The two most famous cases of mothers losing custody for false allegations--those involving Bridget Marks and Dr. Amy Neustein--were both in New York.

In addition, the New York chapter of the National Organization for Women and the Coalition of Fathers and Families NY, Inc. (FaFNY) often do battle at the state capitol there.

Some of you may recall that I debated Marcia Pappas, the president of New York NOW, on Fox News' Day Side with Linda Vester earlier this year. We discussed comments by a New York judge that family courts are biased in favor of women. We invited Marcia to continue our debate on His Side with Glenn Sacks but she declined our invitation.

To write the Times Union, a 100,000 circulation paper, about our column ("Film gives distorted view of family law"), click here.

Want to Reach 10,000+ People?
Are you looking for an affordable way to reach 10,000+ people with your business, organization or message? My weekly E-Newsletter has over 10,000 subscribers. Contact us for more information.

Introducing Leving's Divorce Magazine
Family law attorney Jeff Leving has just introduced Leving's Divorce Magazine to provide challenging and compelling content for the modern divorced man.  levingsdivorcemagazine.com

The Levine Breaking News E-LERT is Hollywood's premier Breaking News e-zine sent every day (7 days a week) to approximately 80,000 "influencers" in all 50 United States and 22 Foreign Countries. Referred to as "part CNN-part Variety-part Drudge Report." To receive the LBN E-LERT everyday, send an email to MLasst@LCOonline.com.

Comeback Dads
The new book Comeback Dads shows how family courts rob children of their dads and proposes a revised Shared Parenting Bill. ComeBackDads.com 

Are You Looking to Earn Money Working from Home?
Many people are earning good incomes working from the comfort of their own homes, while also being there for those special moments with their children.

Responsible, Intelligent, Insightful Help for Men from a Woman Who Can Think Like One
Therapist Shari Schreiber, M.A. addresses gender issues in her male-friendly Forum, and would like to hear from you! Articles and forum topics include: sex, making your marriage work, online dating, men blackmailed into marriage/fatherhood, dangerous/Borderline disordered women, weight issues and MUCH more. ShariSchreiber.com/forum.html

Legal Help for Fathers in New Jersey
If you're a New Jersey father facing a divorce or separation, the law firm of Pitman, Pitman, Mindas, Grossman & Lee can help. 

Help, Support for Noncustodial Parents
MyKidsToo.com is a website designed to provide safe, peer-to-peer support to non-custodial parents and parents finding themselves in a divorce situation. The site is designed to be a clearinghouse of information.

Prostate Cancer Treated Without Surgery or X-Rays
Bill Vancil's book, "Don't Fear the Big Dogs", is the remarkable story of one man's quest to conquer a life threatening disease and bond with his teenage daughter. This highly readable tale takes us from diagnosis through treatment; a journey that will make you feel good just to be alive. Proton treatment has none of the side effects of surgery or standard radiation. This potentially life-saving book is an enjoyable read for anyone and a must-read for all dads.

The LaMusga Company
The LaMusga Company provides customized solutions to assist individuals and business owners in reaching their financial goals. The LaMusga Company is committed to helping you accomplish your long-term financial objectives.

Militant Grandmas Fight for Shared Parenting
Three Sides to Every Story is an organization set up by militant grandma Bessie Hudgins to help fathers stay in their children's lives after divorce.

Legal Help for Fathers
If you live in Los Angeles, Riverside or Orange counties and you're facing a divorce, separation, or a child custody issue, the law firm of Oddenino & Gaule can help you protect your relationship with your children and get a fair financial settlement. 

Are You Interested in Career Advancement?
The PlayBook from the Job Coach is a complete online tutorial guide to self-promotion and career advancement. It gives you insider techniques and strategies previously known only to top job placement experts and "headhunters."

Legal Help for Dads
For $26 dollars a month Pre Paid Legal Services Inc. answers any legal question you have--an indispensable service for divorced dads.

The Dakapa Handbook
Tom Whelan's The Dakapa Handbook is the story of how a father's love for his children enables him to create an adventure that will forever bond them together.
Order the book here

Shared Parenting Advocate Runs for State Legislature
Shared parenting advocate Ron Grignol of Fathers for Virginia has won the Republican Party nomination for a seat in the Virginia state legislature and is making shared parenting one of the key issues of his campaign.

Rantings of a Single Male
The Rantings of a Single Male: Losing Patience with Feminism, Political Correctness... and Basically Everything
describes the rise of feminism from the mid '70s to the present, through Ellis' personal experiences and is loaded with outrageous stories. To learn more, click here.

The American Coalition for Fathers and Children
The American Coalition for Fathers and Children is dedicated to creating a family law system which promotes equal rights for all parties affected by divorce.  Contact the ACFC at 1-800-978-3237 or visit them on the web at www.acfc.org.

Help for Men Struggling with Relationships, Depression, Anger or Anxiety
If you're a man struggling with relationships, depression, anger or anxiety, the Men's Center Los Angeles can help. The Men's Center Los Angeles offers individual, couple, family and group counseling with a focus on men's issues. Call them at (818) 348-9302 or go to MensCenterLosAngeles.com 

File Taxes Online with  Professional Help
MENstax.com allows you to file your taxes, check your refund status, and have your return reviewed by an experienced tax professional--all online. 

To advertise on the Glenn Sacks E-Newsletter, contact advertise@glennsacks.com.

PBS Declares War on Dads

Our other co-authored column, PBS Declares War on Dads (World Net Daily, 10/20/05), focuses more specifically on Parental Alienation Syndrome. World Net Daily is one of the largest websites in the world--to write a Letter to the Editor, click on letters@worldnetdaily.com.

What appears on World Net Daily is a shortened version of a much longer column. The full length version, which contains a lot of different material, appears on my website here.

Focus on the Family Radio Covers PBS Campaign

I discussed Breaking the Silence and our campaign on Focus on the Family radio on Monday, October 24.

Glenn Discusses PBS Campaign on American Family Radio Network

I discussed Breaking the Silence and our campaign on American Family Radio Network on Thursday, October 20.

RADAR's Rosenthal Analyzes Breaking the Silence

Mark B. Rosenthal of Respecting Accuracy in Domestic Abuse Reporting wrote a good analysis of Breaking the Silence--see Breaking the Science: Misleading Stories from PBS.

Feminist Professor Criticizes Campaign

Dr. Hugo Schwyzer, a feminist professor at Pasadena City College and the inventor of the name "Sackson Horde," criticized our campaign--see MRAs, documentaries, "assaults". I like Hugo, but like many he didn't pay  enough attention to what we are doing and wrote that we tried to "get the documentary pulled off the air." In reality, we have never made that demand. We instead wrote:

"We believe that the misguided individuals who made the documentary should be able to put forth their views. We also believe that PBS has a responsibility to present both sides of the issue. We want PBS to provide fatherhood and shared parenting advocates a meaningful opportunity to present our side."

To his credit, Hugo put in a correction later.

Breaking the Silence Directly Contradicts PBS's Mission Statement

Because PBS is a publicly funded institution, its conduct is of concern to all citizens. PBS's Mission Statement states that one of the central aims of its programming is to "provide multiple viewpoints" and "treat complex social issues completely." Breaking the Silence misses the mark by a wide margin.

There was no attempt to "provide multiple viewpoints" in the film whatsoever. One of the film's biggest supporters, Bob Port, noted this in his pro-film column Custody fight: Documentary sheds light on system that lets children suffer at the hands of abusive fathers (Albany Times-Union, 10/16/05). Port stated that the film "will not try your patience with he-said, she-said debate between couples or among experts." Port's correct--there certainly is no debate or opposition permitted in the film.

The film does not "treat the issue completely," but instead gives only one side of the story, a side which cherry-picked a few highly unusual cases and pretended that they represent a widespread problem. Our campaign's demand--that fatherhood and shared parenting advocates be given a chance for a meaningful on air response to the film--is entirely consistent with PBS's stated goals and aims. In fact, it is far more consistent with them than Breaking the Silence is.

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.

Glenn Quoted in Philly Daily News on Paternity Fraud

I was quoted on paternity fraud in Jenice Armstrong's column Who's your daddy? in the Philadelphia Daily News (10/5/05). Mike McCormick, executive director of the American Coalition for Fathers and Children is also quoted.

Attempt to Shame Deadbeats Visited upon the Children

Jane Spies of the National Family Justice Association often tells me that public humiliation of alleged "deadbeat parents" (as recently occurred in Kentucky and Virginia) harms children  because it humiliates them. This letter from Nicki Joynes about Virginia's recent public humiliation campaign is a good example--see Attempt to shame deadbeats visited upon the children (Roanoke Times, 10/4/05).

To learn more about the Virginia events, see my co-authored column Virginia Declares War on Deadbroke Dads (Norfolk Virginian-Pilot, 8/30/05).

Leving's Divorce Magazine

Family law attorney Jeff Leving, my frequent co-author, has just introduced a new online journal for men--Leving's Divorce Magazine. The magazine looks great and has a lot of useful information--find it at www.levingsdivorcemagazine.com.

Elliott Katz Wins Book Award

I want to congratulate Elliott Katz, a frequent   contributor to our work, for winning the 2005 USA Book News Best Books Award for books on men for his new book Being the Strong Man a Woman Wants: Timeless wisdom on being a man. The book provides insight about how men can make things better for themselves and their families. Elliott wants to encourage discussion of the book and invites comments to ElliottRKatz@aol.com.

I Support These Candidates in the November Elections

Greg Schmidt

There are two candidates with ties to the fatherhood movement who I endorse in the November elections, and who I urge all readers in the appropriate regions to support.

One is Seattle police lieutenant Greg Schmidt, who is running for sheriff of Washington's King County (Seattle). Schmidt created the Seattle police department's domestic violence investigation unit in 1994 but later was falsely accused of domestic violence, prosecuted, and acquitted. Since then he has made reform of the draconian, anti-male domestic violence system one of his primary goals.

Incumbent Sue Rahr won the primary election by winning two-thirds of the votes but Schmidt edged past Sgt. Jim Fuda for second in a race so close it triggered a recount. Schmidt now does battle against Rahr, the favorite who was just endorsed by the Seattle Post Intelligencer. The paper criticized Schmidt for his "excessively critical view of the sheriff's department."

According to an earlier profile in the Seattle PI, Schmidt "quickly made lieutenant and seemed headed for captain, perhaps higher, when he was arrested in 1998 after being accused of assaulting his then-wife in their Renton home." They wrote:

"A jury acquitted Schmidt of fourth-degree assault, but the incident may follow him in his run for King County sheriff.

"Schmidt is competing to lead the agency and some of the same deputies he once sued, alleging 'gender profiling' in connection with his arrest.

"'I have no hidden agendas when I go in to be the sheriff,' Schmidt said, adding that his arrest gives him a better understanding of being on the other side of the law.

"The 42-year-old has been upfront about his arrest, posting an explanation on his Web site.

"'I'm an open book. I've done nothing wrong,' he said, during an interview in the Renton office of Families First of Washington, a non-profit organization he started to help families deal with violence. 'I'll answer questions anyone has.'

"Schmidt says he, not his then-wife, was the victim, but he was charged because men are often assumed to be perpetrators. After his acquittal, he tried unsuccessfully to get then-Sheriff Dave Reichert and King County Prosecutor Norm Maleng to press charges against his ex-wife, Sherry Huff.

"She could not be reached for comment. During the trial, she unexpectedly wrote a letter to the judge asking that her testimony not be used.

"As sheriff, Schmidt said, he would review domestic violence policies and procedures to ensure that they're 'gender-neutral,' specifically that officers don't take size into consideration when they make arrests, as they did in his case.'"

To read the full profile, see Schmidt says he can do as sheriff (Seattle Post Intelligencer, 9/8/05) and also his website www.SchmidtforSheriff.com.

I've written about Schmidt before and have had him on His Side with Glenn Sacks as a guest.  See the His Side show Seattle Press Brands Cops as Batterers 8/3/03) and my column "Baseball Player's Domestic Violence Arrest Demonstrates How Men are Presumed Guilty in Domestic Disputes" (Los Angeles Daily Journal, San Francisco Daily Journal, 8/8/02).

Ron Grignol

I also support shared parenting advocate Ron Grignol of Fathers for Virginia, who has won the Republican Party nomination for a seat in the Virginia state legislature. Ron is a credible, long time activist who is making shared parenting one of the key issues of his campaign. His website is www.RonGrignol.com. Also, see this newspaper article about Ron. 

I think it is important that when reasonable, credible  candidates from the fatherhood movement run for office, we support them, even though they will be underdogs in almost all cases. For that reason I publicly supported Warren Farrell in his bid for Governor in California on 2003, and served as an advisor on his campaign.

Best Wishes,
Glenn Sacks

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