I was astonished to see that FOX Television, in its nauseating quest for ever tawdry reality-TV shows, plans to turn the problems of poor fathers into an extermination in the Fox Colosseum.
According to the Hollywood Reporter, Fox tagged Jim Durham, Director of the “National Child Support Center”, as the leading lion of the event. Interestingly, this organization does not exist.
The real name of the company Durham runs is “National Child Support” (NCS). The NCS is not a national or official organization — it is a private for-profit fee-based collections agency located in Cincinnati, Ohio. Their website cannily does not identify Durham on its website, but Zoominfo tagged the truth.
Both Fox and Durham lied about the name of the company, appending “agency” to the name apparently to confer a false appearance of governmental authority upon Fox’s assault on poor or underemployed fathers. When folks start out lying about who they are, the future is predicable.
Private child support collections agencies are in trouble these days. Their fees are extremely high — 25% to 40% of the amount collected — with additional “administrative” fees often attached. Even women’s advocates do not want private agencies to have access to government records to prevent predation on custodial mothers. There are many documented abuses of custodial mothers by these “agencies”. Now FOX is paying one to pillory often-innocent men in the public arena.
For those unaware of the dynamics of the child support problem, understand the following truths now:
Approximately 80% to 85% of men behind on support are poor or involuntarily under-employed men unable to earn what some bureaucrat ordered them to earn. Court orders commonly include “imputed income” to reflect what a judge thinks the father should earn (which most often is equal to or more than what the State was giving her in welfare). Child support orders are rigid, and do not change with economic downturns.
In a 1999 study by the American Coalition for Fathers and Children of over 1,500 men in California who had suffered an employment setback, and who attempted to get a modification of child support, only 5% of them were able to get a modification. The other 95% of these men and their counterparts everywhere are the plebians that Fox intends to drag into its Colosseum for demolishment. In California, 80% of child support debtors are men earning poverty-level wages, and one-quarter of the “debt” is interest.
Read: perhaps three-quarters of child support debt is illegitimate to begin with. Fox has never done any investigative journalism about this, yet the knuckle-dragging neanderthals at Fox feel it is lovely to turn the horrid things government did to men and women into a gender war carnival.
The systemic problem is this: states hand out large sums of welfare entitlements under TANF and other programs. This stimulates women to have children out of wedlock or get a divorce because they think that government will be a better provider. Very quickly women find out that her “baby daddy” cannot support two households, and that she has to work full time and “do it all” on less money.
This is what the “women’s rights” movement inflicted on its own constituency — simply out of well-known feminist hate for men and marriage. America‘s feminist-government-complex entitled serial polyandry, found that single-parent family economics are as impossible as granite blimps. Now Fox wants to destroy men who for the most part never had a chance to marry a woman, much less stay married.
The state then chases down the father, who in most cases did nothing wrong, and imputes a support order to match what the state was paying, so the state does not end up with a welfare problem in the future. These orders usually are not based on what the father can afford to pay. I have seen many cases where support is well over 100% of the fathers actual earnings.
Casual readers may not understand why this could be a problem. Imagine what would happen if the IRS imputed taxes based on what some bureaucrat think you should earn (but is really based on how much money the IRS wants). Do you think you could make ends meet if your taxes doubled or tripled, and remained static if you had a bad year or two?
In the final analysis: three quarters of the poverty problem would disappear immediately if single mothers simply married the fathers of their children. Marriage-absence is the greatest structural social problem we face. Two low-wage incomes can support one household. The welfare state, which has bought out the marriage market in the lower and middle classes, expects two low-wage incomes to support two households – an impossibility for most poor Americans and difficult for many middle-class Americans.
Read: Poverty is a crime if you are a poor man, and a cause célèbre for the State and imperialist feminists at Fox Television, who incessantly tout the claquish agenda of governmental and privatized interests who profit handsomely by destroying marriage (which may well include Rupert Murdoch).
True Equality Network has a very thorough 4-part series on this problem, titled “How the Failures of Welfare Reform Created Our Lawless Courts”. Dr. Stephen Baskerville documented these problems in consummate detail in his top-selling book “Taken Into Custody: The War Against Fatherhood, Marriage, and the Family”. Those who desire a full understanding of panjandrum political dynamics driving the so-called “deadbeat dads” problem should read these publications while not inhaling.
A Very Rude Response From Fox Television
I called Scott Grogin, Senior Vice President of Corporate Communications for Fox Television to let him know that Fox was headed for a public relations nightmare if they pursue torture as a form of entertainment. Grogin was quite aware of the show, chortling cavalier excitement about it. He was entirely unreceptive to any criticism of the concept, and went so far as to accuse me of using foul language and threatening him (which I did not do), as an excuse to hang up on me.
Grogin is begging for his walking papers. Senior Vice Presidents of Corporate Communications are supposed to handle issues and prevent public relations disasters for the business, not create them and the light fires under them.
Phone calls to Fox President of Alternative Entertainment Mike Darnell were poorly fenced by his assistant, who first said he was on a local shoot, and later said he was out of town all week.
Email messages to Grogin’s superiors at Fox Television and NewsCorp went unanswered.
I am informed by a knowledgeable source who wishes to remain anonymous that “there will be no stopping this show and they want to target leaders of the fathers movement”. “It is starting with the child support issue and migrate to other issues.” This does appear likely given their attitude.
Fox is headed for a major legal and public relations disaster. According to Richar Farr of Krights radio, Fox stole the idea and is presently being sued over it.
A couple of years ago, a group working with a Los Angeles production firm conceived the idea, but later withdrew it after becoming acquainted with the dynamics of the child support problem. A January, 2007 Krights video posted on LiveLeak discusses their change of heart.
They, like the very large number of organizations I work with, all agree that this idea is barbaric, dangerously sexist, and unbalanced. Richar spoke with the individuals suing Fox today. They are very upset with FOX for pursuing a very cruel show concept and are adamantly committed to preventing Fox from proceeding.
Krights will be doing a show involving a panel of movement leaders, and Fox spokespeople if they are willing to debate the issue.
This movement will not stand for organized massacres of men, the majority of whom did nothing to deserve it.
In 1996, I organized the pro-marriage movement, subsequently forcing Universal Studios to cancel the sequel of movie “First Wives Club”, which was (as I put it at the time), the “best documentary ever filmed about sexism in America”. Time Magazine found our position worthy of coverage. Newspapers for the most part agreed with us, as did many of the theater owners. Hard Copy flew a film crew to St. Louis and did a segment, which Universal killed minutes before airtime. The young lady who produced the segment was in tears. She said it was the best segment she had ever produced because it actually something good.
We are a decade down the road. A lot of people know raw sexism when they see it without anyone explaining anything. The program director at our local FOX affiliate said immediately that she thought the show was an awful idea.
Fox will not do this show. This movement will rise to the occasion and apply public pressure the likes of which have not been seen ever before. Plans are already underway to go after major advertisers.
Presently, the best way you can help teach Fox a lesson is to send your “polite” comments here. If Fox does not relent promptly, we will have many more aggressive things for you to do later.
David R. Usher is Senior Policy Analyst for the True Equality Network.