Screwy News

Right-wing groups like to bloviate about how the media are a bastion of liberal bias, if not an outright front for the International Communist Conspiracy (don't bother trying to explain to them that the commie "conspiracy" is deader than disco music).

"Liberal Media" my butt! The true bias of the barons who control virtually all of the mass media is not to the left or even to the right, but to the top... to their own corporate class. The so-called "news" we get is filtered through the media's corporate lenses and tinted to a nice, rosy corporate hue. Indeed, revealed by the diligent watchdog group called PR Watch, it turns out that many of the "news stories" we see on television are actually nothing but video feeds from corporations with something to sell.

CBS, for example, which is regularly assailed by the right wing for having that left wing devil himself, Dan Rather, on the air, is the leading purveyor of VNRs -- Video News Releases from corporate hustlers. It's outlet is CBS Newspath, a division that feeds these insidious, corporate-produced "news stories" to its local affiliates three times a day.

CBS has a deal with an outfit called Medialine to transmit these corporate VNRs to your local station, which plays them as though they were real news. Medialink brags that it produces VNRs for 2,500 corporations and PR agencies, airing them through such outfits as CBS newspath. You see their features on your local broadcasts, such as a segment telling you how cell phones have become so useful to consumers, then showing a close-up of a Nokia brand phone. Subtle, huh?

This news scam is pervasive. Medialink's website gloats that "Every major television station in the world now uses VNRs regularly. Most are from Medialink. It's a fact."

It's also an outrage, not to mention an embarrassment for television journalism.

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