What do orgasms and TV news have in common?

They've been faking it.

Clear Channel, News Corp./Fox Television, Viacom/CBS Corp, Tribune Co. and Sinclair Broadcast Group, among others, have all aired Video News Releases (VNR), corporate sponsored ads masquerading as news, according a report from the Center for Media and Democracy (CMD) and Free Press.

I feel so cheated, so used, so so so... betrayed. According to Tim Karr nearly half of the American public is reached by the stations implicated in the report and:


Despite repeated claims from broadcasters that they do not air VNRs as news, the new report reveals just the tip of the iceberg. Instances of fake TV news documented by CMD likely represent less than 1 percent of VNRs distributed to local newsrooms since June 2005. Fraudulent news reports have likely been aired on hundreds of more local newscasts in the past year.
The examples, like the one below would be comical but for the fact that it isn't a far cry from accepting this kind of deception from accepting, uncritically, the words of those in power. And speaking of the damage corporate journalism wreaks on the American public, according to Karr, the report "draw[s] a clear line between media consolidation and the broadcast of deceptive, pre-packaged propaganda. When all station owners care about is the bottom line, fake news can prove irresistible."


Clear Channel Delivers a Placebo

Propaganda at Work
Carrie Lazarus hails a dietary supplement as a "major health breakthrough" for arthritis sufferers. She fails to point out that the sponsor of the VNR manufactures the supplement, nor mention that it barely outperforms a placebo.

(View the original VNR and then see how Clear Channel-owned WSYR in Syracuse faked it).



(MediaCitizen)

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