Television Stations Airing Seeded PR News Reports

You might remember last month’s Wal-Mart blogging scandal, in which it came to light that Wal-Mart was feeding information to bloggers. Many bloggers were posting the propaganda wholesale without attributing the (obviously) subjective source. Slimy MSM toads chortled as a chink in blogging’s armor appeared: why, mainstream media is objective. They’d never betray the precious sanctity of their journalistic integrity, as holy and binding as stone tablets handed down from YHWH. They would never simply ejaculate PR propaganda into our faces wholesale — they were better than that.

Huh. So riddle me this. If mainstream journalism is impervious to the temptation of recycling company propaganda as a breaking news story, why is it that 77 television stations aired fake news reports last year alone? Companies like Pfizer, General Motors and Capital One produced video news releases — fake news reports designed to non-obviously advertise their products and services — and a large number of television stations aired them without ever mentioning that these came from these companies’ public relations firms.

Not only that, but the VNRs in question were often outright lying. One General Motors VNR claimed that GM had the first automobile website… which is simply untrue.

The study, released by the Center for Media and Democracy, prompted F.C.C. commissioner Jonathan S. Adelman to refer to it as “a disgrace to American journalism.” Yeah, sounds about right, but who’s really surprised?

77 TV stations aired ‘fake news reports’ [Raw Story]

Want more consumer news? Visit our parent organization, Consumer Reports, for the latest on scams, recalls, and other consumer issues.