Saturday, March 14, 2009

Shamelessly Shilling

Sometimes Nightly News is so shameless that even I am astounded. On the Sunday, March 8 broadcast, they devoted two minutes to a "news story" about what a great time it is to fly due to low airfares. Lester Holt told us about, "Bargains some may find too good to pass up!" George Lewis crowed that, "Airfares on the 100 most popular routes are down 40% compared to last summer!" This is just NBC shamelessly shilling for their pals in the airline industry. If NBC can get more people to fly, then the airlines will have more money to pay for ads on NBC. Nightly News did the same thing recently for their pals in the auto industry. On Jan. 10, they gave us a story about what a great time it is to buy a car. Most of the story consisted of excerpts from auto ads (Cadillac, Chrysler, Hyundai) and of Kevin Tibbles telling us about all the fantastic bargains the auto dealers are offering. Great prices! Free gas when you buy a car! Buy one car, get one free! Buy a Hyundai, and they'll refund your money if you lose your job! I'm surprised Tibbles didn't say, "What do I have to do to put you in this car today?" This is NBC shilling for the auto industry (anyone remember Brian Williams's "interview" with Chrysler exec Jim Press from November of 2007?). The more cars that get sold, the more money the auto industry has to advertise on NBC. Is there anything Nightly News reports on that isn't somehow self-serving? It seems not.

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