Saturday, March 20, 2010

Zocor No--Walmart Yes!

Not surprisingly, Nightly News didn't mention the FDA warning that was issued on Friday for the cholesterol drug Zocor. According to the FDA, high doses of the drug can cause muscle injury and potentially even result in lethal kidney damage. Perhaps Nightly News didn't have enough time for the Zocor story, since they had to bring us the breaking news story about the nun who keeps a sharp eye on the Xavier University men's basketball team. But it's more likely that the Nightly News producers didn't run the Zocor story as a favor to their friends at Merck (Zocor's manufacturer). After all, Merck spends a lot of money advertising their products on NBC (Afrin, Chlor-Trimeton, Claritin, Correctol, Dr. Scholl's, Fosamax, Lotrimin, Singulair and others), so sweeping the Zocor story under the rug is the least NBC can do. It's always nice to do a favor for a friend. Maybe they'll run the Zocor story over the weekend, when fewer people are watching.

But at least Ann Curry found time on Friday to tell us all about Walmart and their new low prices. According to Curry: "Walmart today confirmed it's about to slash grocery prices heating up a food fight to attract customers. The world's largest retailer says it will begin the new discounts on April 1." This is an actual news story presented on a network evening newscast. (So was last Wednesday's 20 second "news story"--read by Brian Williams--about how Kraft Foods will be reducing the salt in their products by 10%. It's amazing what a few million dollars of advertising money will buy you on Nightly News.) So Nightly News viewers won't know about kidney damage from Zocor, but at least they'll know all about Walmart's new low prices. Keep up the good work, Nightly News producers!

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