It's official. NBC News Chief Science Correspondent Robert Bazell is a shill. A snake oil salesman. He has no credibility. Whenever one of Bazell's "news reports" appears on Nightly News, the viewers need to ask themselves, "What is his ulterior motive for reporting this story? What product is he trying to promote?" On Monday, the answer was obvious. Bazell's story about the benefits of aspirin was little more than a 2:15 commercial for Bayer. The "news report" began with a five second clip from a Bayer commercial. Then there were three close-ups of Bayer aspirin: A box on a shelf in a Walgreens, a pill in someone's palm and a bottle of Bayer. No other name brand was shown in the story (the only other aspirin bottles/packages shown were generic and store brands). Even an animated graphic of a bottle simply labeled "aspirin" was brown and yellow--Bayer's traditional colors on their aspirin bottles (some Bayer varieties still use those colors) and the main colors on their website! This is beyond blatant. So why would Bazell and his producers do a story that promotes Bayer? Because Bayer is one of Nightly News's best advertisers. Their commercials run almost every night (Bayer's Aleve brand advertises nightly as well). This is brazen, appalling and deceitful. Bazell is supposed to be reporting on matters of health and science, not endorsing a particular product. And this isn't even the first time Bazell has used a news story to promote a Bayer product. On June 8, Bazell spent two-and-a-half minutes reporting about an obscure Danish medical study that concluded that Aleve can reduce heart attacks. This is way past inappropriate. This is sleazy. Believe it or not, some people actually rely on the evening news for information about health matters. But on Nightly News they don't get unbiased information, they get contrived "news reports" specifically designed to promote NBC's best advertisers. When is the FCC finally going to revoke NBC's license to air a newscast?
By the way, during Bazell's story, we saw an interview with Dr. Charles Fuchs, who was described in a Nightly News graphic as being from the "Dana Farber Cancer Institute". Meanwhile, behind Dr. Fuchs's right shoulder was a plaque that clearly read "Dana-Farber Cancer Institute". Obviously, Bazell and his producers were too busy orchestrating Bayer product placements to care about the hyphen.