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This report naturally brought to you by a British newspaper...

77 US television stations are being investigated by the FCC for broadcasting items produced by the Bush government and a handful of corporations, while promoting them as unbiased "news". These reports, referred to as video news releases (VNR), have been used to sell drugs by Pfizer, chocolate bars by Mars, and the murder of Iraqi citizens spread of democracy in Iraq by the Bush administration.

None of this is likely a surprise to anyone aware of the state of the modern MSM, but I do have to wonder why the Bush Administration felt the need to bother when they already have Fox News?

[Update: Joe Edmonton suggested in a comment that the Clinton Administration also used VNRs to promote their own agenda. I followed up with a quick search of the Accuracy in Media site and came up with this. It appears that this kind of "reporting" goes back at least 15 years.]

Interesting

Did the Independent run a similiar story when the Clintion administration was doing the same thing?

I don't know - did the FCC investigate it back then? This article, I think, is in direct response to the published allegations by the FCC, not investigative reportage on their part.

I know that you're tip-toeing down the "liberal media bias" road, but I honestly don't know the answer.

Actually, Joe, you in fact make a good point. I just did a quick websearch and found an interesting link that shows there is a bit of a history to these VNR's. I'm going to update the post to reflect this.

Sadly, I think Joe is basically saying that since the Clinton administration did it, it's ok for everyone else to do it too.

However, I don't think it's ok at all. Maybe Clinton should have gotten heat over it, but as they say, c'est la vie. Now Bush can take heat over it, if whoever blows the whistles has the balls to give it.

Zaphod,
You're right, it's not okay even if someone managed to get away with it before, but Joe's right in that it does not it appear to be atypical.

Which is sad.

The thing that really bothers me about this is that the MSM isn't hopping up and down on this - I mean it looks like the main networks were involved, but I haven't found any evidence implicating CNN yet. Even from a purely market standpoint, you'd think they'd be waving this every chance they got.

Unless of course, they're involved too.

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