We've discussed this before (and here, and elsewhere), apparently quite a common practice to corporations to pay for advertorials. I suspect quite a large number of political pundits are really paid by the administration as well. Nobody can really be that stupid, dense and shrill, right? Right?
Media group alleges TV news rule violations A report from the Center for Media and Democracy blasted 46 TV stations, including New York's WPIX and two others owned by Chicago Tribune parent Tribune Co., for violating federal guidelines on the use of unlabeled material from corporations in the guise of news stories.
The Federal Communications Commission has been looking into whether these prepackaged reports constitute ads. WPIX was cited for using General Motors Corp.-produced material without any notice or disclaimer in a story on hybrid cars.
In a statement, Tribune said its stations have a policy of disclosing the source of third-party video, “but they air hundreds of stories each day, and from time to time slip-ups occur.”
Oh that makes it all better, doesn't it? If the toothless fuzz ball (aka the FCC) is investigating, there must be quite a lot of evidence of wrong doing.
The Center for Media and Democracy adds:
If you thought an ongoing Federal Communications Commission investigation—launched in response to the Center for Media and Democracy's April 2006 report “Fake TV News”—would get fake news off your television screen, think again. CMD just released its follow-up report on video news releases (VNRs), the sponsored public relations videos designed to mimic news reports. The six-month investigation, titled, “Still Not the News: Stations Overwhelmingly Fail to Disclose VNRs,” names 46 stations in 22 states that inserted corporate VNRs into their newscasts. Nearly 90 percent of the time, absolutely no attempt to provide any disclosure to viewers—even when VNRs dealt with controversial issues like global warming