Fake News Fines….

28 03 2011

The FCC has fined two news stations for airing Video News Releases (VNRs), which are advertisements that are designed to be indistinguishable from news stories.  Have you ever seen this on your local news station?  This is in direct violation of the FCC’s “Sponsor Identification Rules” because they were aired without disclosure of their origins.  The two stations that were fined are KMSP-TV, a Fox-owned affiliate in Minneapolis and WMGM-TV, a NBC affiliate in southern New Jersey.  KMSP-TV aired a “news report” on increased consumer demand for convertible cars in the summer complete with multiple shots and favorable descriptions of General Motors products (paid for, of course, by GM.)  WMGM-TV aired a piece on how to treat the common cold that the station claimed was sponsored by a local hospital, but was, in fact, paid for by Matrix Initiative, the maker of Zicam zinc cold remedy, and promoted the use of zinc products for treating colds.

See, I told ya the news was bad.

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