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« The 'Jeff Gannon' Scandal in Context | Main | Tribune Kills Anti-Bush Cartoon »

February 28, 2005



If "honorable journalism" wasn't considered such an oxymoron and if the mainstream media did their jobs, episodes like the Bush and Schwartznegger captive journalists, the Gannons and Fox "News" and the Jayson Blairs and Rathergate would be shocking anomalies, not cause for shrugs and smirks.


Are you quite sure that the "valuable work done by the pros" hasn't been a complete sham for years? After all, VNRs weren't invented recently by the republican party. They've been a standard way television "news" is produced for a long time now.

I think that any "news" outlet which ever plays one of these propoganda pieces-- regardless of whether it's government propaganda or "just" corporate propaganda-- has completely sacrificed any & all claim to being a trustworthy & independent source of information.



Up, VNRs are a corporate invention and the Bush and Schwarzenegger Administrations have never seen a corporate tactic they couldn't use to their advantage. But VNRs are merely a follow up to standard Press Releases, which drive so much of what we call "journalism" today.

I'd love to hear more on Dan's take on this, as an industry veteran. As audience members, we shouldn't stand for the inclusion of Press Release information or VNRS without conspicuous attribution and independent fact checking by the news organization that repeats it.

In defense of repeating the Bush Administration's falsehoods, the press says, "We have to report what the president says--it is news." But they don't have to do it uncritically. Just as I shouldn't forward an internet hoax, the press has an obligation not to forward false information put forth by the Bush Administration, or from anyone else, for that matter.

Bob Rosenberg

1984 lives....


In the interest of fairness and profitability at the networks, they should begin charge advertising fees at commercial rates for playing administration PR stuff. There's not much difference between ads for male enhancement and Bush's program marketing, except that testing the former is more fun.


If the PR's and VNR's contain political messages either for or against any sort of political "plan," you can consider them to be political campaigns... and they should fall under campaign finance laws and accountability. If not, then I guess the IRS is obsolete and we should quit financing all this clownery.

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