VNR's: News For Sale

Heard an item on the news today that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) are currently investigation one hundred and twelve (112!!!) stations in the US for broadcasting Video News Releases (VNR's) without identifying them as such.

What are VNR's? Well, as the helpful folk over at
will tell us, they are commercials designed to look like news reports.

WHAT??? Surely this can't be true??

But wait, of course it can- this is the USA.

So there are production companies such as all over the country being employed to shoot short films designed to promote your product/company/agenda in the style of a legitimate news report. The above company boasts the services of an Emmy award winning TV news producer who has prepared VNR's for broadcast on networks & programs such as Oprah, 20/20, Dateline NBC, CNN, ABC, NBC newscast, and National Public Radio.


Most of these VNR's, as per the current FCC investigation are allegedly being broadcast without being distinguished as such. So as far as Joe Public is concerned: 'THIS IS NEWS'.

But that's not all- get this:

Who tops this company's list of clients? Who has contracted enough to warrant pole position in it's portfolio?

Go on, guess.

That's right:
The Executive Branch of the American Government!!!!

Oh Lord..

The Bush administration have allegedly been producing VNR's to mislead the public about progress in Iraq and Afghanistan. Jon Stewart's 'Daily Show' recently highlighted one of these clips featuring a group of Iraqis chanting pro-American slogans and expressing their appreciation for President Bush.

What is it gonna take for someone to impeach this asshole?

Here's one of the few embeddable VNR's I could find. It's paid for by General Motors.

You can watch a bunch more here.

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