Tuesday, August 4, 2009


Whether or not you have been following the great MSNBC-FoxNews-GE (and now, the New York Times' Brian Stelter) Feud, there's one question that should give us all the uh-oh feeling. It's not about what Keith Olberman calls Bill O'Reilly -- or vice versa.

The real question: what is a corporate sponsor doing interfering with the journalism -- whether news or opinion -- that plays on any given station in the first place. Well, okay. The sponsor's job is to make money. That's what they are doing when they lean on one side or the other. Nothing prevents them from pushing their edge. But. Why would journalists listen? Or be expected to fall into line?

And why aren't the rest of us pissed off? Clearly, journalism ethics are involved here. And,as for the corporate sponsor, if you are making money off of journalism, well, like toothpaste -- don't you want it to be a credible product?

Background, among other places, here, here and here. bk

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