From a previous time this topic came up.
It's a PR tool that's become a staple, especially in local news. There's a suggested script for the lead-in (kind of obvious what it was with this example), followed by a video segment produced by some other party. And the big question is who the other parties are. It would have been interesting to see the video segment that followed, to figure out what they were trying to sell -- probably a retail association trying to promote a "come on, everybody's doing it" attitude to encourage more spending during the holidays.
They're very attractive for local stations because it gives them material to air at little or no cost, and the lead-in by the local station anchors gives the impression that it's something the station did on it's own, not something that they got from elsewhere and just used verbatim.
A video news release (VNR) is a video segment made to look like a news report, but is instead created by a PR firm, advertising agency, marketing firm, corporation, or government agency. They are provided to television newsrooms to shape public opinion, promote commercial products and services, publicize individuals, or support other interests. News producers may air VNRs, in whole or in part, at their discretion or incorporate them into news reports if they contain information appropriate to a story or of interest to viewers.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Video_news_release
Critics of VNRs have called the practice deceptive or a propaganda technique, particularly when the segment is not identified to the viewers as a VNR. Firms producing VNRs disagree and equate their use to a press release in video form and point to the fact that editorial judgement in the worthiness, part or whole, of a VNR's content is still left in the hands of Journalists, Program Producers or the like. The United States Federal Communications Commission is currently investigating the practice of VNRs.
VNRs have been used extensively in business since at least the early 1980s. Corporations such as Microsoft and Philip Morris, and the pharmaceutical industry generally, have all made use of the technique.
According to the trade-group Public Relations Society of America, a VNR is the video equivalent of a press release. and presents a client's case in an attractive, informative format. The VNR placement agency seeks to garner media attention for the client's products, services, brands or other marketing goals. The VNR affords local TV stations free broadcast quality materials for use in reports offered by such stations.In March 2000, Candace White, marketing professor at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville, co-authored a report with Mark D. Harmon for the Public Relations Society of America titled "How video news releases are used in television broadcasts." On the panel with Moscowitz and Potter, White said that the same self-interest that encourages news directors to use VNRs dictates that the material is used responsibly. "I trust news producers to be able to weed out true news value; I give them credit for being able to recognize blatant sales pitches. Our study found that the corporate videos were used the least, and the ones about health and safety were used the most," she said.http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php/Video_news_releases
The Center for Media and Democracy's Executive Director John Stauber disagreed. "The use of VNRs amounts to systematic deception of viewers, both by the hidden interested parties behind them, and by news organizations with impure motives themselves," he said.
Reporting on a September 2005 seminar on new media, Media Daily News noted that VNRs "which can look like regular news stories to the unaided eye--can be placed in local or national newscasts." On that panel was Larry Moskowitz, the president and CEO of Medialink Worldwide. "If there is news in your brands we'll find a way to put your brands in your news. In a sense, it's product placement, but it's earned a place on the shelf," Media Daily News reported. 
Medialink Worldwide, one of the largest producers and distributors of VNRs, states in its 2003 annual report that a "VNR is a television news story that communicates an entity's public relations or corporate message. It is paid for by the corporation or organization seeking to announce news and is delivered without charge to the media." 
While the company likens VNRs as akin to the traditional hard copy news release, it acknowledges they are widely used in newsrooms. "Produced in broadcast news style, VNRs relay the news of a product launch, medical discovery, corporate merger event, timely feature or breaking news directly to television news decision-makers who may use the video and audio material in full or edited form. Most major television stations in the world now use VNRs, some on a regular basis," Medialink states.
More evidence of thatif any is necessarycomes in the form of this clip reel put together by Conan O'Brien's Conan show, which shows a large number of TV anchors reading from the same script about a story of immense public importance: a smartphone app for ice cream delivery:http://www.fair.org/blog/2012/07/19/local-tv-news-now-with-ice-cream/
As O'Brien comments, "I don't find that funnyI find it scary."
This would appear to be one more example of what Free Press and others were warning us about a few years backfake news segments that are really just corporate PR planted in the middle of a "newscast."
The FCC should, in theory, do something about this manipulation of the news on the public airwaves. But the commission has been extremely slow to act. As James Rainey reported in the L.A. Times (3/30/11), two stations faced slap-on-the-wrist fines for airing commercials dressed up as newsfour years after the offending broadcasts aired.
Inevitable result of #GOPDebateDrinkingGame.
...when Newt Gingrich and Rush Limbaugh effectively became the voices of the party. In 2000 it wasn't deeply-rooted enough, and the party establishment still pretty much followed "traditional" practices.
In 2004 they had someone already squatting in the Oval Office, so there was a clear choice.
The cracks were really visible in 2008, but McCain and Romney were heavy enough establishment hitters to still clean up by far.
And then McCain, heeding Bill Kristol's flawless logic, tapped the Grifter Queen of Glacier Gulch as his VP. And then the "Kenyan" guy with the furrin name won.
The floodgates opened up: rich wingnuts and bilkers poured money into the coffers of the Teastroturf machine, run-of-the-mill wingnuts poured their own money in, and it was a great time to cash in and/or (mostly "and" bilk the gullible who were so flame-eyed that they weren't paying much attention to where the money was going.
Simplified, sure, but that's the gist of it.
Pace yourselves, people, and stay hydrated.
Dick Cheney likes lattes. Seated in his favorite brown-leather chair in the sunlit study of his home in McLean, Virginia, the former vice president of the United States can toss back two of the warm java blasts in an hour. They come from a stainless-steel machine in the kitchen and a slender, mustachioed housekeeper named Gus, who serves them in custom-ordered white Starbucks cups outfitted with cardboard Starbucks sleeves.
What the hell? Why would anyone want to pretend they're drinking Starbucks when they're drinking a latte made in their own kitchen? Does he want to pretend that he's some working stiff who picks up a cup on his way to work? Does he want people to think he has a Starbucks in the basement? I don't get it.
God Dick Cheney is a weirdo ...
That quote is from the Playboy Interview with Cheney. It's the very first paragraph. Should be fun.
Usually when this level of fantasy is reached, there's a dragon involved...
Fox Business host John Stossel on Sunday asserted that most government was unnecessary because companies like Walmart would spontaneously provide assistance to disaster victims "in many more ways" than the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) could.
"Ever feel like government makes too many plans that come to naught?" Fox News host Tucker Carlson told Stossel during a segment on Fox & Friends. "It's kind of a bold idea. You're saying that not every human activity needs to be planned from above. Some things spontaneously work themselves out pretty well."
According to Stossel, Americans would be better off with less government and more "spontaneous order," a term coined by economist Friedrich Hayek which states that order will naturally emerge from chaos.
"If you hadn't seen a skating rink, you would say, 'No, you need skating police, people go in this direction,'" Stossel observed. "Think of how much of life is spontaneous... Jazz, there's no direction. So much of life is spontaneous, but our instinct is to say, 'Government, give us a plan.'"
Just so you know, the rink he's at for his cutesy-poo "example" is the one in NYC's Bryant Park. It DOES have "skating police", the ice-skating equivalent of lifeguards. I've seen them on more than one occasion direct people who were wrong-way skating to turn around and go in the proper direction.
His part about Walmart and disaster relief leaves out far more -- and far more important -- facts.
But you knew he was lying when you read the word "Stossel".
Below is a conservative political cartoon from 1860, engraved by Currier and Ives and published in Harper's Magazine. Way back when The Party of Lincoln was actually running Lincoln for president, it was considered the liberal/left party.
See if you recognize the playbook:
"The Republican Party Going to the Right House"
Lincoln rides in on a (fence) rail, carried by Horace Greely (anti-slavery editor of the New York Tribune), leading his followers into a lunatic asylum.
GREELY: "Hold on to me Abe, and we'll go in here by the unanimous consent of the people."
LINCOLN: "Now my friends I'm almost in, and the millennium is going to begin, so ask what you will and it shall be granted."
Younger Woman: "Oh! what a beautiful man he is, I feel a passionate attraction' every time I see his lovely face."
Bearded Man: "I represent the free love element, and expect to have free license to carry out its principles."
Man with trim beard and hat: "I want religion abolished and the book of Mormon made the standard of morality."
Caricatured black man: "De white man hab no rights dat cullud pussons am bound to spect' I want dat understood."
Older woman: "I want womans rights enforced, and man reduced in subjection to her authority."
Scruffy man with bottle: "I want everybody to have a share of everybody elses property."
Barefoot man: "I want a hotel established by government, where people that aint inclined to work, can board free of expense, and be found in rum and tobacco."
Seedy top-hat man: " I want guaranteed to every Citizen the right to examine every other citizen's pockets without interruption by Policemen."
Man at the end: "I want all the stations houses burned up, and the M.P.s killed, so that the bohoys can run with the machine and have a muss when they please."
Lets go down the list, shall we?:
Supported by "liberal media": Check
Liberals will embark on profligate giveaways to THOSE PEOPLE? Check.
Flighty, emotional, entranced by charisma/celebrity? Check.
People conservatives consider sexual deviants? Check.
People conservatives consider religious deviants? Check (and how ironic, this particular turn).
Grasping minorities after special rights? Check.
There's a vast army of layabouts, terrorists, and outright thieves who want to take your hard-earned stuff? Check, check, check, and check.
A hundred and fifty years later, and they're playing the same effing tune.
On edit: I'm just using the Texas case name as an example. I could have just as easily used "United States v. $35,651.11 in U.S. Currency" or hundreds of others. It was just the first example of one of these ridiculouse case names that I ran across when looking for an example.
By Robert O'Harrow Jr., Sari Horwitz and Steven Rich January 16 at 2:15 PM
Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. on Friday barred local and state police from using federal law to seize cash, cars and other property without warrants or criminal charges.
Holders action represents the most sweeping check on police power to confiscate personal property since the seizures began three decades ago as part of the war on drugs.
The decision follows a Washington Post investigation published in September that found that police have made cash seizures worth almost $2.5 billion from motorists and others without search warrants or indictments since the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.
The Post found that local and state police routinely pulled over drivers for minor traffic infractions, pressed them to agree to warrantless searches and seized large amounts of cash without evidence of wrongdoing. The law allows such seizures and forces the owners to prove their property was legally acquired in order to get it back.
By Juan Cole | Jan. 7, 2015
The problem for a terrorist group like al-Qaeda is that its recruitment pool is Muslims, but most Muslims are not interested in terrorism. Most Muslims are not even interested in politics, much less political Islam. France is a country of 66 million, of which about 5 million is of Muslim heritage. But in polling, only a third, less than 2 million, say that they are interested in religion. French Muslims may be the most secular Muslim-heritage population in the world (ex-Soviet ethnic Muslims often also have low rates of belief and observance). Many Muslim immigrants in the post-war period to France came as laborers and were not literate people, and their grandchildren are rather distant from Middle Eastern fundamentalism, pursuing urban cosmopolitan culture such as rap and rai. In Paris, where Muslims tend to be better educated and more religious, the vast majority reject violence and say they are loyal to France.
Al-Qaeda wants to mentally colonize French Muslims, but faces a wall of disinterest. But if it can get non-Muslim French to be beastly to ethnic Muslims on the grounds that they are Muslims, it can start creating a common political identity around grievance against discrimination. This tactic is similar to the one used by Stalinists in the early 20th century. Decades ago I read an account by the philosopher Karl Popper of how he flirted with Marxism for about 6 months in 1919 when he was auditing classes at the University of Vienna. He left the group in disgust when he discovered that they were attempting to use false flag operations to provoke militant confrontations. In one of them police killed 8 socialist youth at Hörlgasse on 15 June 1919. For the unscrupulous among Bolshevikswho would later be Stalinists the fact that most students and workers dont want to overthrow the business class is inconvenient, and so it seemed desirable to some of them to sharpen the contradictions between labor and capital.
The operatives who carried out this attack exhibit signs of professional training. They spoke unaccented French, and so certainly know that they are playing into the hands of Marine LePen and the Islamophobic French Right wing. They may have been French, but they appear to have been battle hardened. This horrific murder was not a pious protest against the defamation of a religious icon. It was an attempt to provoke European society into pogroms against French Muslims, at which point al-Qaeda recruitment would suddenly exhibit some successes instead of faltering in the face of lively Beur youth culture (French Arabs playfully call themselves by this anagram). Ironically, there are reports that one of the two policemen they killed was a Muslim.
Sharpening the contradictions is the strategy of sociopaths and totalitarians, aimed at unmooring people from their ordinary insouciance and preying on them, mobilizing their energies and wealth for the perverted purposes of a self-styled great leader.
(boldface highlights added by me)
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