Interesting blog post at RatherBiased.Com about CBS News’ business relationship with Amazon.Com. The subtext for this is some conservatives who think that CBS News is acting inappropriately in the way it is heavily promoting Bill Clinton’s new biography and other “controversial political books” (though I would put Clinton’s book in that category, although the RatherBiased.Com does).
Frankly, I could care less about both issues. American media companies long passed the Rubicon when it comes to using their pages and airwaves to engage in cross promotion of other products in their vast empires. What really offends me is watching sporting events and hearing the announcers plug crappy shows on their network that I have no interest in watching.
What is odd is that CBS News felt the need to initially deny and then finally tersely concede that CBS News and Amazon.Com have such a relationship. The RatherBiased.Com article quotes Peter Collier who is appalled saying,
The other thing is that these are supposed to be news shows. The whole deal raises serious questions about their authenticity. First they make news out of liberal authors which increases their commercial viability and then they, in effect, profiteer from it by selling the books on their site. The whole marketing concept is bad, period.
This might have been insightful in, say, 1987, but television news (all of it, including Fox) is suffused with marketing and such cross-promotions. Not that there’s anything wrong with it (it’s very entertaining, such as when networks cravenly bend over backwards to please such statesmen as Michael Jackson), though it would be nice if they would just drop the news label and be honest about it.
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