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A.A. Bondy
American Hearts


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Leaves in the Gutter

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Glossary
For What I Don't Become


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The Thick of It
BBC America



Saddest Ghost Lamp

Monday, March 14, 2005

The Timesian Tease

The New York Times' category killer on the feds' use of video news releases yesterday had a distressingly low news-to-word count ratio, but my ears pricked up when I read that some fake news segments "were broadcast in some of nation's largest television markets, including New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Dallas and Atlanta."

That's news. Third-ranked hayseed station in Des Moines broadcasts USDA propaganda on a 5 a.m. agricultural show? Mildly interesting, but not too surprising. Network-owned major-market station in Chicago broadcasts video news releases without attribution? That's a story, which is evidently why the Times teased it near the top.

Sadly, a tease is all it was. The major-market allegation is not revisited, and nowhere in the story is any evidence presented of federally produced video news releases being broadcast in New York, Chicago, L.A., Dallas, or Atlanta.