Friday, April 14, 2006

Fake News

For last week's column, I wrote about the results of a study on the use of fake new reports used by TV stations across the country, including two in LA. Here's a link to the executive summary of the report by the Center for Media and Democracy.

While the TV industry quietly took its blows after the report, the PR industry struck back.

Check out this excerpt from an open letter to the Center for Media and Democracy sent by Becky Kern and Jay Elliott, principals, WErPR. This excerpt references my column and attributes my words to Price. I hope they do better reporting in their fake news.

"In closing, we can’t help wondering what the CMD is hoping to achieve with this report. Recently Daniel Price, one of the co-authors of the “study,” summed up his concerns in the LA Daily News by remarking “what if a doctor sees a fake news segment and prescribes a drug based on what appears to be a good news story, but really is well disguised advertising?”'This of course is outlandish, unless this same doctor got his credentials watching ER or Grey’s Anatomy. If more FCC regulation is the desired action, it seems incongrueous with an activist organization sponsored by left-leaning, anti-big brother philanthropists; so a check of the charter might be in order. And if it’s fair and objective reporting by the media, perhaps a closer look at the CMD’s own one-sided report is a good place to start. Maybe the CMD is just looking for its fifteen seconds of fame. Whatever the objective, given the times we live in, there are certainly more important, more subversive and more impactful areas of communication and influence worthy of study.

FYI, if you don't think physicians are influenced by news stories they think are real when they are balancing all the other information they get about new drugs -- including the regular visits from drug compnay reps bearing gifts and samples -- think again. They're human liek everyone else, after all, and cannot be blamed for believing that the reports the see in the news are accurate.

Monday, April 03, 2006

More hating "readers"

Just got this creepy letter:

Hello Brain Dead, Answer is simple: Enforce the laws. Kick the illegal brown ass, dope smoking, chilli eating pot bellies, greaser heads, back across to their shit filled country: Mexico. You stupid Mex-Indians have soiled Central America and South America. Now, you want to flee your dung infested countries and soil ours. Forget it. It not going to happen. Over half the felons in California Jails are Ilegals from Latino Countries, not Canadians or European. Your such an asshole. Take a look in the mirror . That shit colored face doesn't belong here either.

From the mail bag

Last week, my column returned to the Sunday Viewpoint section, from whence it came, with an article on the immigration debate. And with it came a tide of mail that continued this week as well with another column about the immigration debate. This time, I've actually managed to convince a few people to quit the paper.
Here's an excerpt of the nasty-grams:
And be sure to publish your home address in the newspaper, too, Ms. Garza, so you can share all you have with everyone. But you won't. As a newspaper writer, you probably live in a reeeeal nice neighborhood, perhaps a gated one. There are no chickens clucking next door to YOU. YOU don't have to listen to Mariachi music blasting until 2:00 a.m. If you have kids, they probably go to private school. The Daily News probably gives you real good health insurance, too. No, YOU won't be the one waiting for hours in an emergency room crowded with illegals. YOUR child will never come home from school saying, "Mommy, I didn't learn anything today because the teacher put all us English-speaking kids in the corner to read quietly while she worked with the Spanish language kids all day." Neither will your child come home crying because some illegal classmate told him or her to "go back to Africa" or "go back to Europe"...right before beating the leaving daylights out of him/her.

You know what, Ms. Garza? I've never said anything this harsh to anyone in my life, but screw you. SCREW YOU and your pious preaching! You can go to hell.
For the record, after I responded to this writer thanking her for the note, she apologized for the nastiness.