. . . Saturday February 19, 2005

All the News That’s Fit to Fake

Maybe the folks at the Daily Show don’t have such a monopoly on fake news after all.

The U.S. comptroller general David Walker has issued a blanket reminder that government agencies aren’t supposed to create video pieces that look like news and then distribute them to media outlets.

These faux newscasts have been released by agencies a couple of times in the recent past and Walker insists that these were not isolated incidents:

In fact, it has become increasingly common for federal agencies to adopt the public relations tactic of producing “video news releases” that look indistinguishable from authentic newscasts and, as ready-made and cost-free reports, are sometimes picked up by local news programs. It is illegal for the government to produce or distribute such publicity material domestically without disclosing its own role.

So wait. Does this mean that Fox News is out of business?

Concentration is important!