Is It News Or Snake Oil?

It would make a perfect 60 Minutes segment. A company hires famous TV journalists to anchor health-related videos--paid for by the businesses whose drugs and products the "newscasts" cover. The company puts the videos on public television. Viewers think they're watching the news. But they're really watching--newsvertising! Tick-tick-tick-tick...

Sounds like a job for Morley Safer--if he weren't one of the rent-a-journalists involved. According to the New York Times, Safer taped presentations that were repeated in hundreds of such videos made by WJMK Inc., a Boca Raton, Fla., company, appearing on a news-show-like set and introducing two-to five-minute segments titled American Medical...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!