:: Sunday, June 27, 2004 ::
Clinton Shill Dan Rather
CBS may be in violation of FCC regulations regarding "payola" for pumping Clinton autobiography:
CBS's failure to inform viewers of this conflict of interest may place it in violation of FCC regulations against payola, the practice of secretly making money from the on-air promotion of a product.
Following up on a story first reported by RatherBiased.com, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review's Dimitri Vassilaros lays out the details in a column in today's edition.
"CBS is part of the Associates Program of Amazon.com. Every sale of Clinton's book -- or of any other product listed by Amazon -- will generate a commission of up to 10 percent of the total sale for CBS, according to Kristin Mariani, a spokeswoman for Amazon.com," Vassilaros writes.
Jeff Jarvis has an opposing opinion regarding the CBS "conflict":
no one at CBS is choosing to interview the former President of the United States and now author of what may be a record-setting biography beause they might make, oh, 20 bucks from Amazon. Yes, and when they put on TV's 10th home improvement show, it's obviously because Amazon sells tools, right?
These critics better be careful, for if they set this as the standard for conflict of interest, then all bloggers who open up for ads are going to find themselves tied in knots: Take an ad for Walmart and Walmart sells books and so you're tainted, eh? And what about the columnist who complains: Shouldn't he start off every column with a disclosure of all the paper's sponsors who pay his salary? Oh, yes, then there'd be no room for a column. But in this case, that may be a good thing.
Of course, Jarvis is right but I'm still fuming about the CBS 60 minute Clinton infomercial. In any case, CBS should have noted the apparent conflict of interest.
:: Max 11:52 AM [+] ::