Just when you thought product placement could not get any more egregious comes words that it has even moved into the arena of broadcast news. Not that anyone should be surprised by this, since mainstream broadcast news in America has long been nothing more than a sick, sad joke. But when the news broke, you should pardon the expression, that the KVVU anchor desk in Las Vegas is decorated with two McDonald’s cups that weigh around seven pounds each (apparently so they won’t be easily knocked over) it represented the very last reason anyone needs to turn to Seinfeld or the Simpsons at the first hint that a local newscast is coming their way.
The mere fact that the actors portraying journalists on the KVVU news set allowed the entirety of their broadcast to be nothing more than an infomercial for McDonald’s perhaps should give us pause to consider just how willingly we’ve accepted product placement in TV and movies. It has been a slippery slope, but the slippery quality is perhaps even more greasy than we might have expected. After all, why shouldn’t broadcast news be the site of stealth advertising when people don’t give a crap about how products are routinely advertised in movies? It used to be that product placement was even more stealthy as filmmakers would take some pains to make sure their placement of product didn’t actually look like a commercial. Today, filmmakers might as well be making commercials within their movies. That’s how awkward product placement has become.
It is a terrible shame that we were so quick to overlook such shameless pandering of commercial products in our movies and TV shows. It is just another case of whitey keeping us down; another case of how those in charge come to view something as right when not enough people point out how it is wrong. Those who never saw the danger of product placement in movies and TV shows will probably not even see the light now.
The future is clear. When mainstream media realizes they can get away with something, they quickly seize upon the opportunity. Once they realized that they could get away with not holding the Bush administration accountable for telling us the truth, they quit even trying. Seven and a half years of nobody but a paltry and pathetic handful of mainstream journalists like Keith Olbermann asking tough questions has given us a country that is, pardon my French, in some seriously deep crap from which John McCain ain’t got the slightest idea how to get us out of. (And so, of course, the mainstream media is now giving McCain the exact same free ride they’ve given Bush.) If the mainstream media realized that nobody cared whether or not they held the President of the United States accountable, then why on earth should they expect people to give a damn about product place on newscasts? The future is clear. Soon, we can expect Charlie Gibson to have the Ginsu knife with which he stabbed his “friend” Elizabeth Vargas in the back sticking out of his pocket. Or we can expect little Katie Couric to be wearing designer dresses during her soon-to-be over career at CBS. Expect to see Starbucks cups on the CNN anchor desk. And how many days from now will Fox News actors begin their fake newscasts by asking their viewers to join the American Nazi Party? Oh, they already started? Sorry, I wasn’t aware.