Wallowing in the moral stupidity we've all come to expect from Facebook, the Zuckerberg Zoo has admitted making a sweet financial deal with Teen Vogue magazine to deceive readers into thinking they're reading a real news article praising FB for its heroism when it fact it was a cynically manufactured puff piece. And, really, it was sheer fiction, too. The article claimed that a group of women at Facebook are bravely "protecting the integrity of the election." There, you have the fiction part. As the Washington Post pointed out, Facebook's new rules permit politicians to make false claims in their posts and ads "including ones they pay Facebook to promote..." Fictional too, was the article's pretense of being reportage. When countless people cried foul, spotting blatant puffery from an ad copywriter, Facebook and Teen Vogue admitted it wasn't reportage; it was, Facebook admitted, essentially advertising copy pretending to be an article, paid for by an overall financial deal with Teen Vogue. It's fairly obvious, too, that the whole thing was written at Facebook's PR dept, and simple grafted into Teen Vogue.
After helping the Russians and right wing operators shoehorn Trump into the Presidency in 2016, Facebook's profound cynicism, on display in this latest debacle, has if anything deepened.
But then, I often spot articles I strongly suspect of being puff pieces, paid for in one way or another and pawned off as legit reportage. Even at the Washington Post! Their gaming reviewer has never met a game that one shouldn't gush over, it seems. Glowing articles appear in WaPo about new tech doodads--articles which have the ring of ad copy.
BUSINESS INSIDER/ MICROSOFT NEWS has a news site for "lifestyle" that acts as if it's "reviewing" hotels and resorts and such--whereas it's just writing ad copy for them designed to resemble articles. Check out this one, where the writer--clearly comped by Hilton--enthuses over this high-priced hotel, usually chockablock with Arab Petroleum Princes and rich-kid heirs, burbling about how it's basically worth selling your first-born child to pay for the experience: I stayed at the Conrad New York Downtown -- here's why the all-suite Hilton offering is worth the high price tag .
CNN can be quite blatant at a times. Check out this article: https://www.cnn.com/2019/08/12/us/chick-fil-a-mac-and-cheese-trnd/index.html -- headline is: "Chick-fil-A adds mac and cheese to the menu". And the article says, "America's favorite restaurant chain just added to its menu for the first time in three years. As of Monday, Chick-fil-A offers macaroni and cheese as a side option nationwide." That's what the whole high-fat carb-rich article is like. There's also a remark about the "fine customer service" at the restaurant. There are a few rosy statistics (very, very positive stats) about the Chick-Fil-A company to help disguise the puff piece as a news article. And that's it. NOWHERE does it say that this is paid-for, that this is advertising. I assume it's paid for with a fee, or with lots and lots of ad buys or both. Either way, this appears to be a paid ad, pretending to be a news article. And late last year CNN had an article entirely about Wal-Mart having changed the color of its employee vests. Oh the wide-eyed wonder of that information!
CNN's almost certainly being paid by Chick-Fil-A and Walmart for these puff pieces. On the one hand, it's moral stupidity and deeply cynical to publish this kind of thing and think yourself a venue featuring journalistic integrity; on the other hand, it's kind of on us, too. Because many among the online-CNN readership evidently blindly accept this grotesque falsity--or CNN wouldn't keep doing it. They are a readership evidently so clueless they can't smell the reeking difference between ad copy and journalism...
Meanwhile the USA was JUST FASCINATED, apparently, by the recent CHICKEN SANDWICH WARS. There was ever so much reportage about this fast-food dump and that fast-food garbage-churner, on television and online, about the "fried chicken sandwich wars". America really wanted and needed to know--or so the media apparently believes--about chicken sandwich competition at Chick-Fil-A and Popeye's. The media went on and on about it. One fun little aside--okay, if you must. But serious time was spent on it.
Why? Because they think we're idiots. And judging from the hysteria of long lines and numerous people frantic to try some these much-buzzed fried chicken sandwiches--even engaging in VIOLENCE over at "Popeye's" --it seems many of us are...in fact...