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Faux Outrage Alert: CBS Stations “Prostitute” Themselves to Push “Hawaii Five-0″

TV critics love the mock outrage, don't they? In his writeup today about the hype-fest at CBS O&Os around the debut of the new "Hawaii Five-0," Chicago's Robert Feder takes down the weather guy of all people: "When Steve Baskerville cheerfully delivered the weather forecast for Honolulu during WBBM-Channel 2’s 5 p.m. newscast Monday, he wasn’t just shilling for the premiere of “Hawaii Five-O” that night. He was taking part in a well-coordinated plan to prostitute the newscasts of CBS-owned stations nationwide."

Oh, spare me.

Now I'm no virgin when it comes to tie-ins, and I was thrilled--yes, thrilled--to junket my ass off and visit the set of "24" as a reporter for Fox's WNYW. I got two trips to LA, hung out at CTI, and even got a bit part on the show. And I never, ever thought I committing an act of journalism. Nor did I ever pretend.

(I did get knocked for my stories in the Columbia Jounalism Review, which takes mock outrage to an art form, deciding to dedicate two stories in the journal to the fact that Fox hyped the hell out of "24": "But the real news of the evening was the revelation that the New York City Fox affiliate’s promotional obsession with 24 is still going strong," wrote CJR's Edward Colby.

Revelation? And since when is "still going on" considered news?

Sorry. Rant.

At any rate, Feder knocks the wholesale sellout ordered, he says, by CBS "bosses" in New York, who put lais around the necks of anchors in LA (at least that would cover their inflated cleavage, wouldn't it?) and caused Edward R. Murrow to gravespin by adding the temperature in Honolulu to the local forecast in Chicago--on the 5:00 newscast, which, as we all know, is usually just riddled with hard news.

And then Feder quotes blogger Scott Jones: “This was beyond embarrassing. Hijacking a large market newscast and turning it into [one] long promo should be a crime.”

Hijacking?  Crime? You simply can't be serious.  I need a shower. I'll take tie-ins over mock outrage any day.

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