Let a Thousand Infomercials Bloom

In watching the paid programming this morning on health care, a 30-minute spot on NBC-TV bought by Conservatives for Patients’ Rights, we see that “Paid Programming” is superimposed on every single single of the program. That’s probably a disclaimer that a WRC executive or some other TV official required after hearing from all the activists trying to prevent the spot from being shown.

We understand the solicitude. These program-length educational spots, commercial, infomercials –they’re still a new thing for most people. They might not recognize what they see without a prominent disclosure.

After all, we took a spin around the dial we clicked through the channel changer on our new broadcast digital television between 11:30 a.m. and noon and found this:

Channel 4, WRC, Washington (NBC)
Conservatives for Patients’ Rights — health care debate

Channel 5, WTTG, Washington (Fox)
The new Body Shaper — A form-fitting undergarment for women

Channel 7, WJLA, Washington (ABC)
The Flavor Wave — a fast-cooking, countertop oven

Channel 13, WJZ, Baltimore (CBS)
The Oreck Air Filter — air filter using “Truman Cell” technology

Channel 20, WDCA, Washington (My Network TV)
Your Baby Can Read — educational videos for tots

Channel 24, WUTB, Baltimore (My Network TV)
Worx GT — lawn maintenance device

Channel 45, WBBF, Baltimore (Fox)
Rockwell Jawhorse — workbench, tool combination

Channel 50, WBDC, Washington (CW)
P90X –- exercise machine

Channel 54, WUNV, Baltimore (CW)
Core Rhythm — exercise program

Only the health care spot had a disclaimer superimposed every second of the program.

And to Channel 9, WUSA, we say, “Yay!” The station was showing “The McGlaughlin Group.” We expected a disclaimer, though: “YELLING.”


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