Video News Releases and Media Censorship

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Big Media Part 2/3

In this segment, we reveal what a video news release is and then show a few examples where information was blatantly concealed from the public: an MSNBC interview regarding 9/11 with Professor Steven Jones, the non-coverage of the Downing Street Memo, and the blackout on the impeachment attempt of George W. Bush.


It seems like a lot of people don't seem to trust the corporate media. In fact, according to a Harris Interactive Poll, over 50% of Americans said they didn't trust the corporate news.

Do you know what a Video News Release (VNR) is? A Video News Release is a video segment created by a PR firm, an advertising agency, corporation, or government agency, and provided to television news stations for the purpose of informing, shaping public opinion, or to promote individuals and commercial products. What is the point of a Video News Release? When a VNR is placed in your 6:00 news program, you believe that your local news station went and investigated the story, interviewed those featured in the story, and uncovered the facts themselves.

In actuality, many VNRs are written and produced by Public Relations agencies, advertising agencies, government agencies or corporations. After creating the VNR to fit their agenda, they pay corporate media outlets to run their VNR, just as they would an advertisement. The difference is that an advertisement shows up during commercial time, where a VNR runs as a part of your local 6:00 news report.

Why would corporate media insert fake news? The Government Accountability Office reported that from 2003- mid 2005, the Bush Administration spent 1.6 billion dollars of the taxpayer's money on media campaigns shaped to fit the agenda of the Bush administration!

The next thing we wanted to find out was if there had been cases where corporate media has hidden or censored information from the public. That's when we came across the report of World Trade Center Tower #7. Did you know that there were three towers that fell on 9/11? The corporate media consistently showed us Towers # 1 and #2 collapsing, but hardly mentioned Tower #7, the third skyscraper that collapsed in on itself but was never hit by an airplane.

Although this collapse was shown on the day of 9/11, it was barely mentioned again on corporate news. In fact, corporate news outlets have consistently refused to show the collapse of WTC 7. When it is mentioned, they often turn to character attacks and humiliation of anyone bringing forth a different opinion or viewpoint.

If these six corporations think that their voice is the only one that matters, then they are shutting out over 80% of Americans who think that there should be a new investigation into 9/11, according to a recent CNN poll.

Another underreported news story from the American corporate media is regarding the impeachment of George W. Bush. Remember when Bill Clinton was caught with Monica Lewinsky? According to a Pew Research Study, only 27% of Americans wanted Clinton to be impeached for lying about having sexual relations with that woman. Even though such a low amount of Americans cared about seeing Bill Clinton impeached, it dominated the corporate news for about a year.

Did you know that in June of 2008, Representative Dennis Kucinich presented 35 articles of impeachment against George W. Bush? So why did the corporate media never highlight this impeachment case even though over 51% of Americans wanted to see George W. Bush impeached?

In fact, the corporate press barely touched upon the Downing Street Memo, although other world media was calling it a hard case for impeachment. The Downing Street Memo is actually the transcription of a meeting between Senior British government officials that talked about how Bush had made up his mind to remove Saddam Hussein, and that intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy to invade Iraq. The Downing Street Memo was proof of how the Bush administration "fixed" evidence to make their case for America to go to war in Iraq. What is more important, proof of fixing a war, or Britney Spears shaving her head? What is the role of the media?

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