Aaron Brown Turning PR Flack for Phony 'Newscasts'

"Aaron Brown of CNN, Walter Cronkite and other broadcast
journalists have been hired to appear in videos resembling
newscasts that are actually paid for by drug makers and
other health care companies, blurring the line between
journalism and advertising. ... For years, local news stations, as part of their newscasts, have broadcast [video news releases (VNRs)] created by drug companies' public relations agencies -- a practice that critics equate to publishing unedited press releases. Now, production companies are expanding that marketing tactic to public television and the Web and using celebrity journalists to add to the videos' credibility. ... Critics of the news media say that the videos mislead viewers by packaging promotional material to look like news."