Time to Check your “Checks and Balances”

This whole video-press-release-disguised-as news-clip issue isn’t going away. As we noted yesterday, a number of small-market local stations have been caught running as “news” various PR videos from the Dept. of Health and Human Services that praise the benefits of the new Medicare law.

Luckily, the big-market stations aren’t equally guilty, according to Bud Veazey, assistant news director for WAGA-Atlanta. Veazey assured the Atlanta Journal-Constitution: “It might [be used] in smaller markets because they just don’t have the same checks and balances. You’d never see anything like that in Atlanta.”

Evidently neither Veazey nor the reporter who quoted him, Marlon Manuel, has a Nexis account. If they did, they’d find:

Date: February 4, 2004, Wednesday 07:00-08:00 ET



Teased Segment — Medicare.; A new campaign aims to educate people with Medicare about changes in program.

Visual — Clip from ads.

Visual — People Extra magazine at checkout.

Interview — Tommy Thompson, US Dept. of Health & Human Services, spoke about new law. Karen Ryan reporting from Washington. [Emphasis ours]


Reached by phone, Manuel said he would look into the error and seek a “clarification” from Veazey. (Veazey has not yet responded to a request for comment from Campaign Desk.)

Stay tuned. We’ll be hearing more about the ubiquitous Karen Ryan in the hours to come.

Zachary Roth

Note: The above has been updated to reflect Bud Veazey’s correct title.

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Zachary Roth is a contributing editor to The Washington Monthly. He also has written for The Los Angeles Times, The New Republic, Slate, Salon, The Daily Beast, and Talking Points Memo, among other outlets.