Advertising, passed off as "news"

Watching the NBC “news” tonight, Saw another entry in the growing trend of passing off advertising as “news”, that I have commented on before.

The piece posed the question, “what happens to all that stuff that people return after Christmas”? From there, the piece touted a company I had never heard of before, that buys up returned goods in bulk, and resells them, at a steep discount. The piece focused on their warehouse in PA, which is apparently new, and showed a woman loading up a straight truck with stuff she bought, to resell on Facebook Marketplace.

So, I did what was the intention of the “report” on the “news”: looked up the company, found the locations of all there warehouses, and, yes, they sell to individuals, for curbside pickup at the warehouses.

Of course, RS never had a problem with returns. They simply resold returned/repaired stuff as new, at full price, even though there is apparently a law against selling returned stuff as “new”.



You really have no idea how news works.

They carried this story because it was interesting, and viewers like things that are interesting, much more than the 33rd dreary story about the poor people living in wood cabins in Appalachia or the starving orphans of the Congo.

This story is not new. I’ve seen it in lots of other places just in the past few weeks.


And you don’t see the “invisible hand” in this flurry of “reports” about liquidators, named in the “reports”, offering stuff really cheap? I remember when McGarrett would call dispatch to set a trap, because he was being followed by a “green sedan”. The media never used to name names of commercial enterprises. I remember when comedy skits in variety shows would put tape over the brand names on the props they were using. No enterprise’s name would be shown on TV, unless money changed hands.

If I was not the only person who saw “Waterworld”, more people would be familiar with the tinned meat that was everywhere, “Smeat”. Smeat is a fake brand, created for movie props.


You are so outdated. You posted that 1h ago. Then in another thread you called me out about the same topic but the Times. You asked for three examples on Facebook the Times page over the course of one week. I gave you the first three I could find which were done in the last two hours. I can get dozens more for the week.

Your mistake is you think newspapers have ethics. They do and they don’t. You just do not see when they don’t.

Piece of this evening’s 11pm “news”: “Time running short to see the Mandela exhibit at the Henry Ford”, with a video piece about the exhibit and chatter with one of the museum officials. Seeing the exhibit isn’t free. If you aren’t a member, that place is expen$ive to visit, even though it’s a non-profit.



I see “ads” on CNN posing as news all the time. Some stay up for days/weeks/longer. This is outside the “Paid Content” labeled area below it.

And none of them were ads.

And you don’t see the “invisible hand” in this flurry of “reports” about liquidators, named in the “reports”, offering stuff really cheap?

Sure. I see a lot of people sitting in newsrooms scrounging for stories saying “Hey, that’s interesting. And hardly anybody reads XYZ Daily, so I’ll pitch that story in today’s meeting.” Not an “invisible hand” so much, just human nature. Which stories do you tell your wife? The one about the guy who cut you off on the highway or the one about the hundreds of cars you passed that were unremarkable in any way?

Your mistake is making stuff up, as you do regularly, and trying to pass it off as though you know something. I have written newspaper columns. I have known editors, writers, and PR execs. Heck, Mrs. Goofy did PR at the Pittsburgh hospital when the first heart transplants were done back in the 80’s. Her job was entirely different than when she produced TV newscasts in Chicago. In one she was trying to get reporters interested, in the other she was fending them off. UNLESS they had something interesting that was newsworthy. Still doesn’t make it “an ad.” Her news show (Fox O&O) was entirely what she decided to put on TV. No one from management ever said “do this” or “show that.” She was judged on the ratings, and (I hope obviously) not to be caught molesting children on the playground or something.

Of course it was during the first Gulf War, so much of what made air was pretty easy to decide, but they always reserved a minimum of 15 minutes for “other stuff”: features, fluff, human interest, etc. Nobody paid: a producer/editor decided. Period.

Yes, newspapers work like that too, at least the reputable ones.


All of it was affiliate marketing.

Mind your cookies online. Amazon and the others offer affiliate marketing.

Wire Cutter is also subscription based. Those are the two means of revenue.

You do not know what you are talking about.

One more time that did not happen at all. You were clueless and putting down a poster again.

You are very outdated.

The NYT fully discloses it is mostly all affiliate marketing. The Times even does a page teaching people how to enter the stories in with them and to let people know if they are disabled, a senior citizen etc…

Goofy come back at me. Tell me why those were not ads or at the very least admit you were wrong.

Wirecutter was founded in September 2011 and acquired by The New York Times Company in October 2016. We earn money through subscriptions and various affiliate marketing programs .

It is a sign of late stage capitalism when newspaper start selling subscriptions.

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More a sign Goof is into insulting people instead of knowing what is going on these days.

Goof never worked with affiliate marketers. Maybe he did before cookies, you’d have to ask him if he remembers. If he read the “news articles” with a keen eye…