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December 20, 2006
Newscast a cut below the rest

Channel 13 breached the ethical line the other day with this report about "metrosexuals" getting makeovers at the Suede Salon and Spa.

The report came off like a two-minute informercial for the salon, complete with cheesy electronic music and the terminally chirpy Brandi Hitt adding the voiceover.

Says Hitt: "The term 'metrosexual' is now being thrown around a lot to describe men who take time to really groom themselves."

"Now being thrown around...?" Oh, c'mon. Metrosexuals were sooo 2002. And this story about men suddenly discovering moisturizing and hair coloring is such a cliche.

But where's the ethical breach?

It's this: Suede Salon and Spa has an agreement with "Good Day Sacramento" on Channel 13's sister station Channel 31 to provide hair care for the on-air staff. So I guess I can live with "GDS" doing at least one segment every week or so at Suede, because they run a disclaimer at the end of the show.

But now Channel 13 shilling for Suede without disclosing the relationship? That's not "news"; it's paid programming.

At least that awful "Sacramento & Co." on News10 is honest about its paid content, which is more than you can say for the Suede/CBS relationship.

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