Only last Thursday, CBS' Bob Orr--along with NBC's Tom Costello and ABC's Lisa Stark--was exposing Consumer Reports magazine's disgrace at having falsely labeled infant car seats as unsafe in crash tests. CBS' Wyatt Andrews offered rehabilitation swiftly. As part of the Prescription for Savings series, Andrews offered an endorsement for Consumer Reports' Best Buy Drugs Website. It uses Oregon Health and Science University research to check heavily-advertised pharmaceutical brands against cheaper generics and over-the-counter products in order to suggest cost savings without any loss of efficacy.
Andrews' examples of over-priced prescription brands included Lunesta and Nexium, both of which advertise heavily during the nightly newscasts.
This could be construed as an admirable example of editorial independence, being willing to bite the hand that pays the bills. But if CBS Evening News really had its audience's best interests at heart, why would it allow its newscast to be associated, even if only by juxtaposition to commercials, with products that Consumer Reports believes are bad buys? Wouldn't it just not sell time to those products in the first place?
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