Barbara Walters, soup-shill


Apparently having decided that separating commercials from programs just doesn’t leave enough time for ads, ABC has simply converted “The View,” a mid-morning talk show hosted by Barbara Walters, into a paid infomercial for Campbell’s soup, according to FAIRNESS AND ACCURACY IN REPORTING.

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“Didn’t we grow up … eating Campbell’s Soup?” Walters asks her colleagues on one of the eight segments sponsored by Campell’s — to a rousing response of “M’m! M’m! Good!” This, evidently, is fulfillment of the producers’ promise to Campbell’s that “hosts would try to weave a soup message into their regular on-air banter.”

New heights of shamelessness? Not for ABC. This is the network, FAIR reminds us, that assigned Leonardo DiCaprio to interview President Clinton about environmental issues, and that featured the Pets.com sock-puppet as a guest on “Good Morning America” shortly after ABC’s parent, Disney, bought a stake in the late, unlamented e-tailer.

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  • Vince Beiser, a former Mother Jones senior editor, has reported from more than 30 countries—on troop training in Iraq, natural disasters in Haiti, and prison conditions in California.