Assigned Reading: Obama Merchandise a Big Seller at NBC Store
(FROM: Fox News)
I saw this last night, but due to some obligations at home and in advance of the next semester–starting next week, unfortunately–I couldn’t get to it until today. In some cases, when the timeliness of something passes, I just let a story go (I can’t get to everything, given that America’s Right is a part-time gig); in this case, however, it was far too startling to pass by.
Now, I’m certainly used to shaking my head at the television when it comes to overt displays of media bias. And, frankly, I pick up on examples that may not be as obvious. This, however, even blew me away. Sadly, though, it wasn’t surprising.
If you’re a fan of all things Obama, NBC Universal’s online store has no fewer than 29 options for your buying pleasure — from a shirt with the president’s picture proclaiming “YES WE DID”…to both of his books…to a special inauguration DVD…to a refrigerator magnet of the first couple.
And don’t forget the Barack Obama Action Figure — yours for $15, plus tax.
You can buy them online — or at NBC Universal’s retail store in New York.
Some analysts say it’s good business, that NBC is simply offering what people want to buy. They point out that the adult version of the “YES WE DID” shirt ($25) was so popular, it sold out on the Web site.
But others note that there is no merchandise available that shows support for the other side of the political aisle. And they question whether the political bent of the items on sale are healthy for a corporation that operates an impartial news outlet.
Some of NBC’s item descriptions would seem to support that notion: “Bring reform to your refrigerator. Or at least keep company with the President while you’re at work, with the Barack Obama Magnet,” one item description reads.
“From Yes We Can to Yes We Did! Celebrate Barack Obama’s historic victory with the new ‘Yes We Did’ Unisex T-Shirt,” reads another.
But if your favorite color in the red, white and blue just happens to be red, you’re out of luck.
There are no t-shirts or refrigerator magnets for George and Laura Bush, and NBC did not say whether it ever sold Bush items after his victory in 2000.
To paraphrase a remark made late yesterday by an acquaintance of mine: “I don’t think NBC is even trying anymore.”