L.A. Times editors loved having fake article appear in the paper, according to new fake article.
By Asher Powley, NBC/Times Staff Writer
Rumors of internal protests over a front-page ad that looked like a real news article were dispelled today by a second fake article.
"Editors adored the fake article, a first-person narrative that will undoubtedly be nominated for a Pulitzer," said today's L.A. Times story, which was written by the same NBC publicist who created the original.
Both fake articles were sponsored by NBC to promote a new crime show called "Southland."
Buoyed by newsroom support, L.A. Times Publisher Eddy Hartenstein immediately expanded the innovative ad program. Whereas the original faux article was labeled "advertisement" and printed in a different typeface from surrounding stories, the new fake article was harder to distinguish. It ran next to stories about Gen. Juma's deadly raid on the White House (an ad for "24"), the rescue of the Oceanic 6 (a pitch for "Lost") and an AIG-sponsored article that said all executives who received bonuses donated the money to starving children in Africa.
Although advertorials are typically frowned upon by journalists, not a single person in the L.A. Times newsroom objected, according to today's article. Hartenstein said he wasn't surprised: "Why would they raise a fuss? We've been running advertisement-stories for Obama for months and nobody complained about that."