Pay for play, SMTs and tech editors

Sheer laziness, that's what it is. If there's some sort of ethical barrier to pimping products during syndicated television appearances, journalists just haven't made the effort to create an elaborate enough buffer between their "reporting" and their paycheque. The WSJ reveals today that several "tech editors" recently featured on national morning or cable shows supplement their income by soliciting major product placements to be featured during national satellite media tours. Naturally, the promotional patter they repeat ad nauseum during SMTs with third tier morning news hosts tends to spill over into their national appearances.

And to the manufacturers, that's pure gravy, baby!

So - what's an ambitious young telejournalist with a car payment and antsy consumer products clients to do? Look to the medical marketing industry! Learn to skirt the ethical swamps by no longer providing direct reporting on the products: instead, you're now a continuing consumer education specialist!

As a new CCE, you'll provide refresher training for media companies on the latest consumer trends! You'll:

- provide in-house training video with remarkably lit product shots, descriptive commentary and sample testimonials from carefully screened users;

- set up technical briefings for reporters with free bagels, juice and pens;

- guide seminars and hand out free golf balls for producers - to be picked up at Sea Island, Georgia;

- drop by production offices weekly to restock the "sample" bins: especially effective when repping electronics firms;

- produce online video conferences - hosted by Jesper Parnevik and Maria Sherapova.

- monthly educational meetings at Cipriani's. There might be $500 under that 24 ounce sirloin, there might not be - knowwhatImean?

You get the idea. You don't take cash DIRECTLY for pumping up a product: you create a positive environment where the product can be examined carefully and fruitfully.

It's all about the relationship with the customer, after all.