Big Pharma: Modern Robber Barons
In addition, Big Pharma is responsible for incubating the most rare of all diseases—one that afflicts only three people in the world.
This disease is Cronkitis—the pathological compulsion to emulate Walter Cronkite.
Cronkitis turns normally upbeat, intelligent, sometimes droll and occasionally funny network anchors into a trio of ponderous pontificators, whose mission is to project gravitas and pander to advertisers by introducing at least one mawkish health feature a night as editorial content that will give cred to what is being hawked—medicines with more side effects than unpasteurized snake oil.
No wonder ratings of the torpid network news are on the skids while the manic mischievous glee of Shep Smith, Bill O’Reilly, Joe Scarborough, Rachel Maddow, Keith Olberman, Chris Matthews, Glen Beck, Jim Cramer, Lara Spencer and Mary Hart is like a breath of fresh Advair.
TV as an Advertising Medium
It’s a given that the efficient way to build a business is to find prospects that need or want your product and make an offer. When they become customers, you keep careful track of them and treat them so well that they not only continue to buy from you, but also tell their friends, neighbors, work associates and family.
Contrary to popular belief, the main business of television is not selling products and services via commercials. Rather it is to create programs that will assemble viewers into certain demographic groups and sell those groups to advertisers.
Network news has become the town meeting for age 50+ couch-potato hypochondriacs.
The Bizarre Arithmetic of TV Commercials
Let’s say the cost to run a spot for diabetes medicine on a prime-time network TV newscast is $25 per thousand ($25/M)—or 2.5¢ per viewer. Sounds like a reasonable deal until you take a close look at the numbers: