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Fake coffee! On the news! Details and a discount coupon at 11!

Coffee Fake stuff on TV news, from breasts to overhyped stories, is a long-standing tradition. (My favorite among the latter: On vacation in San Francisco, I heard an anchor breathlessly exclaim that "30 percent of all grocery-store shopping carts are contaminated with feces! Learn more on Eyewitness News tonight!") But out in Nevada, they've moved into new territory. The Las Vegas Sun reports that local Fox affiliate KVVU has put two cups of fake McDonald's iced coffee on the anchor desk as part a product-placement advertising scheme. (Or "non-traditional revenue source," as KVVU's alleged news director primly put its.) The anchors don't even drink the stuff; it just sits there, the plainly visible McDonald's logo silently beaming the message, "buy me, buy me, BUY ME!" into the pudding-like brains of the station's viewers.

The Sun reports similar news-prostitution -- excuse me, product-placement -- schemes are already underway in Seattle, Chicago and New York. My guess is that we'll have our own version in Miami soon enough, with Belkys Nerey or Tony Segreto earnestly delivering news of the latest traffic snarl on I-95 while fake AK-47s propped on their desks whisper, "the solution, the solution, THE SOLUTION!"

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