The Passion of Fake Radio News

"Back when Mel Gibson's movie 'The Passion of the Christ' was arousing passions nationwide, a promotion packet arrived at local public radio station KAZU," writes Karen Ravn in California. It included "a transcript of questions an enterprising reporter might want to ask Jim Caviezel, the movie's star," and "a CD of Caviezel-recorded answers." As KAZU's news director at the time, Bernhard Drax, described, "The transcript would say, 'Hi, Jim, how are you?' and on the CD, Jim would say, 'I'm fine. It's good to be here.'" KAZU didn't air the canned interview, but Drax said he understood why other radio stations might. "The pressure in local newsrooms ... is incredible," said Drax. Audio news releases like the Caviezel interview help ease the "economic pressure" on strapped radio newsrooms.


Check out the recent DVD release of Dr Strangelove for something exactly like that, canned video answers to questions, meant to be spliced in with footage of a local interviewer. Here are my thoughts on it:

This practice has been going on for decades. Not just for movies, but music artist's new releases as well. It was a great way for small market stations to sound larger. No big deal.