Television

Bill Gates to Now Control Pop Culture, Push For "Healthy Living"

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Blogger and film critic extraordinaire Alan Vanneman points to this New York Times story about the latest initiative from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation:

The Gates Foundation is set to expand its involvement and spend more money on influencing popular culture through a deal with Viacom, the parent company of MTV and its sister networks VH1, Nickelodeon and BET. It could be called "message placement": the social or philanthropic corollary to product placement deals in which marketers pay to feature products in shows and movies. Instead of selling Coca-Cola or G.M. cars, they promote education and healthy living….

Among the initiative's successes have been plotlines on E.R. dealing with HIV and organ donation.

More here.