Here’s something you rarely see: a local television station promoting, that’s right promoting, Scientology, as part of its newscast. But that’s exactly what KCBS TV — CBS 2 in Los Angeles — did today in its 5 p.m. slot. (Interestingly, there’s no promo, much less one word, about the CBS O&O’s “exclusive” piece on its website.) Talk about a lame scoop: some couple who are Scientology members were interviewed praising the religion and its most famous member Tom Cruise to the skies. No attempt made to present the other side. Gee, could this be synergy? After all, Viacom’s Paramount is releasing Cruise’s Mission Impossible 3 on May 5, and the fortunes of that movie depend heavily on the star-producer’s fading popularity with audiences because of his over-the-top hysterical defense of Scientology and TomKat. Yes, CBS and Viacom are two separate companies now. But never forget that wily octogenarian Sumner Redstone controls both as chairman and a majority owner of their voting shares.
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