Acts of numbing corporate media synergy are so common there's a tendency at this point to let them slide without notice. Sort of like spitting into a windstorm, why even bother?
Still, when they come washing up around the same time, it's occasionally worth pointing them out, if only for one's mental health.
First, ABC News produced a "Revenge for Real" two-part special, hosted by Cynthia McFadden, to fill the show's timeslot during a hiatus. Then the same "Nightline" anchor turned up on the series Wednesday, interviewing a fictional character within the show accused of murder.
Yes, I know real journalists make cameo appearances in movies and TV playing fake ones all the time. But for McFadden to be featured on her own network in this fashion just looked sleazy, especially after the earlier "Let's play ball with the entertainment division" gimmick.
Elsewhere, the Hub -- Hasbro's joint-venture kids network with Discovery -- announced a half-hour primetime special airing May 11 to plug the studio's upcoming movie "Battleship," under the title "Battleship: Battle Stations!"
But let's face it: It's not really a "special" at all, but rather a glorified electronic press kit being unleashed a week in advance of the Universal release.
This isn't intended to pick specifically on ABC News (OK, maybe a little bit) or Hasbro, since they're only this week's offenders. But it'll be a sad day when networks pull these kind of self-promotional stunts and nobody is inclined to wince, even a little bit.
That would be synergy's ultimate revenge.