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Monday, November 07, 2005

Where's the Outrage? CBS News Jackson Trial Producer Peddling "Jesus Juice" Wine

A CBS News producer and his wife are marketing a new wine named "Jesus Juice." The brand logo features a Christ figure on a cross, but clothed with a red glove, white soxs, penny loafers and a Michael Jackson-style fedora hat.

Jackson referred to wine as "Jesus Juice" during his trial earlier this year in which he was aquitted of child abuse charges. The CBS News producer, Bruce Rheins, was the network's chief west coast producer during the trial. NewsBusters.org's Matthew Sheffield reports the new wine was planned during the trial.

There are the obvious conflict of interest issues here, but even more important is what the situation suggests about the cultural perspectives within the CBS News organization. Apparently, the central symbol of Christianity is fair game for commercial satirization, but does anybody seriously think a CBS News producer would be allowed to market a commercial product that satirized the Crescent?

Any predictions on how hard Rhein's wrist will be slapped?