Brought to You by Starbucks…

MSNBC‘s Morning Joe program seems to have turned its conspicuous consumption of Starbucks drinks into a paid commercial for the coffee chain, according to this morning’s New York Times (6/1/09). As Brian Stelter put it, Joe Scarborough “sips Frappuccinos on camera so often that some viewers have wondered whether it is a form of product placement, paid for by the coffee company. Starting Monday, it will be.”

The deal is worth over $10 million, and will include “Starbucks graphics and mentions during each hour of the 6 to 9 a.m. program.” The show might even broadcast from Starbucks locations from time to time.

Conflict of interest? MSNBC president Phil Griffins says no way:

Mr. Griffin said Morning Joe would continue to cover Starbucks as a news item if warranted. “They understand that we have standards,” he said.

Standards indeed.

About Peter Hart

Activism Director and and Co-producer of CounterSpinPeter Hart is the activism director at FAIR. He writes for FAIR's magazine Extra! and is also a co-host and producer of FAIR's syndicated radio show CounterSpin. He is the author of The Oh Really? Factor: Unspinning Fox News Channel's Bill O'Reilly (Seven Stories Press, 2003). Hart has been interviewed by a number of media outlets, including NBC Nightly News, Fox News Channel's O'Reilly Factor, the Los Angeles Times, Newsday and the Associated Press. He has also appeared on Showtime and in the movie Outfoxed. Follow Peter on Twitter at @peterfhart.