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ABC's Rocketboomer Powered by DuPont

Oct. 27 2008, Published 7:07 a.m. ET

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In scrambling to hire tight T-shirted Rocketboomstress Amanda Congdon for its website, youth-hungry ABC News scrapped a vital dinosaur-media rule: Don't let paid corporate shills be reporters.

The hiring of the DIY video blogger in November might have been heralded by some as a forward-looking effort on the part of a legacy broadcaster to attract younger viewers, but as Gawker noted yesterday, Congdon has been moonlighting for the chemical giant DuPont, hosting "Better Living Through Chemistry"-style webclips on the DuPont website touting the company's amazing products. That's a huge no-no for ABC News staffers, because it naturally raises questions about how aggressively the network covers DuPont's role in, say, building up Iraq's nuclear program or its part in giving thousands of people cancer.

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