We've heard the knocks on NBC and the institutional bias that exists in its network - from the subtle spin in its flagship network's news coverage at NBC to the over-the-top bias at its cable news channel MSNBC. So maybe the man behind the curtains at NBC Universal would like to be more overt with his opinions - as a politician?
On MSNBC's Aug. 25 "Morning Joe," Jeff Zucker, president and CEO of NBC Universal, addressed both his possible political aspirations and bringing back one of the network's former star personalities. Host Joe Scarborough asked Zucker where his political interests were at this stage.
"You know Joe - look, politics is something I've always had an interest in," Zucker said. "It is something I've always thought about. It is not something that is on my current radar. It's not something I'm thinking about in the next few years, but it is something that I would always consider. I think - I love politics. I would love to give back. I would love to serve. I would love to do something, but it is not imminent. It's nothing now."
That set Zucker up for a question from Scarborough - if he was holding out to bring Couric back to the peacock network where she was a fixture at NBC's "Today" from 1991 until 2006.
"You are going to wait until you get Katie Couric back at NBC then you're going to get into politics?" Scarborough asked.
It's been no secret the Katie Couric project at the "CBS Evening News" has not produced the results that were anticipated. Couric's broadcast just tied its all-time low in total viewers with an average of 4.89 million tuning in during the five days. Zucker dodged Scarborough's inquiry, but Scarborough continued to press him on the topic.
ZUCKER: I think those are two separate issues there.
SCARBOROUGH: Is Katie coming back to NBC?
ZUCKER: Well I think she is fully ensconced in a job today and she's happy where she is.
SCARBOROUGH: No, she's not. Come on. You're talking like a politician. She hates it over there.
ZUCKER: Oh, I don't know that's the case.
SCARBOROUGH: No, it's the case.
MIKA BRZEZINSKI: That's not politically correct.
SCARBOROUGH: Since she doesn't like it where she is --
ZUCKER: I thought we were talking politics here for a second.
BRZEZINSKI: I was going to ask you about the mosque.
SCARBOROUGH: This is your first press conference here buddy. So since she doesn't like where she is, since you have a great relationship with Katie, would you like Katie Couric back at NBC?
Zucker relented, saying he would be open to the possibility of Couric returning to NBC in some capacity.
"I always said that, look Katie would be a great addition wherever she is," Zucker said. "If the time were right, I think that's something we would look at. But she's under contract now, and I think she's happy where she is, whether you believe it or not, so I'm not going to wade into that controversy."