Is MSNBC being rewarded for having backed Obama? That's what Jim Pinkerton suggests. On this evening's Fox News Watch, the columnist and New America Foundation fellow cited the news that GE Capital, a subsidiary of MSNBC's parent company GE, has received a $139 billion government loan guarantee.
Host Jon Scott opened this evening's show opened with a clip of Chris Matthews [in a story that NB was first to report], saying that he saw as his "job" making the Obama presidency a success. Pinkerton unloaded.
JIM PINKERTON: Well, Matthews is entitled to his opinion, although if he wants to run for the Senate in Pennsylvania in 2010 as has been widely reported he should resign and not have a platform on the air.
But I think that the overall culture of MSNBC was established when they changed their slogan, post-election, to "The Power of Change" [another story NB was first to report]. Now, that sounds a little bit familiar to the Obama campaign "Change We Can Believe In." Maybe that's not an accident.
But of course, I think the big story here, I think it goes right to what MSNBC's up to as a strategy, is the news that the FDIC, which is now following election returns, is guaranteeing $139 billion of General Electric Capital debt. That's General Electric Capital, as in General Electric, which is the parent company of MSNBC, CNBC, NBC. Now, for a $139 billion guarantee, I'd consider, I'd probably go more, I'd probably go all the way over to the Olbermann/Maddow territory. $139 billion.
The panel got off a good chuckle. But if Pinkerton is right, and news networks are being rewarded for favorable coverage of the incoming administration, we've entered a very bad new era indeed.
Note: Some might ask why the FDIC, still a part of the Bush administration, would reward an Obama-backing network. But Pinkerton suggested that the FDIC has its eyes on the prospects of who will next be in power.
Note Deux: Interviewed by this NewsBuster after the show aired, Pinkerton observed:
I think that MSNBC made a fundamental strategic decision to go left, to let Keith Olbermann re-brand the network. And it worked, big time.
The Wall Street meltdown could not have been foreseen.
But sometimes, one just gets lucky. MSNBC and its sister, GE Capital, and its parent, GE, must be thanking their lucky stars, thinking that "Olbermann-ization" worked out a lot better than they could have managed.
Although I am sure that they also think that they have earned it!