After hearing the wit and wisdom of Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., one has to wonder how modern media corporations could stay in business without the expertise and guidance of those elected to the U.S. Senate.
Sarcasm aside, Franken did admit during a Feb. 4 hearing he didn't necessarily have legal expertise to address the Comcast-NBC Universal merger, but he could more than make up for that shortcoming through his experience in show business. Franken, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee's Antitrust Subcommittee, explained he was bothered by the merger.
"As some of you may know, I'm on the Judiciary Committee, I'm not a lawyer," Franken said. "But I used to be in show business. In fact, I worked for years for NBC and I really feel that I owe a lot to NBC. But what I know from my previous career has given me reason to be concerned - and let me phrase that, very concerned about the potential merger of Comcast and NBC Universal."
It has been something that there have been rumblings about, but no one has really put the x's and o's together entirely - that General Electric (NYSE:GE) is using its media arm, NBC Universal to promote President Barack Obama's so-called progressive agenda for its own financial gain.
However, as just previewed by Amy Ridenour, Fox News Channel host Bill O'Reilly attempted to do so at the top of his April 23 "The O'Reilly Factor" broadcast during his "Talking Points Memo" segment. O'Reilly outlined how Obama has gotten support from the NBC networks both pre-election and post-election.
"Will General Electric get paid for supporting President Obama - that is the subject of this evening's Talking Points Memo," O'Reilly said. "As everybody knows, GE, which owns NBC has been very aggressive in helping Barack Obama - first supporting the president in the election and now attacking his critics."
UPDATE: Audio of crowd booing GE CEO available here.
General Electric held its annual shareholders meeting Wednesday, and attendees apparently were very upset with the increasing leftward tilt of MSNBC.
According to the Hollywood Reporter, during the question and answer phase of the meeting, shareholders repeatedly brought up the company's far-left leaning network, and often had their microphones turned off as a result.
Here are highlights from the THR report (link loading slowly due to appearance at the Drudge Report):
Are "the suits" looking for Rick Santelli's head?
General Electric CEO Jeffery Immelt, thought to be one of Keith Olbermann's biggest supporters, and NBC Universal President Jeff Zucker are reported to have called some of CNBC's on-air talent to a secret meeting at least if the The New York Post's Page Six column for April 16 has it right. The meeting was called to scold the cable yackers for being too harsh on the Obammessiah, with the duo ala Jeffs warning that CNBC is turning into "the Obama bashing network" and that the cable outlet is becoming "too conservative."
OK... now how did that lefty mantra go again? Doesn't it go that the media couldn't possibly be lefitwing because "the suits" that own the media are conservative corporate types? Once again it looks like the truth is a different animal than the leftist trope pretends.
More and more people are starting to take notice of CNBC's dramatic shift to the left and the liberal groups promoting it.
On Fox News Channel's March 27 "The O'Reilly Factor," host Bill O'Reilly and Bernard Goldberg, author of "A Slobbering Love Affair: The True (And Pathetic) Story of the Torrid Romance Between Barack Obama and the Mainstream Media" took a look at trends pointing to this shift that started after the feud between "Mad Money" host Jim Cramer and "The Daily Show" host Jon Stewart.
O'Reilly cited a column written by NewsBusters Associate Editor Noel Sheppard on March 26 for The Washington Examiner that noted some of the things indicating CNBC's leftward swing.
The ongoing battle between Jon Stewart and Jim Cramer took an interesting turn Tuesday when NBC Universal CEO Jeff Zucker said that it was absurd for anyone to blame the financial crisis on CNBC.
Zucker also stood up for Cramer:
On Tuesday, Jeff Bercovici of Portfolio.com buttonholed NBC President and CEO Jeff Zucker at a Portfolio panel discussion about media mergers and acquisitions, asking "if he thought the increasing identification of MSNBC with liberal politics was a good thing for the network's business prospects." Zucker sounded like a satisfied liberal:
The fact is MSNBC in the last 12 months has been the fastest growing cable channel in all of television, news or entertainment. So clearly it has struck a chord with the audience. I think its programming has clearly worked.
Now a lot of the basis of your question really emanates from the tremendous emergence of Keith Olbermann's program at 8 o'clock. I'm incredibly comfortable with that program. I think the network seeks and does an incredibly good job of seeking other points of view, but obviously Keith plays a major role in the voice, certainly in that hour and on the network. And I think it has been good for that network, Keith's emergence has been good for the network.
It sounds like Zucker realized in mid-answer that Olbermann is too insecure to seek out other points of view that differ from his deeply paranoid Daily Kosmonaut liberalism.
Interviewed for the "View from the Top" feature in the May 9 Financial Times, NBC Universal chief executive Jeff Zucker praised CBS "Evening News" anchor Katie Couric, formerly with NBC's "Today" show. Zucker also dismissed any notion that he regretted not buying the Wall Street Journal.
Here's an excerpt (portion in italics to denote questions by Financial Times):
You worked with Katie Couric [host of NBC's Today for 15 years, now CBS Evening News anchor] for a long time. Would you take her back?
I don't know that Katie's available so it's not really my place to say, but Katie remains one of the most talented journalists of her generation and somebody who would be an asset to whatever news division, whatever organisation she worked in. So we would always welcome somebody of Katie's ability and stature, but that's not . . . on the cards any time in the near future.