NBC Viewers Finally Learn About GE’s Tax-Dodging–Sort Of

There’s been plenty of talk about NBC‘s decision to skip the news about General Electric‘s ability to make huge profits and pay zero taxes. Now, it’s possible that everyoneat NBC misplaced theircopies of the March 25 New York Times, but the GE story finally made it to the NBC Nightly News yesterday–in a report that was basically a chance for GE boss Jeffrey Immelt, whose company owns nearly half the network, to try and rebut the story. Anchor Brian Williams started off by saying this: The news is still reverberating this week after last week’s page-one story in the New […]


GE Goes to the White House: How Does GE Report the News?

On Friday it was announced that General Electric CEO Jeffrey Immelt would be the chair of the White House’s Council on Competitiveness and Jobs. Given the fanfare of the announcement (Obama toured a GE plant with Immelt as part of the official rollout), it was considered big news. But let’s compare two nightly news broadcasts. The first program mentioned that between 2007-2009 GE laid off 21,000 U.S. workers and closed 20 factories. The report quoted critic Scott Paul of the business-labor partnership Alliance for American Manufacturing. And it also mentioned the issue of conflicts of interest: GE has $3 billion […]


Advertisers Black Out Liberal Radio, Pay Up for Haters

Media Matters research director Jeremy Schulman (8/12/09) writes that “Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaughand Lou Dobbs have used their radio and television shows to incite hatred and push wild conspiracy theories, leading several of Beck’s advertisers to reportedly pull out of his broadcasts”–one of the hazards inherent in for-profit media. But “many advertisers have nonetheless sponsored these hosts’ hate speech in recent weeks, including major corporations and organizations that, in 2006, reportedly requested that ABC Radio Networks not air their advertisements during any Air America programs”: At the time, ABC subsequently provided a statement to Media Matters, which read: “It is […]


Owners ‘Call the Tune’ in Reported MSNBC-Fox Truce

Former TV Newser Brian Stelter’s article (New York Times, 8/7/09) about MSNBC and Fox News having “resumed their long-running feud this week after the New York Times reported that their parent companies, General Electric and the News Corporation, had struck a deal to stop each other’s televised personal attacks” states that “the deal extends beyond the prime-time hour that Mr. Olbermann and Mr. O’Reilly occupy,” reporting that “employees of daytime programs on MSNBC were specifically told by executives not to mention Fox hosts in segments critical of conservative media figures, according to two staff members.” While GE‘s official line is […]


Will GE Beneficiary Censor GE Pollution Opponents?

New York Times editorialist Lawrence Downes (5/4/09) has some good questions about Pete Seeger‘s big 90th birthday party. The broadcast surely is bound to “be a PBS special made in pledge-week heaven,” but Downes has to “wonder, though, how many of the angry moments will survive”: Will we hear the Native American musicians pleading for support in their battle with Peabody Energy? Peabody is a giant strip-mining company that has been at the center of lawsuits by Southwestern tribes over drinking water and income from mineral rights. Will we hear the praise for the Clean Water Act of 1972, or […]