A far cry from Huntley-Brinkley, John Chancellor, or even Tom Brokaw, the NBC News organization has become little more than a mouthpiece for the Obama Administration. Leaving aside the obviously biased MSNBC commentators Chris Matthews, Rachel Maddow, and Al Sharpton, even the once proud Nightly News has shown an increasingly apparent bent toward the left wing of the Democratic party since Brian Williams took over the anchor desk in 2004.
Since the Solyndra story was broken in September, NBC has devoted a total of 8 minutes to the story, even after the company’s leaders pleaded the fifth amendment in front of congress and subpoena’s were issued to members of the Administration. NBC has also been mute on the Fast and Furious story, in which the Justice Department encouraged thousands of high powered weapons to find their way across the border into the hands of Mexican drug cartels, resulting in the deaths of hundreds of Mexican citizens and at least one US border patrol agent. On October 17, 2011, NBC’s Inside the Boiler Room program spent less than four minutes discounting both the Solyndra and Fast & Furious scandals, prior to that, the last time NBC mentioned Fast & Furious was July 1st, 2011.
Why the overwhelming prejudice in favor of the Administration? NBC is owned by Comcast Corporation and General Electric. In January of this year the Government cleared the way for Comcast to buy a 51% stake of NBC, making Comcast the controlling interest and one of the largest media outlets in the country. GE, who previously owned the lion’s share of the company is headed by Jeff Immelt, Chairman of President Obama’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness. Almost before the ink was dry on the merger deal, Comcast hired Meredith Attwell Baker away from her job as one of the four Federal Communications Commissioners who voted in favor of the merger. Her new job is to lobby Washington for NBC in possible violation of Federal Law.
Second on the list of top contributor’s to President Obama’s 2012 campaign this year is Comcast Corporation, and they bundled a great deal of money for him in 2008. GE was 17th on the list of Obama contributors for that election cycle.
In addition to receiving campaign contributions from the owners of the News outlet, President Obama sent $36 million dollars in cash back to GE, in the form of Early Retirement Health Care subsidies.
Just last week, the Obama campaign hired Broderick Johnson of the lobbying firm Bryan Cave LLP. This firm received $440,000 from Comcast to lobby in favor of the Comcast/NBC Universal merger. Mr. Johnson was shown throughout the merger period on House disclosure forms listing his role as an advocate for the merger.
As the scandals surrounding the White House, the Department of Justice, and the Department of Energy heat up, perhaps the lack of coverage of them by a supposedly impartial news organization will itself be added to the growing list of questionable relationships between the Administration and its cronies. But don’t expect to hear about it on NBC’s Nightly News.