Home » , , , , , » "White House takes swipe at NBC News" -- What Do The Jeffs, Immelt and Zucker, Think About That Headline? And Oh Yes, GE Shareholders. Remember Them?

"White House takes swipe at NBC News" -- What Do The Jeffs, Immelt and Zucker, Think About That Headline? And Oh Yes, GE Shareholders. Remember Them?

Written By mista sense on Monday, May 19, 2008 | 3:50 PM

That was the headline of an article atop the website of The Hill today.

The Hill, as in Capitol Hill, is one of those insider-y publications that normally intimidate The Cable Gamer. But this piece, by Klaus Marre is clear as a bell:

The White House on Monday sent a scathing letter to NBC News, accusing the news network of “deceptively” editing an interview with President Bush on the issue of appeasement and Iran.

At issue were remarks Bush made in front of Israel's parliament earlier this week.

Specifically, White House counselor Ed Gillespie laments that the network edited the interview in a way that “is clearly intended to give viewers the impression that [Bush] agreed with [correspondent Richard Engel's] characterization of his remarks when he explicitly challenged it.

“This deceitful editing to further a media-manufactured storyline is utterly misleading and irresponsible and I hereby request in the interest of fairness and accuracy that the network air the President’s responses to both initial questions in full on the two programs that used the excerpts,” said Gillespie in the letter to NBC News President Steve Capus.

Gillespie used the opportunity to also inquire whether NBC News still believes that Iraq is in the midst of a civil war. In November 2006, the network decided to label the infighting in the country a “civil war.”

“I noticed that around September of 2007, your network quietly stopped referring to conditions in Iraq as a ‘civil war,’ ” Gillespie wrote. “Is it still NBC News’s carefully deliberated opinion that Iraq is in the midst of a civil war? If not, will the network publicly declare that the civil war has ended, or that it was wrong to declare it in the first place?”

Gillespie also hit NBC News on its reporting on the state of the economy.

“I’m sure you don’t want people to conclude that there is really no distinction between the ‘news’ as reported on NBC and the ‘opinion’ as reported on MSNBC, despite the increasing blurring of those lines,” Gillespie concluded. “I welcome your response to this letter, and hope it is one that reassures your broadcast network’s viewers that blatantly partisan talk show hosts like Christopher Matthews and Keith Olbermann at MSNBC don’t hold editorial sway over the NBC network news division.”

So it will be interesting to see how NBC and MSNBC react to this blast from the White House. Of course, Keith Olbermann will be delighted, because he obviously enjoys being in a war--any war. As Peggy Noonan once said of Bill Clinton, he is a teabag who brings his own hot water. Although in Olbermann's case, it is more apt to say that he brings his own too-small-tea kettle. Or, come to think of it, he is, in fact, his own too-small tea kettle.

So count on Olbermann to blow his stack soon enough, quitting in a media martyred rage, whereupon he will go on to some other gig, paid for by some adoring liberal billionaire groupies.

But I wonder what the Jeffs think about this. They lack Olbermann's pyrotechnics--which some insist on calling "talent"--and besides, they have a lot of stock options to hang on to.

NBC president Jeff Zucker, of course, will be getting high-fives from his fellow MSMers. No doubt they will give him an Emmy, or a Peabody, or a Polk, just for getting under George W. Bush's skin.

But Zucker's boss, General Electric CEO Jeff Immelt is in a more complicated situation. Maybe he's a Bush-hating lefty, too. But more likely, he is just your basic non-ideological corporate suit. That is, smart enough, even if he obviously isn't smart enough to fill the shoes of his predecessor Jack Welch.

And now, thanks to MSNBC and now NBC, Immelt finds himself even more over his head--he is in the deep waters of politics. Immelt & Co. find themselves in a war with not only Mark Levin, and now the White House, but soon enough, the entire conservative half of the country. That's not good for advertisers, shareholders, and customers.

If the libs are smart, they will think of some sort of award to give to Immelt, as a consolation prize for getting his corporate you-know-what into the bad-press grinder.

GE will regret the day that MSNBC hired Olbermann, thus introducing the left wing cancer into its body corporate. Heck, GE will eventually regret the day that it bought NBC.

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