NBC execs to CNBC: Let’s not be too mean to Obama

Posted by: ST on April 16, 2009 at 9:48 am

The NY Post reports on a recent “secret” meeting some of CNBC’s top talent and the subject of the discussion was whether or not CNBC had become the “Obama-bashing network” (via JWF):

THE top suits and some of the on-air talent at CNBC were recently ordered to a top-secret meeting with General Electric CEO Jeffrey Immelt and NBC Universal President Jeff Zucker to discuss whether they’ve turned into the President Obama-bashing network, Page Six has learned.

“It was an intensive, three-hour dinner at 30 Rock which Zucker himself was behind,” a source familiar with the powwow told us. “There was a long discussion about whether CNBC has become too conservative and is beating up on Obama too much. There’s great concern that CNBC is now the anti-Obama network. The whole meeting was really kind of creepy.”

One topic under the microscope, our insider said, was on-air CNBC editor Rick Santelli’s rant two months ago about staging a “Chicago Tea Party” to protest the president’s bailout programs — an idea that spawned tax protest tea parties in other big cities, infuriating the White House. Oddly, Santelli was not at the meeting, while Jim Cramer was, noted our source, who added that no edict was ultimately handed down by the network chieftains.

CNBC flack Brian Steel confirmed the get-together, but insisted: “The dinner was to thank CNBC for a job well done in our in-depth reporting throughout the financial crisis. As far as our coverage is concerned, we are built for balance and we are unabashedly pro-investor.”

Our source retorted: “That is complete bull[bleep] . . . they didn’t invite a lot of people to [the meeting]. There were many staffers who were working 24/7 during the crisis who weren’t asked to attend, even Santelli, who was a big star for the network during those weeks. Why not?”

Maybe they figured the less people invited, the less likely it would be that news of the meeting would leak to the press? Oops.

If indeed CNBC has become the “Obama-bashing network” then I’d suggest that makes the NBC network’s overall coverage of The One “balanced.” After all, you’ve got MSDNC hotshots like Chris Matthews admitting his loyalty and devotion to the Obama administration by saying that it’s “his job” to help the administration succeed. And, almost daily, that’s exactly what he tries to do.

Come to think of it, isn’t it highly telling that NBC bigwigs had a meeting over “concerns” that CNBC was becoming too “anti-Obama” yet we’ve heard of no such meetings over MSNBC’s becoming blatantly “pro-Obama”?

It’s all about the priorities, you see.

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8 Responses to “NBC execs to CNBC: Let’s not be too mean to Obama”


  1. Steve says:

    And people wonder why I don’t watch the news any more. Sheesh, what a buncha hacks.

    From one native North Carolinian to another, I’m glad I found your blog. I’ll be reading it on a regular basis from now on.

  2. Anthony says:

    And I bet they had plenty of these meetings to make sure MSNBC wasn’t being mean to President Bush.

    Oh, stop snickering. ;)

  3. Kevin says:

    GE needs a bailout, so it is required to be nice to the banker.

  4. sjc-tx says:

    State controlled media… THAT is scary!
    What does it remind you of???

  5. TexasResident says:

    Wah!!!:(( Why dont he take responsibility?? Also..how does any1 that is Not an American be President of the United States??? And the Supreme Court ruled that in his favor?? And said its ok…..there is Something wrong !!!! I Still have Not seen a Birth Certificate!!! Is he an American?? PROVE ME WRONG

  6. Carlos says:

    Ya know, being old school and all, I’ve still got this quaint notion that news programs and journalists that purportedly report the news are supposed to do just that: report the NEWS.

    When did commentary and spin become “reporting the news”?

    I would have no problem with them at all if Olberman et al told their listeners/watchers that they were commenting on portions of the “news” they comment and spin on, but to present it as the “unfiltered” news is blatant prevarication.

    Yes, Keith, I’m calling you a liar. So sue me.

  7. david foster says:

    As a GE shareholder, I hope this story isn’t true. It would be entirely inappropriate for the company to use its vast financial resources and TV audience to promote partisan political views and, indeed, too much of this has already happened in the form of excessive promotion of Obama during the campaign, not to mention the general left-wing slant of the network which is consistent with most of the rest of the journalism & entertainment world.

    As both an industrial company and a media company, GE is uniquely vulnerable to political pressure from an incumbent administration. For example, Obama just announced a major initiative for passenger rail. GE is a major provider of locomotives and railway signaling equipment. Might the source selection for equipment for this vast infrastructure buildout be influenced by GE’s friendliness or lack of same with the Obama administration? Ya think?

  8. Carlos says:

    When a sports team manager or the team itself performs to unacceptable standards does anyone hesitate to criticize the obvious? Then why not someone who is in such a critical position?

    Again, follow the money. Both ways.