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MSNBC Commentators Protect Their Corporate Bosses At GE

December 5, 2010
Cliff Kincaid

The partisan commentators on the GE-owned MSNBC television network continued their class warfare rhetoric against Republicans on Thursday night over “tax cuts for the rich” but failed to cover the big financial news of the day—their corporate bosses had tapped the Federal Reserve for $16 billion in bailout money.

Charles Ortel, managing director of Newport Value Partners, says more bad news for the firm is coming. He does not believe U.S. government policies are addressing vexing structural problems and that, in the persistently tough economic environment, the “intrinsic worth” of GE’s stock is about $2, compared to its high of $60 and current price of $16. Ortel wonders whether the company is so poorly managed that it should be put into conservatorship.

The Fed’s massive GE bailout was a shocker. “Newly released documents from the Federal Reserve Board show that General Electric Co. was a significant user of one of the Fed’s rescue programs in the fall of 2008, even as the blue-ribbon company enjoyed the highest credit rating available at the time,” reported Jeff Gerth at ProPublica. GE owns the NBC television network and MSNBC and CNBC cable channels.

This dramatic development was followed early on Friday by news that the unemployment rate had risen to 9.8 percent.

Seizing on the news about GE, conservative commentator Rush Limbaugh connected the dots: “The CEO of GE is Jeffrey Immelt. Jeffrey Immelt sits on one of Obama’s economic commissions. General Electric has been big in this ‘green’ technology movement and every other week it seems all of GE from NBC to CNBC to MSNBC ‘goes green.’ Now we find out that the [Obama] regime found its way on the General Electric board in a sense.”

Immelt also sits on the board of the New York Federal Reserve Bank.

Could GE’s desperate need for federal help have been a factor in the pro-Obama “green” tilt at its media properties? Could GE’s need for such help have given the Obama Administration leverage over the firm’s cable and television channels, in terms of dictating stories, guests, and other content?

And now… the rest of the story. …..

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