Tea Partiers Confront Comcast CEO: Why Would a Conservative Want Their Money to Pay Al Sharpton's Salary?

Paul Bond at The Hollywood Reporter described what happened at the annual Comcast shareholders meeting in Philadelphia when Tea Party conservatives stood up to ask about the dramatic left-wing slant of MSNBC.

On the webcast of the meeting, Tom Borelli asked Comcast CEO Brian Roberts "Why would a conservative person in any state want their money to go pay for Al Sharpton’s salary?"

"Have you contemplated the damage that MSNBC and its biased coverage is doing to the overall Comcast business?” Borelli argued conservatives were ditching Comcast’s cable service “because of the overwhelmingly biased and misleading coverage by MSNBC.”

Roberts wasn’t buying that argument at all, babbling about how this network somehow is about “diversity” in the marketplace. “Ultimately, I think, giving diversity of voices has been what cable has stood for all these years, whether it’s one side or another, so I don’t think in the long run it will change the trajectory of Comcast cable," Roberts said.


“Conservatives may abandon your business. That doesn’t make sense to you to test that possibility?” Borelli asked as a different Comcast executive protested that his question was turning into a debate, which they declared they wouldn’t allow.

“We appreciate the comment. All the management’s here. We heard your point. Thank you very much,” Roberts said. Liberal CEOs never think alienating conservative Americans costs them anything. Comcast has most definitely cast its ballot for the Obama administration that approved its merger with NBC Universal.

When the webcast was over, Borelli’s wife Deneen got in another question about Sharpton. "So despite the fact that he's dividing the country and incites racial tension and that he has this platform with your network, you stand behind him 100 percent?" she asked. "We don't get involved with that decision as per our agreement with the FCC," Roberts said. And Bond reported on one more exchange:

Another shareholder accused MSNBC's Rachel Maddow and Mika Brzezinski of exploiting a kindergarten shooting in Connecticut to advance an anti-gun agenda. He also complained some Comcast TV networks refused to take ads from groups that support the Second Amendment, while at the same time "gratuitous violence" can be "witnessed at all hours of the day on Comcast cable."

"That's your point of view," Roberts said. "We simply aligned our policy with different parts of the company, with different positions, and what ads they'll accept," Roberts said.

"If you're naive enough to think that Americans who respect gun rights aren't gonna vote with their wallets and leave Comcast, you're as naive as you are hypocritical," the shareholder said.

Tim Graham
Tim Graham
Tim Graham is Executive Editor of NewsBusters and is the Media Research Center’s Director of Media Analysis