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?"
An attorney for the National Center for Public Policy Research, speaking yesterday at Comcast's annual shareholder meeting, demanded an on-air correction and apology for defamatory claims by MSNBC's Rachel Maddow.
National Center general counsel Justin Danhof directed his statement to Brian Roberts, CEO of Comcast, majority owner of NBCUniversal, which in turn owns MSNBC. In his remarks, Danhof hinted at legal action if Comcast fails to comply. (video after page break)
Editor's Note: What follows is a letter sent by Mr. Bozell to Comcast Chairman Brian L. Roberts earlier today.
Dear Mr. Roberts,
By now, you are well aware of the Media Research Center’s (MRC) concerns with MSNBC. Last week, I wrote letters to both you and Mr. Griffin asking for Ed Schultz’s termination because of highly controversial and deplorable comments he routinely makes about women and conservatives. Yesterday, I posted an open letter to Mr. Griffin about equally controversial and appalling comments made by Al Sharpton; comments that are blatantly racist and xenophobic, and which in one instance led to the death of an innocent bystander.
Because of these well documented instances of unacceptable comments made by both Sharpton and Schultz, I have called for their termination. I have also called for Mr. Griffin to resign as president of MSNBC. In my March 15 letter I called on you to clean house at MSNBC.
UPDATE: Fantastic video analyzing two weeks in the life of Keith Olbermann and his (nearly all white) guests below the fold. From February 4 through February 18, Keith had 48 guests - and TWO were black. One, actually - the Washington Post's Eugene Robinson appeared twice. 4% - now THAT'S diverse. Bravo and kudos to Broliath for said stellar production.
The Place for Race-Baiting
MSNBC hosts Chris Matthews, Rachel Maddow and the egregiously stentorian and officious Keith Olbermann have made their warped interpretation of the conservative and TEA Party movements as racist a staple of their oft-ridiculed and rarely watched television programs.
These three (and other MSNBC hosts) have engaged in this slander with regularity and fervor.
Reporting on an August 18, 2009 Arizona TEA Party, white host Contessa Brewer fretted "there are questions about whether this has racial overtones....(with) white people showing up with guns" (Arizona is an open-carry state). The only problem was, one of the men they showed packing was black, and they edited out of the video any show of his melanin so as to carry further their fraudulent narrative.
The Dallas (Texas) TEA Party created a video mocking Olbermann (and Company) for these serial assaults, showing people of color attending TEA Parties and contrasting it with the prevailing whiteness of MSNBC's line-up. To which Olbermann responded with a list of black participants in the alleged news making of his network (and that of parent NBC).
Well Olbermann's explanation, and all of the race-baiting "reporting" done by his vile network, apparently wasn't nearly good enough for Congresswomen Sheila Jackson-Lee (D-Texas) and Maxine Waters (D-California), two members of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC).
Executives at Comcast, the media behemoth looking to buy a 51 percent stake in NBC Universal, have given large sums of money to presidential candidate Barack Obama and Democrats in recent years The Hill reported Saturday:
Comcast chief executive Brian Roberts made more than $76,000 in political contributions to Democrats since 2006, compared to $13,500 in contributions to Republicans. Comcast vice president and top lobbyist David Cohen made about $180,000 to Democrats in the same period, compared to $12,000 to Republicans, according to OpenSecrets.org.
On the same day Comcast announced it was buying a 51 percent stake in General Electric's NBC Universal, its CEO sent a letter to President Obama supporting the Senate's healthcare bill.
At virtually the same time, high-ranking Democrats in the House and Senate said Thursday they will closely scrutinize the proposed alliance to determine its impact on the media marketplace.
Here's the letter from Comcast's Brian Roberts to Obama (h/t Politico):
Dear Mr. President: [...]
Because of our announcement today that we have formed a joint venture with General Electric consisting of NBCU's businesses and Comcast's cable networks, I am unable to attend the Summit. I very much appreciate the outreach to the business community, and want to express one of the thoughts I intended to make at the Summit -- that enactment of comprehensive health care reform legislation is, in my judgment, critical to putting this country on a path of sustained growth and prosperity.
As the nation's largest cable and broadband company with over 100,000 employees in 36 states and the District of Columbia, we are proud to offer health insurance to all Comcast employees. But sadly, there are millions of Americans who simply cannot afford to get sick, as health coverage gets increasingly difficult to secure and the resultant demands placed on federal and state budgets are enormous. This cycle is not sustainable.
While there has been much controversy and debate over hundreds of provisions and alternatives, it is my view that the current legislation pending in the Senate provides a workable framework for this country to take an important step toward enhancing health care accessibility, promoting operational efficiencies and technological innovation, and reducing the cost of health care and the federal deficit. My support of meaningful health care reform is buttressed by the estimate by the Congressional Budget Office that, while the Senate legislation would cost $848 billion, it would also reduce budget deficits by $130 billion over the next decade. A strong dose of fiscal responsibility will be essential to achieve meaningful health care reform and lasting economic recovery. [...]
I want to commend you for your dedication to health care reform and for the remarkable progress that has been achieved in this area under your leadership. We cannot allow perfection to stand in the way of critically needed and very good legislation, which is why I support your efforts. Comcast stands ready to assist you and this nation in the effort to enact sensible health care reform. We also look forward to working with your Administration to make health care information technology the best in the world.
Moments after the deal was announced, The Hill reported:
The proposed Comcast-NBC Universalmerger (see earlier post) will be getting some tough scrutiny by the federal government.
Key lawmakers and regulators say they will review the deal in detail to ensure it does not harm the industry or consumers.
Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.), chairman of the House Commerce Committee, said the agreement "has the potential to reshape the media marketplace."
"This proposal raises questions regarding diversity, competition, and the future of the production and distribution of video content across broadcasting, cable, online, and mobile platforms," he said in a statement. "It is imperative that the FCC, the Justice Department, and the FTC rigorously assess whether this transaction is in the public interest." [...]
Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.), chairman of the Senate Subcommittee on Communications and Technology, said the Comcast-NBC deal "is extremely significant in scope and raises some complex questions."
"My subcommittee will monitor that process closely to ensure that any legitimate anticompetitive and public interest concerns are fully addressed.”
As this alliance has been rumored for several months, it seems quite logical Roberts was expecting Congressional scrutiny.
Is this why he sent his healthcare endorsement to Obama on the very day the deal was announced?