Just when you think you've heard it all, along comes Philip Kent -- chairman and chief executive officer of the Turner Broadcasting System, which owns the Cable News Network – who says that CNN “is a serious news network” that viewers would appreciate more if they would watch the channel “more critically.”
Kent made the laughable comments during an interview published in this week's edition of Broadcasting and Cable magazine, when he admitted that the “biggest misconception about CNN is that it's a liberal news network,” which “drives me crazy” because “it's not.”
When Jeff Zucker became president of CNN earlier this month, some people in the mainstream media feared that this might be the end of “the last bastion of television journalism” since the former head of NBC Universal was expected to make many significant changes in the network personnel and schedule.
Those changes took off on Tuesday, when ABC's Chris Cuomo, who had served as the news anchor on “Good Morning America” from 2006 to 2009 and then moved on to the "20/20" prime-time program, was reported to “have a major role in a new CNN morning show and across the network, anchoring and reporting on major events.”
Broadcasting & Cable magazine's cover story this week was on Katie Couric and her new afternoon talk show (not arriving until next autumn). Her longtime NBC producer and friend Jeff Zucker, axed by NBC in the Comcast merger, is now helping her put the show together. But when asked if Couric was destined to be a failure in the evening news, where the gummy smiles and perky trills aren't in great demand, Zucker tried to say yes in the most diplomatic terms:
That's right. Brian's show has been biased for a long time. But there's more comedy in how NBC News chief Steve Capus tries to suggest it's unfair to see NBC as liberal because of the ever-increasing left-wing shrillness quotient of MSNBC in prime time:
Capus concedes that MSNBC's lefty lineup at night--Ed Schultz, Chris Matthews, Keith Olbermann, Rachel Maddow and, as of next week, Lawrence O'Donnell--raises questions about NBC. But cable is "narrowcasting," he says, and "I think the audience gets it, pure and simple."
Fox News, he adds, is "trying to brand us" as a liberal broadcast network because of MSNBC. "It's a classic political tactic -- they don't like Keith Olbermann, they're going to come after us. It's annoying."
We've heard the knocks on NBC and the institutional bias that exists in its network - from the subtle spin in its flagship network's news coverage at NBC to the over-the-top bias at its cable news channel MSNBC. So maybe the man behind the curtains at NBC Universal would like to be more overt with his opinions - as a politician?
On MSNBC's Aug. 25 "Morning Joe," Jeff Zucker, president and CEO of NBC Universal, addressed both his possible political aspirations and bringing back one of the network's former star personalities. Host Joe Scarborough asked Zucker where his political interests were at this stage.
"You know Joe - look, politics is something I've always had an interest in," Zucker said. "It is something I've always thought about. It is not something that is on my current radar. It's not something I'm thinking about in the next few years, but it is something that I would always consider. I think - I love politics. I would love to give back. I would love to serve. I would love to do something, but it is not imminent. It's nothing now."
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).
After hearing the wit and wisdom of Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., one has to wonder how modern media corporations could stay in business without the expertise and guidance of those elected to the U.S. Senate.
Sarcasm aside, Franken did admit during a Feb. 4 hearing he didn't necessarily have legal expertise to address the Comcast-NBC Universal merger, but he could more than make up for that shortcoming through his experience in show business. Franken, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee's Antitrust Subcommittee, explained he was bothered by the merger.
"As some of you may know, I'm on the Judiciary Committee, I'm not a lawyer," Franken said. "But I used to be in show business. In fact, I worked for years for NBC and I really feel that I owe a lot to NBC. But what I know from my previous career has given me reason to be concerned - and let me phrase that, very concerned about the potential merger of Comcast and NBC Universal."
It has been something that there have been rumblings about, but no one has really put the x's and o's together entirely - that General Electric (NYSE:GE) is using its media arm, NBC Universal to promote President Barack Obama's so-called progressive agenda for its own financial gain.
However, as just previewed by Amy Ridenour, Fox News Channel host Bill O'Reilly attempted to do so at the top of his April 23 "The O'Reilly Factor" broadcast during his "Talking Points Memo" segment. O'Reilly outlined how Obama has gotten support from the NBC networks both pre-election and post-election.
"Will General Electric get paid for supporting President Obama - that is the subject of this evening's Talking Points Memo," O'Reilly said. "As everybody knows, GE, which owns NBC has been very aggressive in helping Barack Obama - first supporting the president in the election and now attacking his critics."
General Electric held its annual shareholders meeting Wednesday, and attendees apparently were very upset with the increasing leftward tilt of MSNBC.
According to the Hollywood Reporter, during the question and answer phase of the meeting, shareholders repeatedly brought up the company's far-left leaning network, and often had their microphones turned off as a result.
Here are highlights from the THR report (link loading slowly due to appearance at the Drudge Report):
General Electric CEO Jeffery Immelt, thought to be one of Keith Olbermann's biggest supporters, and NBC Universal President Jeff Zucker are reported to have called some of CNBC's on-air talent to a secret meeting at least if the The New York Post's Page Six column for April 16 has it right. The meeting was called to scold the cable yackers for being too harsh on the Obammessiah, with the duo ala Jeffs warning that CNBC is turning into "the Obama bashing network" and that the cable outlet is becoming "too conservative."
OK... now how did that lefty mantra go again? Doesn't it go that the media couldn't possibly be lefitwing because "the suits" that own the media are conservative corporate types? Once again it looks like the truth is a different animal than the leftist trope pretends.
The fact is MSNBC in the last 12 months has been the fastest growing cable channel in all of television, news or entertainment. So clearly it has struck a chord with the audience. I think its programming has clearly worked.
Now a lot of the basis of your question really emanates from the tremendous emergence of Keith Olbermann's program at 8 o'clock. I'm incredibly comfortable with that program. I think the network seeks and does an incredibly good job of seeking other points of view, but obviously Keith plays a major role in the voice, certainly in that hour and on the network. And I think it has been good for that network, Keith's emergence has been good for the network.
It sounds like Zucker realized in mid-answer that Olbermann is too insecure to seek out other points of view that differ from his deeply paranoid Daily Kosmonaut liberalism.
Interviewed for the "View from the Top" feature in the May 9 Financial Times, NBC Universal chief executive Jeff Zucker praised CBS "Evening News" anchor Katie Couric, formerly with NBC's "Today" show. Zucker also dismissed any notion that he regretted not buying the Wall Street Journal.
Here's an excerpt (portion in italics to denote questions by Financial Times):
You worked with Katie Couric [host of NBC's Today for 15 years, now CBS Evening News anchor] for a long time. Would you take her back?
I don't know that Katie's available so it's not really my place to say, but Katie remains one of the most talented journalists of her generation and somebody who would be an asset to whatever news division, whatever organisation she worked in. So we would always welcome somebody of Katie's ability and stature, but that's not . . . on the cards any time in the near future.