Will NBC Affiliates Allow an Attack on Comcast/NBC to Air?

January 17th, 2015 10:47 AM

ComcastNBC loves its customers….but it hates some of them.

What else is there to say about a major American media corporation that just is so eager for business - but hates the conservative beliefs of some of those same customers?

This teensy problem -- disapproving the politics of its customers -- is now threatening to throw a monkey wrench into the media giant’s bid to merge with TimeWarner Cable, a bid that would put the combined giants into 66% of American homes wired for cable.

That monkey wrench is a group called the Conservative War Chest. The CWC had the courage to take on the media giant that is the corporate parent of the cesspool of leftist hate known as MSNBC. In a 65-page letter that went to every NBC affiliate in the land, the CWC not only documented an endless stream of biased reporting - and worse - emerging from both MSNBC and NBC at the sanction of Comcast/NBC executives. The group asked to buy air time on the air of local NBC affiliates for a two minute commercial that says “Stop the Comcast Smear Machine”  and smacks Comcast and its far-left politics right between the eyes - as seen here.

Will they get the air time? The accompanying letter also pinpointed the Comcast/NBC dream of infecting everything from sports coverage to Spanish language television with the kind of far-left invective that has been the identifying staple of the race-baiting MSNBC.

Says the letter:

Having established NBC and MSNBC as militant, left-of-center outlets, Comcast now seeks to politicize sports, strengthen (the NBC-owned Spanish language) Telemundo’s anti-conservative bias, support “Journolist” founder Ezra Klein with $10 million, and complete a TimeWarner merger that will give them control of cable to 66 percent of homes.

Despite mounting criticism, Comcast/NBC/Universal is clearly doubling down on its attack on conservative political and cultural views. Mr. Griffin has announced he is soon going to launch a series of Internet shows – as part of the left’s effort to politicize every aspect of American life – that will extend its liberal focus to sports. The new show can be counted on, of course, to smear athletes or sports commentators who hold to conservative political views and traditional values.

Similarly, Telemundo’s corporate leadership continues to be outspoken in its attacks on Republicans – a bias also reflected in its news programming. And Comcast’s newest favorite is Ezra Klein, whose sponsorship of the notorious “JournoList” identifies him as someone whose priority is political activism and not journalism. And, of course, Comcast’s proposed merger with Time Warner is an attempt to further not only its commercial hegemony, but its political agenda. And to that end it spent $12 million on Washington lobbyists in 2014 alone, not including what Comcast spent in the final three months of the year.

Think about that for a moment. Here is a major American media corporation that has thoroughly politicized its cable “news” channel. It has now done the same to the NBC News that once was branded as a home of journalistic just-the-facts-ma’am-style news reporters like Chet Huntley, David Brinkley, John Chancellor, Sander Vanocur, Tom Brokaw and others. While Brokaw and Chancellor were no Reagan fans -- and it showed -- and Today host Bryant Gumbel was a visceral Reagan-hater, now the entire Comcast/NBC brand has been taken so far left it is seen by many as one giant media company that is in fact nothing more than a far-left media super PAC.

Now, says the CWC, the idea is to spread this leftist virus into other brands under the Comcast/NBC umbrella. In fact, as the Media Research Center has documented, this has been under way for some time.

Take Telemundo, for example. In April of last year, MRC Latino released a report on leftward bias at the Comcast/NBC-owned Telemundo and also the non-Comcast owned Univision. Among its findings was this:

This study found a marked leftward tilt in both networks’ news coverage, particularly in reporting U.S. domestic policy news, with Democratic, left-leaning sources overwhelmingly dominating U.S. coverage....

None of the Obama administration’s various scandals (the IRS targeting of conservative groups; Benghazi; etc.) were even once mentioned during this four month study.

Despite ObamaCare’s problem-plagued rollout and controversial implementation, Univision and Telemundo reporting featured advocates of ObamaCare over its conservative opponents by a margin of nearly five-to-one (116-24).

And sports? Who can forget NBC’s Bob Costas using his perch as a sports commentator to launch into a lecture on gun control? Or the time he launched into a lecture that the name of the Washington Redskins was “an insult, a slur”? It is impossible to believe that had Costas opposed gun control or supported the Redskins keeping their name that he would have been allowed to inject his political views during the sports events he was covering for NBC.

The larger point being in the CWC letter to the NBC affiliates is that whether it’s Telemundo or Bob Costas, this leftist bias is no accident. Gradually and intentionally, areas other than news are seen as being politicized, tilted leftward - by the Comcast/NBC “suits in the suites.”

The letter highlights the cozy, crony-capitalist-style relationship between Comcast CEO Brian Roberts and President Obama. It cites this interesting observation by Chicago Sun-Times columnist Laura Washington in August of 2011 on the relationship between Al Sharpton, the Obama White House and MSNBC, the latter where Sharpton was suddenly offered his own television show PoliticsNation. Wrote columnist Washington:

“An interesting side-pocket shot: The reputed coziness between Sharpton and the White House. With Princeton rabble-rouser Cornell West, PBS host Tavis Smiley and the Congressional Black Caucus regularly sniping at Obama, the White House needs a water carrier of color. Sharpton is poised to fill the bill.

“I am sure it was just a coincidence that Obama stopped by the Martha’s Vineyard digs of Comcast CEO Brian Roberts a couple of days before the Sharpton deal was announced. (Comcast is the parent company of MSNBC).”

In other words? The suggestion is that there was a quid pro quo here. Sharpton -- now revealed by National Review to have visited the Obama White House over 60 times -- is the Obama go-to on issues of race. He is also the black leader who told CBS’s Lesley Stahl that he wouldn’t criticize the president. Shortly after that Obama visit to the Roberts home, Al Sharpton winds up with his own show. And there is the suggestion by ex-MSNBC host Cenk Uygur that he, Uygur, was replaced by Sharpton precisely because in spite of his own leftist views Uygur had been critical of the president from a leftist’s perspective. As Noel Sheppard reported and the CWC letter relates, Uygur explained this after his departure to Fox’s media critic Howard Kurtz:

“‘A friend of mine just suggested that I watch the ’60 Minutes’ piece from a couple of months ago on Al Sharpton,’ he said. ‘And I found that to be very curious because Lesley Stahl said there, and here I have the quote for you: ‘Sharpton says he has decided not to criticize the president about anything.’ So the guy who was criticizing the president is out, even though he had really good ratings, and the guy who has decided not to criticize the president about anything is in. That's interesting.’”

Indeed it is interesting.

We live in a world of media conglomerates, and that world is being revolutionized by the day with the mix of the Internet, cable, satellite and (still) print. No one media empire gets more scrutiny than Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation, the parent of, among many other things, Fox News. But the fact of the matter is that News Corp. is not taking the conservative politics one can find on a Fox News commentary show like, say, Sean Hannity’s, and spreading across its empire of sports coverage and the plethora of movies and cable television shows that emerge from 21st Century Fox or “Big Fox”, the company’s broadcast channel.

But that is precisely the allegation of the CWC about Comcast. That the company’s long term objective is, in the words of CWC, for Comcast to keep “doubling down on its attack on conservative political and cultural views.”

Needless to say this has finally launched a response. Says the CWC:

“Clearly then Comcast/NBC/Universal have invited conservatives to a political brawl. And conservatives need to publicly accept this challenge and then see who wins the campaign of 2015.

Thus, conservatives should embrace this opportunity to show a commercial and political mega-giant that the truth and the support of the American people far outweigh entrenched power and massive amounts of money.

What the leadership and board members of Comcast need to know is that conservatives are no longer disbelieving. We get it. We intend to demonstrate to Comcast that we (the conservative movement) have not thrived for six decades – we have not come all this way – just to cede our national and, indeed, global victories for the cause of freedom to a group of grasping corporate operatives seeking commercial and political power. So, the focus of the conservative movement needs to be not on the politicized and partisan faces of NBC or the hired slanderers at MSNBC – criticizing them just makes them more important than they are – but on the corporate “suits in the suites” who are the truly culpable parties.”

Comcast/NBC is indeed vulnerable. To use another analogy, Comcast is Goliath and the CWC is David.  Not to put too fine a point on it, the Comcast/NBC merger with TimeWarner Cable is at the moment an open target for conservatives on Capitol Hill and elsewhere.

In the world of politics what Comcast/NBC has done with their deliberately hostile corporate conduct towards conservatives is called “overreach.” The business of their business would be a matter of no concern in the political world beyond the normal issues of monopoly and corporate size -- issues which indeed have already prompted opposition by liberals like Minnesota Democrat Senator Al Franken. Now a well-funded conservative group is launching a serious counterattack, effectively joing the fight to defeat Comcast/NBC -- at the exact moment they need all the support they can muster.

Question? Will NBC affiliates have the courage to run the CWC commercial on their air time?

Stay tuned. But in fact if the answer is no, that will ironically only strengthen the case against Comcast/NBC as nothing more than a far left, very rich Super PAC masquerading as a media company.