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View Diary: Open thread for night owls: If only the little guy would STFU (143 comments)

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    Jack Welch charges White House manipulated unemployment numbers – latimes Oct 5, 2012


    Globalization and the Demolition of Society


    In the 2000 Presidential race, when the major TV networks retracted their earlier and correct projection that Florida was going to Gore, thus making him President, Bush’s cousin John Ellis, who was brought into Fox’s studios to act as the head of their “decision desk,” called Florida for Bush.

    Jack Welch, head of NBC/GE, who was in the NBC studios while this unfolded, asked the NBC elections desk chief why NBC was not also calling Florida for Bush. NBC listened to their boss and put Florida in Bush’s column; they later retracted it, but they had nevertheless helped to set into motion the impression that Bush was the winner and that Gore’s subsequent insistence that all the votes be counted were the actions of a sore loser. The rest of the major networks then followed suit, again without any new data about the actual vote count. As David Podvin and Carolyn Kay describe it:

    Shortly after George W. Bush declared his candidacy for president in June of 1999, General Electric Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Jack Welch was contacted by Bush political advisor Karl Rove. Welch later informed associates that Rove told him a Bush administration would initiate comprehensive deregulation of the broadcast industry. Rove guaranteed that deregulation would be implemented in a way that would create phenomenal profits for conglomerates with significant media holdings, like GE. Rove forcefully argued that General Electric and the other media giants had a compelling financial interest to see Bush become president.

    Welch told several people at GE that the conversation with Rove convinced him that a Bush presidency would ultimately result in billions of dollars of additional profits for General Electric. Welch believed that it was his responsibility to operate in the best interest of GE shareholders, and that now meant using the full power of the world’s biggest corporation to get Bush into the White House.

    NBC News was an asset owned by the shareholders of General Electric. It existed to make profits and to serve the interests of those who owned GE stock. Anything else, Welch told associates, was “liberal bullshit.”



    By David Podvin

    In 2000, when Karl Rove called General Electric Chairman Jack Welch to guarantee that a Bush Administration would be extremely generous to media conglomerates that were sympathetic to the Texas governor’s presidential campaign, it was a notable moment in history. If only this once, Rove wasn’t lying.

    Since taking office, George W. Bush has lavished spectacular taxpayer funded largesse on the corporate media that made excuses for his inadequacies, overlooked his corruption, shielded him from scandal, and escorted him into the White House. It has been a squalid quid pro quo that has gone largely unexamined, because those whose job it is to report on such corruption are too busy benefiting from it.

    The payoff began immediately. Two days after he was inaugurated, Bush appointed industry puppet Michael Powell to head the Federal Communications Commission. The media conglomerates were thrilled. The New York Times editorialized about Powell’s virtues, as did the Washington Post. They knew that, as an FCC commissioner, Powell had supported every media mega merger without ever voicing any concern about the consequences to the consumer. They knew that he had stated that the government should not protect the public interest against media conglomerate excesses because he had “no idea what the public interest is”.

    They knew that Powell advocated total deregulation of the airwaves, meaning a transfer in ownership from the public to the multinational corporations that currently need licenses in order to broadcast. They knew that he opposed any rules to restrict media monopolies. They knew that the son of Colin Powell was so brazenly unethical that he had failed to recuse himself from considering the anti-trust implications of the AOL/Time Warner deal, despite the fact that his father was on AOL’s board of directors.

    Michael Powell claims that he is a capitalist who embraces the free market. In this guise, he has “deregulated” the media industry by eliminating consumer protections regarding consolidations and cross ownership. The changes that he has made will provide a huge financial windfall to General Electric (NBC), Disney (ABC), Viacom (CBS), The New York Times Company, and the Washington Post Company.

    And, of course, Powell has been generous to News Corporation (Fox). When Rupert Murdoch needed a waiver to buy additional TV stations in order to provide more Americans with a fair and balanced look at the infallibility of George W. Bush, it was Powell who made it happen.

    Free market advocate Michael Powell says that he opposes allowing more competition in the FM radio industry because it would reduce ad revenue for the existing media powerhouses. His staff consists of lobbyists from the major print, broadcasting, and cable companies. He is not a capitalist; he is a manipulator who has gained prestige and power by whoring for the biggest communications companies in the world.

    Powell gets extremely favorable media coverage. When profiled on the networks and in the major papers, he comes across looking like a billion dollars. It’s only fair. Michael Powell’s appointment was a multi-billion dollar reward to the media conglomerates that have been so good to George W. Bush.

    Paul Ryan had a minor in economics. What experience does he have to say that he's the great budget oracle? ~ Rob Zerban

    by anyname on Fri Oct 05, 2012 at 09:11:32 PM PDT

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