Thursday, November 18, 2010

Is GE censuring MSNBC News Shows against competing Interests? Today T. Boone Pickens got cut off.


Perhaps it is a good thing GE has sold NBC to Comcast because it will finally get GE out of the habit of cutting off news show guests on MSNBC who take positions opposed to the GE/NBC party line. For the second time in the past few weeks a guest on MSNBC Morning Joe Show was cut off mid-sentence while making a powerful point that was contrary to GE financial interests.

This time it was energy advocate T. Boone Pickens who has devoted millions of his own dollars and two and a half years to trying to get Congress to wake up to using natural gas to lead the nation on a responsible path to energy independence. GE is the powerful lobby for alternative energy because they want to own the infrastructure for electric autos.

The minute Pickens said natural gas could replace our 18 wheeler fleet of 8 million trucks in just 7 years, and eliminate 50% of the OPEC oil dependence of the US, he was opposing the GE electric view of the future. Pickens gave a very sound argument for the conversion pointing out that in terms of comparable cost for fuel, just $4 of natural gas equaled $22 of oil. At the same time gas was 40% cleaner and there was no refining of natural gas like there is oil.

All of these arguments show that electric cars are still not going to compete on a large scale until well into the future when GE has bet on lobbying congress for huge short term electric infrastructure money. So as Pickens was rattling off a list of short term benefits of natural gas over electric he suddenly was cut off at 7:55 am and when the broadcast returned there was Senator Kerry replacing Pickens and arguing for the carbon tax, investment in infrastructure for electric, and saying the American public must stop looking at huge energy tax increases as tax increases? What in the world is he saying other than spend and tax more and buy GE stock?

Just last November 4 we wrote a story titled "Was Queen Noor Al-Hussein of Jordan Censured by NBC over Middle East Views during MSNBC Morning Joe Appearance?" In her case she was just explaining how the Israelis were undermining the peace process in the Middle East and was cut off by NBC.

Since GE and NBC operate the television networks over publicly licensed airways it would seem NBC and GE might very well be using unfair business practices to censor guests who do not pitch the company party line. When private corporations involved in business heavily dependent on government regulation and control attempt to influence public opinion by cutting off opposition views in mid-sentence, there is a serious problem in our system.

It seems the FCC or FTC should look into these cases of potential censorship to see if the public airways are being unfairly used to promote the special interests of the owners. As for the Morning Joe Show, they should be a lot more courteous to the guests that oppose the GE and NBC party line rather than being used by the corporate interests as a de facto lobbying arm.

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