Corporate Parents Agreed to Censor Olbermann and O’Reilly
Posted on Aug 2, 2009
It’s no secret that Keith Olbermann and Bill O’Reilly don’t get along, but the two TV personalities have drastically scaled back their attacks on one another ever since a private meeting between GE and News Corp. CEOs determined the feud was bad for the bottom line.
Apparently Charlie Rose was the Iago behind this sinister meeting. As Glenn Greenwald recounts in Salon, Rose has a history of denying the corruptive influence of corporations on media.
Greenwald also objects to The New York Times’ original telling of the story for glossing over the most offensive revelations.
Glenn Greenwald in Salon:
The New York Times this morning has a remarkable story, and incredibly, the article’s author, Brian Stelter, doesn’t even acknowledge, let alone examine, what makes the story so significant. In essence, the chairman of General Electric (which owns MSNBC), Jeffrey Immelt, and the chairman of News Corporation (which owns Fox News), Rupert Murdoch, were brought into a room at a “summit meeting” for CEOs in May, where Charlie Rose tried to engineer an end to the “feud” between MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann and Fox’s Bill O’Reilly. According to the NYT, both CEOs agreed that the dispute was bad for the interests of the corporate parents, and thus agreed to order their news employees to cease attacking each other’s news organizations and employees.
Most notably, the deal wasn’t engineered because of a perception that it was hurting either Olbermann or O’Reilly’s show, or even that it was hurting MSNBC. To the contrary, as Olbermann himself has acknowledged, his battles with O’Reilly have substantially boosted his ratings. The agreement of the corporate CEOs to cease criticizing each other was motivated by the belief that such criticism was hurting the unrelated corporate interests of GE and News Corp.