CNBC: Less Obama Bashing is Creepy

by Brien Jackson

The New York Post reports that there was some serious pushback from CNBC to alleged directions from NBC and General Electric directions to “tone down” on-air criticism of President Barack Obama:

When GE CEO Jeff Immelt and NBC Universal president Jeff Zucker met recently with CNBC executives and on-air talent, was there really pressure from the higher-ups to be less tough on Obama?

It’s a very serious charge, but the New York Post makes it. Reporting on the meeting today, one source claims that the network’s been urged to tone down the Obama-bashing. 

The first thing that comes to mind is that corporate ownership of media outlets continues to be problematic. General Electric, of course, makes military equipment, and this is a fairly large part of their business. If GE feels that excessive criticism of a current administration may jeopardize their defense contracts and impose a large hardship on the bottom line, that creates a pretty clear conflict of interest.

But, somewhat less insiduously, CNBC’s criticism of the Obama administration really has been pretty over the top. Jim Cramer has accused Obama of being on a campaign of “wealth destruction,” and called him a Marxist. CNBC employs National Review contributor Larry Kudlow. And, of course, there was the infaous Rick Santelli rant. Yesterday, Santelli was claiming to be “pretty proud” of the national tea parties, implying some sense of responsibility for them.

Now, there’s nothing wrong, per se, with any of this, but even allowing that, it’s certainly not the sort of thing a news network that wants to be seen as being an objective, unbiased, source of information would want to allow. It certainly doesn’t seem to rise to the level of “creepy,” when viewed through the prism of what is actually going on at CNBC.

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