Thursday, March 15, 2007

What Brian Williams Should Be Saying Every Night

At the end of a movie review for a Time-Warner movie, CNN posts a disclaimer at the bottom stating that Time-Warner is the parent company of CNN and this alerts people to a potential conflict of interest. This is journalism 101 here.

GE's reconstruction activities in Iraq were not disclosed in documents the Defense Department provided to the Center for Public Integrity in response to a Freedom of Information Act request. Media sources, however, indicate that GE has or had post-war business dealings in Iraq. For instance, it was reported in April 2003 that GE Energy Rentals Inc., a division of GE Power Systems, was supplying temporary electrical generators to the U.S. military in Iraq. GE Energy Rentals, based in Atlanta, rents power generators, heating and cooling equipment and light towers. It was launched as a separate division in June 1999. The company refused to divulge the value of the contract.

I know it's not a review of 'Dude Where's My Car' or anything important like that, but it might be considered important to some viewers to know that NBC parent company GE is profiting off the war, while at the same time Brian Williams states that the surge is apparently working, and discussing the "improving" situation in Iraq.

What also may interest viewers is the recent Media Matters for America report that shows how the Sunday shows still tilt towards Republicans. NBC is one of the prime culprits. On the Sunday after the November elections, which were viewed as a repudiation of the GOP Iraq policy, where Democrats took over after 12 years in the wilderness, Russert's two guests were war hawks John McCain (R-Arizona) and Joe Liberman(I-Connecticut). Didn't Russert owe a disclaimer to his viewers at that point as well? GE making money off the war continuing, Russert promoting war supporters? Perhaps I am just being too sensitive here.

In an age of media consolidation, as well as the large media outfits having multiple conflicts of interest, viewers deserve to know that the media is an interested party when it comes to things such as piracy, the internet, consolidation, patent law, copyright law, and in GE's case military contracts.

Dude, where's my free press?