By Rick Manning — Recently, NBC News came out with a breathless headline announcing the shocking news that, “Top CEOs donate to Romney over Obama by 4-1 margin.”
This “news” that the men and women who run our nation’s largest companies favor the pro-growth policies favored by Romney over the tax and regulatory strangulation that Obama supports and has enacted into law is about as dog bites man as it can get.
In response to this “story”, Americans for Limited Government decided to examine the political giving of NBC corporate executives. Of course, NBC, the parent company of MSNBC, lost all pretense of objectivity years ago, but the giving patterns in the Obama/Romney race are stark.
NBC/Universal’s top brass has given $111,975 to Obama to date, while only $8,500 has been given to the Romney campaign — a 13 to 1 Obama advantage.
When you take away contributions from the NBC Board of Directors, Governor Romney has only received $1,000 from senior NBC/Universal executives with Obama receiving the same $111,975.
Ironically, Obama Job Council Chairman and General Electric CEO Jeffrey Immelt sits on the NBC/Universal Board of Directors, and while sitting out the presidential campaign to date, has actually given slightly more money to Republican candidates than Democrat ones.
However, the real question that any thinking person has to ask when looking at the Federal Election Commission data is how can NBC continue any kind of charade of even handedly covering the presidential election, when the company’s decision makers are in lock-step behind one candidate?
While a media affirmative action program to attract conservative voices into leadership at media company’s like NBC/Universal is contrary to basic free market principles, it would seem like a wise idea for a major media company to at least attempt to have some semblance of philosophical diversity within its own ranks.
NBC’s slavish devotion to the Obama candidacy from the top down cannot help but cause them to alienate themselves from the very viewers whom they seek to attract. In fact, when the evening news only has 22 minutes and two or three “election” stories a night, it brings into question whether there is any internal break at all to the never-ending spouting of the Obama line. This bias could have little to do with intent, but instead could be the result of a gigantic blind spot directly related to the lack of ideological diversity.
Three years ago, the Washington Post discovered that they were not even aware that Obama green czar Van Jones was in political trouble, before he ended up leaving the Administration shrouded by controversy.
Vowing to correct this embarrassing failure to even know what was going on, they hired a blogger to monitor and participate in the conservative blogosphere. Later it was found that the Washington Post blogger was involved in a far left information sharing list serve that tarnished his legitimacy in conservative circles. However, at least they were monitoring the opposition for news stories.
Unfortunately, this episode revealed that the Post was more interested in infiltrating the right, rather than creating diversity in their own news room. The exact kind of philosophical diversity needed to create the kind of knowledge, sources and reporting that would lead to more trustworthy reporting.
Now, NBC faces the same challenge. Will they decide that going for the far left niche in a center/right country makes sense, or will they seek a return to relevance by opening up their news room to those who don’t agree with their current group think.
The good business decision is to seek the middle through political diversity of thought. It will be interesting to see if NBC/Universal chooses the path which benefits their shareholders, or if they cling to the monolithic liberal thought that is revealed in their FEC giving reports.
Rick Manning is the Communications Director of Americans for Limited Government