The government does not officially own the media. But over the years, and then much more quickly since 2007, the United States Federal Government has increasingly become the owner of everything. This is the story behind the NBC’s and CNN’s plan to actively campaign for Hillary Clinton for 2016.
Of course, neither NBC nor CNN are admitting that they are campaigning for Hillary to be President. No they are just doing “specials” about Hillary Clinton’s life. Appropriately, Dave Bossie of Citizens United has challenged both networks to run his own Hillary documentary as balance to the puff pieces they are developing. RNC Chairman Reince Priebus has threatened to “seek a binding vote of the RNC stating that the committee will neither partner with you in 2016 primary debates nor sanction primary debates which you sponsor.”
But I suspect the specials will go forward. The reason for this pessimism is more than liberal bias on the part of the networks. Here is the argument:
- Everyone knows whether they admit it or not that the economy is fragile and could crash,
- Everyone knows that the government is willing to bail out private companies, and
- Both CNN and MSNBC are private companies that could easily need bailing out after an economic crash.
NBC and MSNBC have already been rescued by the government. They are owned by General Electric. NBC was obviously and ardently pro-Obama in 2007 and 2008. General Electric was rewarded with $140 billion in bailout money.
As long as the economy looks risky and/or the government has the power to hurt a company by legal means, then the government effectively “owns” those corporations. Naturally, NBC and CNN are going to work hard to flatter and please the woman who they expect will hold power over them. Even if a Republican presidential candidate beats Hillary, the fact remains that Republicans are not known for trying to destroy companies. So there is more to risk in refusing to campaign for Hillary than there is in opposing the GOP.
The corruption behind this campaign is so obvious, that even establishment news people are embarrassed by what is happening. Chuck Todd, while not accusing his network of toadying to Hillary because they expect her to own them, declared the special would be a “nightmare” for NBC News. “People are going to see the peacock, and they see NBC, and they see NBC News, and they think, ‘Well, they can’t be that separate.’”
That’s because they aren’t that separate. Even if there is some sort of “firewall” between entertainment and news now, if this special is perceived as successful for the company, then what is left of that separation will be eroded. NBC won’t allow its news department to undermine its ventures in flattering and campaigning for politicians who can hurt or help them.