MediaSnob

Silence of the Blowhards: Did Corporate Heads Shush Their Biggest Mouths? (FOX News and MSNBC)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Have Bill O’Reilly and Keith Olbermann reached a truce via their corporate bosses told them to “shadditup” because the network bashing was “bad for business?”

From Glenn Greenwald’s column:

(T)he 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”forCEOs 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.

More after the jump.

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 withO’Reilly have substantially boosted his ratings. Theagreement 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.

Yes. Bad for business. Not network business, mind you. Bad for corporate business. Now, while bashing your opponent and the network he rode in on is not really news, it IS semi-horrifying that the corporate headmasters could glide down on their steeds and at any moment declare something “not newsworthy” and instruct their most prominent mouthpieces to be silent. Afterall, if they could do this with petty pissing contests, what couldn’t they stop MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann and FOX News’ Bill O’Reilly from reporting?

Greenwald states in his column that Olbermann’s attacks on FOX News and Bill O’Reilly have lessened greatly since June 1st, but TVNewser begs to differ on any “truce” talk.

(A)ny “message of peace” has not taken hold.

For example, on July 9, Olbermann, commenting on reports that Murdoch’s London tabloids had to settle lawsuits for illegal wiretaps, said “why did News Corp. go to all that trouble, rather than just get the secret personal information from the Bush administration?” O’Reilly, meanwhile, accused NBC News on June 18 of being in President Obama’s pocket and said last month that “there is compelling evidence that NBC is giving President Obama favorable treatment so that GE will be awarded billions, billions, in government contracts.”

And then there was this week – from Wednesday’s NBC & MSNBC coverage of FNC host Glenn Beck saying that he believes Pres. Obama is “a racist,” right up until this morning, when Fox & Friends had a bit on the Tonight Show’s falling ratings and blaming NBC for “squeezing Jay Leno out” of late night.

Deal? We doubt it. The ratings are no good when there’s peace in cableland.

For the dreams of journalistic blowhards everywhere, let TVNewser be true.

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5 thoughts on “Silence of the Blowhards: Did Corporate Heads Shush Their Biggest Mouths? (FOX News and MSNBC)

  1. The A says:

    So cable news networks are more like reality TV shows with soap opera-like scripted feuds based on corporate profitsThis is not News. pun intended.

  2. Scipio Africanus says:

    I hate the moral equivalency of pretending that Keith and O’Reilly are just opposite sides of the same coin. They’re both partisan, sure. But O’Reilly is a liar and makes stuff up, omits facts, and distorts things past the level that is typically allowed in polite society. Keith doesn’t do any of that. In terms of TV talking heads, Keith’s analogue is someone like Tony Blankley, or maybe William Kristol, not O’Reilly.

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