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The front-page story drew widespread commentary in newspapers and on many Web sites. ABC News and Fox News, among others, were all over it.
But the story was conspicuously absent from the reportage of one news organization: NBC.
During its Friday broadcast, “NBC Nightly News With Brian Williams” had no time to mention that America’s largest corporation had essentially avoided paying federal taxes in 2010. Or its Saturday, Sunday or Monday broadcasts, either.
Did NBC’s silence have anything to do with the fact that one of its parent companies is General Electric?
NBC News representatives say that it didn’t. “This was a straightforward editorial decision, the kind we make daily around here,” said Lauren Kapp, spokeswoman for NBC News. Kapp declined to discuss how NBC decides what’s news or, in this case, what isn’t.
But to others, NBC’s silence looks like something between a lapse and a coverup. The satirical “Daily Show” on Monday noted that “Nightly News” had time on Friday to squeeze in a story about the Oxford English Dictionary adding such terms as “OMG” and “muffin top,” but didn’t bother with the GE story.
Ignoring stories about its parent company’s activities is “part of a troubling pattern” for NBC News, said Peter Hart, a director at Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR), a liberal media watchdog group that often documents instances of corporate interference in news. He cited a series of GE-related stories that NBC’s news division has underplayed over the years, from safety issues in GE-designed nuclear power plants to the dumping of hazardous chemicals into New York’s Hudson River by GE-owned plants.
Wednesday, March 30, 2011
NBC Ignores GE Taxes Story
From Paul Farhi, The Washington Post
Posted by Tom Benson at 7:00 AM