NBC Conveniently Fails to Report on GE’s Tax Avoidance


Here’s a shocker. NBC News conveniently failed to report on how its parent company, General Electric, avoided paying any federal taxes last year. They say it purely an editorial decision, according to the Washington Post, but they have run stories in the past about companies who avoid paying taxes. So, what did they report instead?

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.

Typical. And what else have they conveniently overlooked?

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.

What’s more, Hart notes, NBC News has covered corporate tax-avoidance stories before — that is, when they didn’t involve GE. All three networks’ news divisions, according to Hart, have become reliable sources of publicity for their parents’ other corporate interests, doing news stories about upcoming sporting events or new TV shows carried on their own networks.

NBC also goes easy on the Obama administration, since they’re in bed with the corporatist giant. So it’s doubtful they’ll report how GE has taken stimulus funds only to turn around and lay off thousands of American workers and move their jobs overseas.