General of Electric & the US Presidency

From brian carroll <>
Date Tue, 31 Jul 2001 15:46:14 -0800

this story has been inaccessible all day but finally got a hold of
it online and then the 'send to colleague' button was inoperable.
but, alas, the point of this post is not to bait the hunger for
a grand conspiracy, though some might, but to make the connection
not inferred in this article, which focusses on the connection
between NBC television and the Presidential Elections, and not
General Electric's special interests and the outcome of the
election, given the trillion dollar economics involved, in
everything from airplanes megamergers (and electronics) to
energy production (utilities, generators, meters, lights)
to the local and national TV stations. some might remember
that the EU voted down Bush's and Welsch's pet project to
combine GE and Honeywell for reasons that baffle those in
the United Statesian worldview. the following is another
ideological supplement to support the view that energy and
its relations have broad influence, and to a certain extent
steer the ship of state, without public representation...  (educational, fair-use of copyright.)

NBC's Lack, Rep. Waxman Clashing
By Ted Hearn
Multichannel News
7/31/2001 12:21:00 AM

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Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) wants NBC News to surrender to him 
alleged in-house NBC videotapes that reportedly show 
presidential-election-night interference with news operations by 
General Electric Co. chairman and CEO Jack Welch in support of 
then-Texas Gov. George W. Bush.

GE, one of the largest industrial conglomerates in the world, is the 
corporate parent of NBC, which owns a national TV network, multiple 
local TV stations and a stable of cable networks. Like many major 
news outlets, NBC News called last November's presidential race for 
Republican Bush over Democrat Al Gore, even though the contest wasn't 
decided by the U.S. Supreme Court until more than one month later in 
Bush's favor.

NBC president and CEO Andrew Lack has repeatedly denied the Welch 
allegation, both in sworn House testimony Feb. 14 and in two letters 
to Waxman subsequent to his House Energy and Commerce appearance. But 
Waxman has kept pressing Lack and complaining that his denials have 
been evasive.

In raising the Welch matter at the House hearing, Waxman said he was 
aware of rumors -- perhaps recorded on videotape by NBC promotional 
and advertising personnel -- that Welch made statements suggesting 
that he wanted NBC News to call the race for Bush.

In a Feb. 16 follow-up letter to Lack, Waxman provided additional 
details surrounding the Welch 'rumor' that Waxman said he hoped 
turned out to be nothing more than an 'urban myth.'

For instance, Waxman said he heard of two NBC videotapes 'that would 
either prove or debunk the allegation.' He said one tape is 'said to 
be in the closet of Frank Raddis, NBC's East Coast head of 
advertising and promotion,' and it captures NBC decision-desk events 
on election night in a comprehensive manner with high picture quality.

Waxman said he was aware of a second tape shot in 'high 8' with a 
hand-held camera by Steve Fastook or John Larrouso. Waxman did not 
identify these individuals as NBC employees.

'This tape is reportedly not as comprehensive as the first tape, but 
it shows Mr. Welch pressuring the desk to call the election for 
George W. Bush,' Waxman told Lack in the Feb. 16 letter.

Waxman also recounted for Lack the substance of three rumors that 
showed 'inappropriate interference' by Welch, according to Waxman's 
unnamed rumor providers.

Welch, Waxman said, 'reportedly cheered when things appeared to favor 
George W. Bush and hissed when they appeared to favor Al Gore.' Welch 
also told someone at the NBC decision desk: 'What would I have to 
give you to call the race for Bush?'

But Waxman said the most serious allegation he knew of was that Welch 
was 'responsible for giving the order to call the election for George 
W. Bush.'

For his part, Lack has told Waxman more than once that Welch in no 
way interfered with NBC News' election-night coverage. He added that 
because Welch was totally uninvolved, there were no videotapes that 
would either support or refute his claim.

I was there and in charge. It just didn't happen. So there can be no 
videotape showing that it did,' Lack said in a Feb. 22 reply to 
Waxman. Lack was president of NBC News, but he became president and 
CEO of NBC in May.

Although Waxman said he was reassured by Lack's general denials, he 
complained that Lack did not specifically address his questions about 
the two tapes.

'I asked you a simple, direct question, and you responded with an 
artful and transparent rhetorical evasion,' Waxman said in a March 15 
letter to Lack. 'Instead of providing me with that information, you 
responded with syllogistic reasoning: Mr. Welch did not interfere, 
therefore, `there can be no videotape showing' he interfered.'

Taking one more swipe at Lack, Waxman concluded: 'I am confident that 
reporters in your own news division would consider your Feb. 22 
response wholly inadequate if it were provided by a government 
official in response to a journalist's question.'

The Waxman-Lack dispute could come to a head Tuesday. In a July 11 
letter to Lack, Waxman requested that NBC review his questions a 
second time and report its finding by July 31. An NBC source was 
checking whether Lack would have anything more to say to Waxman by 
the deadline.

In his House testimony, Lack called the Welch story a 'dopey rumor' 
that was untrue and claimed he was unaware if the videotapes existed. 
Lack acknowledged that Welch visited NBC News on election night and 
if a videotape of Welch's appearance existed, Waxman 'was certainly 
welcome to the tape.'

But Lack has backed away from that promise of furnishing the video.

In his April 20 letter to Waxman, Lack said, 'It would be highly 
inappropriate for us to share any such tapes with the government.'

Waxman replied that the videotapes he seeks are not protected by the 
First Amendment because they do not involve newsgathering or intrude 
on editorial decision making.
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